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Did you know critics initially hated Picasso’s art?


“These so-called artists are beyond me.”


“Positively misshapen.”


“Humbug.” (It was the early 1900s; “humbug” was a proper diss back then.)


Now, Picasso’s generally regarded as one of the greatest artists of all time, smashing through boundaries like a creative bull in a particularly strict Victorian-era china shop.


“What’s that got to do with copywriting, Kon?” I hear you ask.


One word – determination.


Poor old Pablo could’ve gone home, cried into his pillow, and worked on something people would like more. Something that would earn him more praise.


Instead, he bucked the trend. Flipped it on its head. And came up with some stonkingly good art that made him a legend.


It was the critics that were behind the times, not him. And not his audience.


The same goes for excellent copywriting.


While there are theories in place for “what makes great copywriting”, sometimes you just need to throw the rulebook out of the window and create something out of this world that relates to your audience.


Now let’s take a look at 12 of my fave copywriting samples that do just that.


Sample 1: Jack Daniel’s


Good old Jack Daniel’s. One of my all-time favourite brands, whose brilliantly crafted copy never fails to conjure up potent images of the Deep South and its rustic, homely vibe.


I’ve still never been myself. But after reading a Jack Daniel’s billboard ad on the wall of a Tube station, this Londoner suddenly felt transported straight to Tennessee.


The greatest thing about reading their copy is you feel like you’re sitting on a back porch drinking a whiskey with a charming old Southern gent talking directly to you.


Not to everyone.


Just you.


It could even be Jack Daniel himself.


I digress.


Their copy’s always brimming with personality. And that’s what makes us readers connect with it emotionally. Remember it. Love it. Talk about it. And ultimately buy a bottle.


Sample 2: GYMBOX

Gymbox out-of-home ad on a bus stop. "What's Better Than The Gym For A Bit Of Therapy?" "A bit of therapy, perhaps."


And now for something completely different, unexpected, and downright clever.


Instead of using the usual clichéd “You can be like this” type of headline, Gymbox keeps it real.


But doesn’t it shoot their brand in the foot, by claiming that therapy is the better alternative?




This type of “anti-advertising” challenges the status quo, laughing in the face of gym-goers who say that ‘the gym is their therapy’, and knocking it right down to appeal to a no-nonsense public.


The sort of people that might see this ad at the bus stop and decide it’s time to set foot in a gym that’s made for them, with their values.


The humour’s quintessentially British – dry as a London gin. The message is powerful. And the brand will stick in your mind like gum on a shoe.


(Pssst. Yeah, you. We write billboard copy too.)



Advertisement for canned water brand Liquid Death, featuring 5 different flavours of drinks with the caption, "Don't be scared. It's just water."


Who would’ve thought you could make canned water cool?


Liquid Death is one of those companies that’s swept across the branding scene like a rising tide. Whether it’s Ozzy drinking cans in the back of a limo, a partnership with e.l.f. Cosmetics, or serving cans out of big white coffins at festivals.


I’m not making this up.


But even if you’re not swept up in their tsunami of metalhead marketing, their copy is what will get your creativity flowing.


From the famous tagline “Murder Your Thirst”, to their evocative product names (Mango Chainsaw and Severed Lime are just some examples), to the seismic-level storytelling copy on the side of each can, there are plenty of nuggets of nuanced copy to sink your teeth into, ready to brew your own cosmic copywriting creation.


Sample 4: The Economist


Now for something entirely more “sophisticated”.


This cleverly thought-out copywriting sample from an ad oozes exclusivity. It targets a more intellectual kind of audience, charming them by reflecting their brilliance right back at them to make them feel ever so clever for understanding an ad for The Economist.


Let’s face it, who’s going to read this poster and think, “Nope, it’s not for me! I’m too much of a simpleton to read a poster that’s more than eight words!”?


No way.


Most people would much rather chuckle at the “in-joke” and give themselves a pat on the back. “Maybe I am clever after all, I got that joke. So I should pick up a copy and see what it’s all about.”


