Headline is the most crucial part of advertising. Basically, it is used to arrest attention and to create interest. It should go beyond being catchy or sloganising. It has, really, speaking a lot to contribute to the style and mood of an advertisement. Headlines many times do target the advertisement to a select audience. They are inviting enough to motivate the reader to read the advertisement copy further. Perhaps this they are able to do by being benefit-oriented. Headline is not to be taken too literally. It mostly occurs as the caption, but can occur anywhere
in the body of the advertisement copy, even at the end. In a nutshell, self-interest is the key to successful headlines. We would like to know what benefits the product could offer to us, or what solution the company has got for our problems. Many headlines do the positioning work – they highlight a product benefit that is most important. Many headlines are musical, whereas many are curious. Some headlines are newsy.
Quinn stresses the importance of the copywriter finding more interesting ways of presenting basically uninteresting propositions. Every headline, he cautions, should be the best you have ever written because you are only as good as your last advertisement copy.
Basics of Writing Headlines
1. They should Suggest a Quick and Easy Way Out It has the capacity to satisfy some need or want. Let me illustrate. You have heard about Taj Mahal Tea Bags (Dip, Dip, Dip). It has the capacity to quench the thirst. So the advertisement headline says: THIRSTTEA DIP. Similarly, Hawkins pressure cookers’, recent headline ‘You and Your Hawkins – the safest, fastest, way to tasty food, makes you realize immediately what it can do for you. No wonder they all want it.
2. Self-interest is Created in Every Headline Warner’s Waterbury Compound promises that, “When vitality is low, Waterbury’s Compound brings back the glow.’ Anne French Hair Remover – The gentle way to cream hair away makes us so comfortable. We can say now goodbye to razor nicks and cuts.
3. News is Included in the Headline We are always on the look out for new products, new ways to use an old product, or new improvements in an old product. The most powerful words in a headline are NEW and FREE.
There are occasions to use FREE, but a few can use NEW. The following list of words gives news value to the advertising.
· It’s here. Just arrived. Amazing. Sensational.
· Last chance.
4. The Headline should Always Target the Advertisement Towards your Prospective Customers Thus Johnson’s baby powder headlines do have the word MOTHERS for whom it is meant. Never use a word that will exclude some prospects.
5. Many More People Read the Headlines All of them may not read the rest of the copy. So it makes good sense to use the brand name of the product in the headline. So the Cerelac advertisements headline reads ‘Give your baby the Cerelac advantage from the first solid feed.’
6. Headlines can be made by Imaginatively Coined Words (Coinages) The best example is Lacto Calamine’s headline “Skinnocence.” How wonderful! It is one word headline. But it promises an innocent, blemish free skin. It is so striking too.
Now let us take a simple product like an egg. You want to suggest that it is so exciting to take it. How will you be able to coin a new word, using the two? Yes, you will call it eggcitement. Thus, economics of eggs will be eggnomics and extraordinary qualities of eggs will be called eggstraordinary. So now you have eggsperienced it. So eggstatic… and so on and so forth.