Copy Structure of an Ad

Basic Advertising Copy Structure

Headline- Headlines usually have the largest font size. It is usually 5 to 8 words in length. Use simple, easy to understand words. Appeal to the self interest of the audience.

The headline has several functions:

  • gives news
  • reinforces the brand
  • attracts attention
  • attracts a target market
  • increases curiosity
  • arouses emotions
  • calls to action

Subhead line- This optional device often occurs right below the headline. The subhead line uses a few words that clarify, reinforces or explains the headline. The goal is to provide a smooth transition into the body copy.

Body Copy- This is the text in the advertisement that provides support and details about the product or the current offer. Often the body copy will use present tense, singular. Use Active verbs. Vary the sentence length. Involve the audience.

Many types of body copy are possible:

  • benefits of the product
  • testimonial from customers
  • expert opinion
  • narrative about the product or a customer
  • examples
  • options
  • rhetorical questions
  • statistics about the product
  • positioning information


Tagline -Often this is the brand slogan that has been used for years

Logo- Brand symbol and/or words

URL of website


1. Diamonds are forever (DeBeers)
2. Just do it (Nike)
3. The pause that refreshes (Coca-Cola)
4. Tastes great, less filling (Miller Lite)
5. We try harder (Avis)
6. Good to the last drop (Maxwell House)
7. Breakfast of champions (Wheaties)
8. Does she ... or doesn't she? (Clairol)
9. When it rains it pours (Morton Salt)
10. Where's the beef? (Wendy's)

" Look Ma, no cavities! (Crest toothpaste)
" Let your fingers do the walking (Yellow Pages)
" Loose lips sink ships (public service)
" M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hand (M&M candies)
" We bring good things to life (General Electric)