While slightly obnoxious by some standards, it really does an excellent job of selling The Economist to anyone who considers themselves smart (like me).


Sample 5: Indigo & Cotton


This is a glowing example of copywriting at its best, with a unique personal touch that draws in the reader in a witty way.


And that unexpected swerve in the middle where they stop mid-sentence?




You think they’re getting into the hard sell, when… “Screw it. Forget all that.”


If this copy can teach us one thing, it’s to veer away from the expected and throw readers for a loop head first.


Extra points for how it inspires action at the end, leaving you with the long-lasting feeling that this brand is simply awesome.


Sample 6: Porsche


This is evocative copywriting at its best. Everyone likes to indulge in reminiscing about their youth, their hopes, and their dreams.


How often have you heard older folk wistfully say, “My first car was a [insert any old banger here]”?


And most people love to chat about their dream car.


So it just makes sense to play on people’s aspirations and nostalgia to sell them the idea.


(Ready to rev your engines of inspiration? Go on, take a gander at our copywriting samples and case studies.)


Sample 7: KFC


If you want to see a pretty damn clever example of how to respond to a potentially catastrophic crisis… this one’s for you.


Way back in early 2018, KFC had to close every restaurant in the UK.




Because they ran out of chicken.


That’s right – they ran out of what one-third of their name stands for. (Let’s face it, nobody goes for their fries.)


But instead of a problematic PR nightmare, like all good marketers, KFC saw a finger-lickin’ opportunity.


They came back with this witty advert that incorporates a humorous and cheeky play on words to apologise to their customers.


Sample 8: OATLY

Oatly billboards in Shoreditch, London, UK, advertising ice cream.


I know, I know. Oatly is one of those brands so beloved by copywriters that it’s basically a meme at this point.


But I couldn’t resist including it.


Talk about knowing your audience! Oatly’s copywriting is synonymous with a modern-day, fun, easy, tongue-in-cheeky, appealing tone of voice.


By calling out everyone – literally everyone from vegans to non-vegans – in this ad, they’re summoning a whole bunch of people who will stop in the street to read it.


And next time they’re in the supermarket, they’ll remember it. And most importantly, buy.


That’s the power of a recognisable tone of voice!


Sample 9: ricola


Specialising in cough medicine may seem like a dry subject (pun intended).


But that doesn’t mean Ricola can’t put out a hilariously cheeky advertising campaign. In 2014, they launched a series of billboard ads that featured scenarios where coughing would be inappropriate (and most likely end in disaster for the cougher).


“She’s (cough) just a friend” makes the statement look completely unbelievable, which gives readers a cheeky giggle as they go about their day.


What could have been yet another “Take this cough medicine to relieve symptoms of blah blah blah” is now funny, brand-enhancing copy that engages potential customers.




Usually copywriting and design can be at loggerheads with each other over who’s the supreme sovereign of the advertising world.


But sometimes the planets align, and you come up with a fantastically balanced ad like this one for design platform Figma.


Instead of just going straight down the line of “We are a design platform”, “Design this, design that”, Figma decided to one-up themselves against competitors like Adobe, coming up with this aspirational list of possibilities that their design platform could bring its users.


It’s short. It’s sharp. And there’s a reason it was shortlisted by D&AD in 2023.



Innocent smoothies homepage copy


Innocent. Renowned champions of copy, and for good reason. They’re experts at crafting humorous copy, but while steering clear of a cheese-fest.


They’ve made their website homepage super creative, speaking directly to us as an audience (using casual terms like “telly”).


The bit where they tail off the phrase – “juices with even more fruit & energising vitamins than we can fit in this bo…” – shows just how packed full of goodness their drinks are.


They never overdo the copy either. It’s always relatable and simple. Chilled. Which is completely in line with their brand.


(Hey, me again! Fancy amping up your web copy? We can do it for you.)



Check out this company in Italy that produces luxury tours.


Notice the headline? “Tours for people who don’t go on tours.”


