Today I was thinking about kick-ass intriguing headlines. Killer lines that need no image. Lines so good you’re physically incapable of doing anything other than reading the copy.
Lines like these.
Why you should think more seriously about killing yourself.
This is perhaps the most infuriating ad you will ever read. Unless you are 21.
Bankers Trust Australia Group
Answer these ten questions and work out the date of your own death.
Which one of these men do you think would be best at rape?
The Solicitors’ Regional Dictionary
What are your chances of getting pregnant tonight?
The Health Education Council
Do this or die.
Doyle Dane Bernbach
Is this the best ad ever written?
The Ball Partnership
No experience necessary
The first Anglo-Soviet space mission
Here’s a dead dog. Where’s my award?
How to kill a baby.
Somewhere in this picture, 2nd lt. Eric Heaton lies dying.
Imperial War Museum Appeal
It seems like this kind of line is a rare breed these days, which is a shame. All the above examples are from The Copy Book (published 1995), which means the ads are all at least 14 years old and mostly a lot more. Our style today is a softer intrigue. Maybe we think these are too crude. Or maybe they just don’t win awards, which also seems a shame. Or is it just in the UK and you’ll find loads of recent examples somewhere like the US?
Also, there are a lot in there about death. I’m not sure if that’s coincidence, or because it’s easier to write an intriguing line about death. Or perhaps I have a fixation with death and these are the ones that stood out to me.
10 hours ago