Tips on writing a print advertisement

A good advertisement should have:

  • an interesting headline
  • clear design
  • well-written copy


  • A good headline should catch the reader's attention and make them want to read on. It might ask a question or inspire curiosity. For example, a bed manufacturer might ask if readers want to know the secret of a good night's sleep.
  • Don't overplay the actual message - people will feel let down if they read on and their expectations are not fulfilled.
  • A headline will encourage people to read on if it offers a clear benefit - such as "buy one, get one free".

Clear design

  • The way an advertisement looks plays a big part in attracting and retaining the reader's interest.
  • Avoid small or complicated typefaces that are difficult to read. And don't mix too many typefaces in one advertisement.
  • Don't clutter the layout - keep plenty of white space in the advertisement - avoid the temptation to say too much.

Well-written copy

  • The amount of text you include depends on the purpose and size of the advertisement. Businesses that want to advertise a sale might have a very limited amount of text accompanied by a headline and a picture of some of the items on offer.
  • If you're writing a lot of text, it should follow on logically from the headline, build a convincing case and prompt a response from the reader. Back up any claims with facts.
  • Good copy draws attention to the benefits of the product or service rather than focusing solely on the features.
  • All the reader wants to know is "what's in it for me?"
Remember that businesses have a duty to ensure their advertisements are legal, decent, honest and truthful.

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