It immediately overturns their biggest customer objection: “I just don’t go on tours.”


This simple headline is gold dust for travellers who long for an exclusive vacation but are dubious about whether tours really are for them. Nadia’s Italy flips it by telling you that they’re not just any tours. And they’re not for just anyone.


It’s for those who want to experience Italy “the way it’s supposed to be seen”.




You’ll probably agree that these copywriters make it look easy.


But we know that it’s certainly far from it.


You need to constantly hone your craft. Inspiration can strike from anywhere, so get looking. Search for killer copywriting examples, and read as much new material as you can.


And don’t ever be afraid to get a little edgy. Just remember our old mate Pablo Picasso.


It can make the difference between selling out and fading out.


Love you,






P.S. Want a surefire way to soup up your copy? Check out these copywriting courses that give you all the knowledge you need to get out there and get writing. Here’s ours!


Kick-start your freelance copywriting career today with our life-changing online course.


Kick-start your freelance copywriting career today with our life-changing online course.

About the author

Konrad Sanders CEO & Lead Strategist at The Creative Copywriter
Hey you. I’m Konrad. A full-funnel content strategist and CEO with a pretty darn creative noggin on my shoulders. I run a team of word-slinging cowboys and strategists who blend science with art to help bold brands get their words right at every step of the customer journey. Which means? They sell more stuff and grow predictable revenue. Brands like AECOM, Thomson Reuters, TikTok, Panasonic, Adidas, Mercedes-Benz, plus shedloads of tech scale-ups...and you? Let's connect.

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I have always liked the Jack Daniels ads, they are simple, understated and they induce a feeling of down home goodness. It still amazes me when I step back and take a look at the various ways advertising affects us all.

I still long for the old motorcycle ads and television spots from the 80’s. I still look them up on Youtube now and then to “relive” the excitement of what now is lackluster.

There definitely are plenty of them available to choose from when you stop and look around in magazines, billboards and other advertising mediums. The best ones always make you comment on them while the “middle of the road” pieces don’t generate anything which also means less sales.

Thanks for your comments guys. Good to know I’m not the only one who gets excited looking around at all the new billboard and poster ads!

Thanks Konrad! The newest ads really push the limit of what various companies are trying to achieve. The automakers seem to always have the best ones.

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Illuminating post. This line from the Porsche ad is classy and poetic. “…timeless and ahead of it’s time.” It has a nice, well rounded ring to it.

This is great! I unwittingly used 3 of these for my “Swiped” folder task, the Porsche one being my favorite. I also swiped the KFC/FCK ad and the Ricola (cough) ad. I included a little write-up for each but I could have written pages!!!

from my write-up of the Porsche ad:
Now, this ad is just plain snarky, and I love it.
Talk about ‘keeping up with the Joneses!’ Holy cow! This ad is not subtle in its approach (few Porsche ads are) and I think that’s the point they’re trying to drive home:
“This is a bold ad about a bold car for a bold driver like YOU!”
It leads one to assume that only a car manufacturer confidently designed around precision, German engineering could have the audacity, nay the gall, to so boldly and pointedly print such an in-your-face ad.
It forces one to wonder just why exactly Porsche is so confident! The bold may get an answer. Everyone else just gets trolled.

Hi ! Konrad I am writing this on just 2nd of Jan 2024. With this year I have begun my journey to learn writing, keeping copy writing as the a lead skill and am so happy to express that I found this article at my very first day . It helped to learn in so many different dimensions . The way there a short bio given at the end of the article I can tell its more than a forever motivation and inspiration to me . Thank You so much for whatever you are doing where ever you are doing . Hope to see myself at a better and adequate place in writing career in 2024 . Have a blessed Year 🙂

Tours for those who don’t go out for tours….what a play of words. Creativity is actually tickling with the readers brain to get his attention. Good to come into contact with such smart ideas.

I’m new and will definitely add this to my swipe!
I’m noticing there are all different kinds of advertising which really makes me curious and my blood boil!

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