June 02 Writing Prompt

Let’s continue our progress with copywriting! If you missed the first day, we covered spotting the customer journey through an advertisement or blog post. Usually in an attempt to get them to take an action. AIDA is one of the most widely used advertorial building platforms out there.

Today, we will look at some of the more prominent ads of all time and you will break them down.

What do we do when breaking down an old ad? Glad you asked.

Vintage ad
Vintage ads are great at AIDA

Many of the books and tutorials out there will tell you to rewrite the ad 100 times or some stupid number. They tell you this like the words will seep up your pencil and into your brain and stay there like some magic beans.

Now, I get the idea behind it. You write and write and write an ad that works, and eventually, you will begin to recognize the various parts. You will see how they flow together. And you will find all the little compelling parts that make it great copywriting.

I tend to disagree on this tactic. I can also back up my claims with an example. But first, the writing prompt.


June 02

Find an old ad (you can access old ads at sites like SwipeFile) and read it a few times. Then, try to find all of the AIDA locations.


Now, back to the disagreement. Here is why you don’t have to hand copy an ad 100 times.

Do you know what a noun is, and can you find the noun in a sentence?

Yes. You can. A noun is a fundamental sentence building block. It is one of the first things we learn as kids in school. You may even remember going up to the chalkboard or following along in your workbook and circling the nouns in a given sentence.

Now, you didn’t have to write “The cat climbed out on the limb of the tree.” 100 times in order to learn what a noun was. Maybe, like Tommy in Shawshank, you may have forgotten to circle “tree” once or twice, but you learned what a noun was just the same.

The point is, if you know what you are looking for, you don’t need to hand copy old fluff and filler. While the older generation ads are a great tool for learning (people never change), you don’t need to copy them.

Instead, use them as a tool, not a piece of tracing paper.

Go, look, see how the old pros did it, and find out where they inserted the AIDA principles. Circle them like nouns, if you want to.

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