Greatest Copy Shot Ever Written

by Nick Padmore

27 Reader Comments

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  1. Lot’s to think about (not a bad copy shot, huh?).

    However, why is it that I’ve never heard of your “Greatest Copy Shot Ever Written”? I’ve heard of every other example you gave, but not “If it’s on, it’s in”.

    As such, there appears to be something missing from your rating methodology. Maybe you should consider a saturation factor—like how many people have actually heard the copy? After all, that’s what copy is all about, right?



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  2. The Radio Times is an English publication, of course, so this line probably won’t be known by anyone from the U.S.

    (I’d like to just mention here that the fact that I’m also English doesn’t mean I fixed the results in any way!)

    This analysis does’nt pretend to be anything other than linguistic in nature. It’s not a demographic analysis, or a geographical analysis, or a social analysis. It uses the words themselves as a means of discovering the ‘best’ copy line, and purposefully blanks out everything else.

    There are, of course, other criteria which would contribute to making copy good or bad. Relevance to the product/brand advertised, perhaps, or how many times (if at all) the ad ran, or was recalled. However, I’m not sure I agree that the number of people who come across a copy shot can be seen to say anything about how good that shot is (though it might be a symptom of multiple recalls, of course).

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  3. Other comments regarding emotional appeals or the magic of copy triggered another element for me: most of the time, these copy shots are simply fun to say. Read them out loud. Think of how frequently they pop up in conversation or as the punch line or as a random exclamation. It’s a good reminder that while we writers may be aiming to have the perfect words on a screen, page, box, billboard, etc. it still matters how it sounds when spoken, too.

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  4. (Just wanted to apologise for the mysterious stray apostrophe in my last comment. It’s in, dare I repeat it, ‘does’nt’. Argh.)

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  5. I also loved the “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent”, as well as “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”, but I never seem to find anyone old enough to remember them.  You certainly don’t look old enough.

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  6. “If it’s short you can say it a lot.”

    Twitter, anybody?

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  7. William Waites made an earlier comment:

    “Memorabilty is another important criteria. Your reference to the Pepsodent line omits the fact that it was “sung”. When you see the words you hear the melody and that jogs your memory.”

    In that line of thinking, two unforgettable copy shots from the 80’s come from the Chia-pet and Clapper commercials. For both of these, the melody and rhythm of the copy is critical.

    “Clap on. Clap Off. Clap on, clap off, the clapper”.

    I imagine anybody who watched TV in the 80’s starting to grin as they play these “tunes” (if they can even be called that) in their head.

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