What Year 3 schoolchildren know about good ad copy

I was dropping my 7-year old twins off in their classrooms, kissed them, and on the way out, among that happy and uplifting happiness that is unique to children, something on the wall caught my eye.

In class at the moment, they are looking at the most engaging way to start stories.

A thought occurred to me, Would these be valid ways of starting ad copy?

In fact, are there some basic ways to open a story, or copy, that seem to be valid, whoever you are and whoever you’re writing for?

Well, here are the tips (with thanks to Ma Mitchell):

OPEN BY INTRODUCING THE READER TO A CHARACTER

start copy with a character

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPEN BY GETTING THE READER EXCITED ABOUT THE ACTION

open with action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPEN BY DROPPING THE READER INTO A NEW SETTING

open with a setting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPEN BY PLANTING A QUESTION IN THE READER’S MIND

open with a question

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By now, you might think I’m being cute. Or fanciful. Could these classroom guides really be templates for the openings of good copy?

One man thought so.

Over to you, Bill Bernbach.

 

OPEN BY INTRODUCING THE READER TO A CHARACTER

Jamaica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPEN BY GETTING THE READER EXCITED ABOUT THE ACTION

scan 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPEN BY DROPPING THE READER INTO A NEW SETTING

Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPEN BY PLANTING A QUESTION IN THE READER’S MIND

scan 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems like good stories and good copy do have a lot in common. (If you missed our blog post about the importance of narrative, it’s here .)

And if you’re stuck on a piece of copy, sometimes getting the opening right makes everything else flow.

All good copywriters have a bag of tools they can use to shape and craft copy – if you have something that gives your copy a kickstart, we’d love to hear it (and share it).