By Owen Fay . Posted on September 12, 2022

Writing high-quality ad headlines is 80% of attracting the right users to convert through your digital ads. As David Ogilvy once said, “When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

This concept applies to every and any marketing campaign, not just blogs, content, or ads. A powerful headline is a key to catching the attention of your target audience that is quickly scrolling through ads, content, and information on their desktop or phones.

In previous articles, we have covered the importance of effective ad headlines, how to create powerful ad headlines, and testing ad headlines; in this article, we will briefly cover how to write great ad headlines and 5 great examples of amazing headlines.

How to Write Great Ad Headlines

Ad headlines are the best way to get the attention of users and convince them to learn more, come to your website, or even convert your target audience. However, only the most effective headlines will persuade users and increase your conversion opportunities.

Here are our biggest tips for writing great ad headlines:

Strategically use keywords:

Keywords play a major role in your headlines, the words you use need to match user intent and show them that your offerings match the solution they are searching for. By using the language and search words the audience uses you give them the confidence of knowing that they are in the right place.

Keyword Placement:

Once you have identified the keywords you want to focus on in your headlines, you can write copy that incorporates a mix of the keywords. This allows the organization to create more variations while keeping every headline relevant. When you are creating headlines that incorporate the most important keywords we recommend that you use 1-2 of them in each headline.

Match Headlines to User Needs and Intent:

The best headlines are attached to user pain points, needs, goals, and search intent. To create the best headlines focus on benefits and use cases, how you solve user issues and match their needs.

Keep Headlines Clear and Concise:

A headline that clearly states benefits in as few words as possible will be much more likely to convert searchers into customers. Including keywords that are search specific along with wording that gets to the point of the ad creates powerful headlines. You have less than 5 seconds to get the attention of the user, this means you need to display value to the user in as few words as possible. If the headline is too specific or long the user will skip your ad and move to the headline that is easier to understand.

Include a CTA (Call-to-Action):

The call to action is one of the most important parts of a headline. The ultimate goal of any ad is to get users to take your desired action. Whatever that action is, make sure it’s clear in your headline. CTA’s show users what they need to do the get the benefits you are offering, if you don’t include one the user might be confused or move to the next ad entirely.

Review and Edit Your Headline:

Even the most perfect headlines require a bit of editing, and not just for grammar. Perhaps your headline isn’t getting across your ideas, or maybe it isn’t touching upon the right keywords. Or, most importantly, it doesn’t appeal to an international audience. If that’s the case, you can use something like QuillBot’s translation tool to translate your headline into another language. No headline is perfect, but the editing process can make it better!

Optimize Headline With Poll the People:

Creating and optimizing headlines can be a difficult part of ad creation. To find the most effective headlines many large organizations utilize A/B testing. However, A/B testing can come with a large time and money commitment. For smaller businesses, usability testing ads can be a great way to find the headlines that work best for your business. Additionally, if a business is struggling to create headlines that incorporate keywords and display value to users, Poll the People offers the Google Headline Optimizer tool. Testing the headlines in front of real users, it helps optimize the headline and improve CTR and reduce costs. This can all be done – even before going LIVE.

5 Examples of Awesome Headlines

We have put together 5 of the best ad headlines, some of them are great examples of early ad headlines that still hold up today and some are new headlines that have proven effective in the digital age.

1. “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock” – Rolls-Royce

This headline from 1958 is known as David Ogilvy’s favorite, Ogilvy is remembered as one of the best ad writers in history. This headline clearly shows the amazing benefit of the luxury car and gets users’ attention with a new feature that people had not seen before. The headline puts the reader in the driver’s seat with feelings and emotions.

2.“You can still dunk in the dark” – Oreo

In 2013 a power outage at the Super Bowl lead to this timely headline that gained a lot of attention. This headline got over 13,000 retweets and gained Oreo some great attention. This just shows the value of timely and relevant headlines that can boost traffic and attention.

3. “They don’t write songs about Volvos” – Corvette

This massively effective headline targets a competitor and the popularity of Corvette. The copywriter wanted to show how the masses feel about corvette and did so with just one sentence. This shows value, and competitive advantage, and is intriguing while being short and to the point.

4. “Where’s the beef?” – Wendy’s

This is a classic example of a concise but wildly effective headline. The headline points out how other fast-food burgers couldn’t compare to the size and quality that Wendy’s offered. It is a great way to show benefits, value, and explain competitive advantage.

5. “Mmphfffh” – Starbucks

With this example, Starbucks doesn’t even need to use real words and plays on humor, emotions, and relevant world news to create a powerful headline. In the COVID-19 era, most companies took charge to tell customers to take safety measures. But, there are only so many ways you can say this, Starbucks decided to take a different approach. At the popular coffee shop, the baristas are known to write customer names on the cups, misheard and misspelled names can be fun among customers. They realized this and ran with it to create an ad and get their message across. It’s like an inside joke that everyone can understand while also having a good meaning behind it.


Whether you are creating digital advertising for the first time or have experience with these campaigns, keep these suggestions, and examples in mind to have success with your ad headlines. If you concentrate on your headlines and take steps to optimize them, you can guarantee more conversions and leads from advertising on any platform.

Writing powerful ad headlines can be an enjoyable and impactful experience for your organization, but you need to focus on the intent and what you want to achieve. The tone of modern advertisements has changed significantly, giving advertisers more flexibility to create something memorable.

When you’re ready to begin refining your digital ads to increase conversions, you can sign up for a free account with Poll the People and use an end-to-end user testing tool to guide you in making your next great decision.

If you feel inspired by any of these amazing iconic ad headlines, create your own! It’s time to start putting your new knowledge to use and impress your audience by crafting effective headlines with the help of the headline optimizer tool and rapid user testing from Poll the People.

Owen Fay

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