The major elements of copy are briefly described below. All of them may not be necessary advertisements.
The first and possibly the most important copy element is the headline. The headline of an advertisement will normally present a selling idea or will otherwise serve to involve the prospect in reading of the advertisement. Most advertisements have headlines of one sort or another and their primary function is to catch the eye of the reader. A headline may be set in big type or small. Headlines need not always contain special messages. Even a company or brand name could be used as a headline.
The Sub head
Sometimes important facts may have to be conveyed to the reader and it may require more space than what should be ideally used for the headline. In order to give prominence to such formation it can be put in smaller type than the headline, known as a subhead. All advertisements do not require subheads.
Example: Mahindra Scorpio – the NFO Automotive 2003 Total Customer Satisfaction Study. Yet another high for Scorpio.
The Body Copy
The body copy refers to the text in the advertisement which contains details regarding the functions of the product/service and its benefits. Ogilvy recommends plunging in the subject matter straightaway without beating about the bush.
The body copy can be short or long depending on how much information the company is willing to tell the reader.
Captions are the small units of type used with illustrations, coupons and special offers. These are generally less important than the main selling points of the advertisement in the body copy and are usually set in type sizes smaller than the text.
Health Total – exciting new year offer last 6 days
A blurb or a balloon is a display arrangement where the words appear to be coming from the mouth of one of the characters illustrated in the advertisement. At times the complete body copy can be composed of blurbs, as in the case of comic strips.
DIT – speech bubble having the text “ Sunoji, today is the last date for payment of Advance Tax…… Sunti ho”
Boxes and Panels
Boxes or panels are, in fact, captions placed in special display positions so as to get greater attention. A box is a caption that has been lined on all sides and singled out from the rest of the copy. A panel is a solid rectangle in the centre of which the caption is placed either in white or centered in the white space. Boxes and panels are generally used in advertisements containing features such as coupons, special offers and consumer contests.
Slogans, Logo Types and Signatures
A slogan may refer, for instance, to the age of the advertiser’s firm, meant for inclusion in every advertisement. A symbol of the company name, seal or trademark is called logotype and is a typical feature of most advertisements. It is also referred to as signature, indicating identification of the company or the brand. A logotype is an important aid in quick recognition of an advertisement and in creating familiarity for the audience.
Add a strapline
A ‘strapline’ or ‘tag line’ usually appears underneath the logo. The strapline summarizes the product’s benefits in a memorable way. Put the same strapline at the bottom of the ad, on point-of-sale material and on brochures, and you link all the different promotional elements together.
Writing a strapline is like writing a headline. You sit down and produce fifteen or more short lines (each two to five words long). Occasionally, a strapline becomes a national saying, but people usually forget which brand it was attached to.
Straplines often make good headlines because they summarize a major benefit in a pithy way. Similarly, discarded headlines often make good straplines, though they may have to be shortened.
BPL – Believe in the Best