Week8: Copywriting, 300 words post on WordPressWeek 8 Workshop Challenge: Complete this on Monday 02/05/22 by 10.00am to score up to maximum points.

  • Part of your job to conceptualize video advertisements for the client you have chosen for Assessment #3 Client Scenario Response is to come up with words – spoken though dialogue or a voiceover, or printed/displayed in a 30-second commercial.
  • So this week we’re going to focus on the art of copywriting. Copywriting is the practice or occupation of writing text – often called copy that aims to persuade a person or group of people to take a particular action, or see a point of view.

This week will see you give copywriting a practice run with social media giant Facebook and Australia’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

To prepare for the challenge – let’s spend some time on our key readings this week.

As highlighted in this week’s study guide, good copywriters seek to say as much as possible in as few words as possible. These ‘few words’ must be persuasive and of course be interesting to a particular target audience.

This week’s lecture slides can be found here.

Read: Burtenshaw, Barfoot & Mahon (2011, pp.94–97) for tips on headline writing

Read: Landa (2010 pp.94–105) for valuable insight into the specialist practice of copywriting.

Standard copy in a print advertisement often follows the format below:

1. Headline: This should be short and attention grabbing. The goal of the headline is to get people interested enough to read further. A well written headline draws people in, orients them, lets them know what the main body of text is about, and leads them into the subhead and body copy. It’s often the first impression of the page and it has a lot of work to do.2. Subheader: Subheadings are similar to headlines though to a lesser degree. Subheadings help to keep the attention your headline creates. A subheading is placed under a headline, often with a smaller font, expanding on what the headline says. For example, a headline could announce the launch of a new product and a subheading could give more specific details about the product’s features.3. Body copy: Main text part of an advert or any printed matter that provides the ‘core’ of the communication. This is distinct from the logo, headline, subhead, call to action.4. Call to action: Any copy or device that prompts an immediate response from your audience. For ideas, check this out (50 call to action examples). 5. Insert: e.g. logo, address

Step 1: Facebook outdoor advertisement

The copy below is for a Facebook outdoor advertisement that tackles the social media giant’s trust issue. The headline works, however the body copy is bloated with too many words for it to be effective in a high traffic outdoor setting. Make it better by editing the body copy down from over 60 words to under 20 words. Focus on communicating the most persuasive and powerful message possible.Headline: Fake news is not our friend.

Body copy: We’re absolutely committed to helping to reduce the spread of what is commonly described these days as fake news. We’re doing this by employing large numbers of expertly trained fact-checkers right across the world, seeking to improve the cutting-edge technology that identifies fake news, and giving you all the in-depth background information that you need on the articles that are in your News Feed.

Call to action: Find out how we’re addressing the spread of fake news by going to

Insert: Facebook logo

<strong><i>>>> TASK: Post the edited copy here.</i></strong>

Step 2: Next level editing

Here’s the actual ad (don’t look at it until you’ve finished task one).

There’s still a lot of text.

Outdoor advertising should get to the point as quickly as possible given that people generally pass by this form of advertising quickly.

>>> TASK: Let’s reduce it even more. With this in mind rewrite your edited copy and cut it down to just 6 to 10 words of body text, from 20 in the previous step. Think about the more persuasive thing you could say to expands on and/or support the message presented in the headline.

Step 3: Texting and driving outdoor advertisement

In the next part of the challenge, let’s shift our attention away from social media.

“Road crashes in Australia have a significant social and economic impact. Since record keeping commenced in 1925, there have been over 190,000 deaths on Australia’s roads. However, road trauma levels have declined substantially over the last four decades, despite considerable population growth and a threefold increase in registered motor vehicles. During this period, the number of road deaths per year has fallen from 3,798 deaths in 1970 to 1,135 in 2018.“(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications Australia, 2019)

Australia’s Transport Accident Commission does a great job with Television Commercial (TVC) public safety announcements (click for definition) relating to traffic safety.

Texting and driving appears to be a normalised activity and even acceptable for many Australians. Can we, practitioners of advertising communication do a better job at communicating an advertising message than the problematic one below? What you see below is an outdoor advertisement that was recently being placed in bus shelters across Melbourne.

>>> TASK: There are problems with this outdoor advertisement below by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile)
. List 2 or 3 problems to complete task three.

Lygon FIA

Here's a closer look

The above outdoor advertising is by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, an association established on 20 June 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users.

Research collated by the National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA), member of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), has uncovered some confronting findings about phone-related distraction, most notably that mobile phone quadruples crash risk – and texting increases it by a factor of 20.

But texting is only the tip of the iceberg when considering the potential for mayhem and tragedy caused by mobile phone use around vehicles.

Pokemon Go was one of the hottest fads of 2016 but it was also one of the most dangerous for road users: a San Diego University study over a 10-day period last July calculated that 113,993 incidents involving drivers and/or pedestrians were caused by game-related distraction, including 14 car crashes and one pedestrian death uniquely attributable to the game.

While there have been no reports of deaths directly attributable to Pokemon Go in Australia, an NRMA Motoring Education survey revealed shocking use trends amongst schoolchildren, including high rates of inattention near roads and inadequate levels of adult supervision.

The promotion of the #3500LIVES campaign was timed to coincide with UN Global Road Safety Week and also the Yellow Ribbon campaign, which recognises phone-related distraction as one of the fastest-growing dangers for all road users. (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile 2017)

>>> Step 4: Making it better

You’re now going to write an ad for Action for Road Safety with the SMP of ‘don’t text and drive’. But there’s a twist. You’re going to tailor the ad to a particular audience. Choose one the following four audiences to focus on:

  • Female car drivers aged 18 – 25 or
  • Mothers aged 30 – 50 or
  • Tradesmen aged 20 – 35 or
  • Professional males aged 30 – 50

Task: Write a headline for a text-only outdoor advertisement – no Pharrell. It’s recommended that you fill a page of note paper with ideas about why the audience texts and drives.

STEP 4 PART 1: From these insights, then write at least 10 headline options, also on note paper. (Writing lots of headlines will help you identify and move on from the uninteresting or routine ones.) Post your 10 headlines.

STEP 4 PART 2: Decide which is the strongest headline just the one headline, nothing else for task, i.e. don’t state the audience. Provide a justification why you think this one is the strongest.

From your list of headline options, identify the strongest. Remember, your goal here is to be interesting and ‘speak’ how the audience speaks.

You’re now finished. Good job. Thank you for completing the ultimate piece of the Assessment #1 puzzle.


Examples from T3 2021

Example 1

Examples from T2 2021

Example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4

<strong>Examples from T1 2021</strong>

Example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5

<strong>Examples from T3 2020</strong>

Example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5

<strong>Examples from T2 2020</strong>

Example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5

<strong>Examples from T1 2020</strong>

Example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5

<strong>EXAMPLES from T3 2019</strong>

Example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5

A reminder, this is the last week of Assessment #1 workshop challenges:

– To complete Assessment 1 – please follow the instructions below.

    • In a single word document (PDF format please), copy and paste links to all your blog posts (Week 1 to 8, 10 activities total) in response to the Weekly Advertising Challenges.
    • If you have completed all the activities that’s straightforward enough. Up to 2.5% per week if uploaded on time.
    • These portfolio building activities were designed to be a series of steps to help prepare you for Assessment 2 and 3.
    • Submit a single word document/PDF with links to each week’s activities blogposts appended.
    • Check that all the links are working.
    • Assessment #1 Upload Due on Start of Week 9: 02/05/22 at 11.55pm