Copywriting Tip #5: Rewrite bad ads and make them better

The best part about advertising is that the ‘product’ is all around us. It’s everywhere we look – from the box of cereal on the table to the billboard on the road, to the flier you received in the mail.

Your mission is to turn up your ‘advertising antenna’ so that you don’t just consume the advertising around you but actively notice it and assess it. Become the critic and re-write the headline, either mentally or on the page. If you have this level of awareness and try to re-write every bad headline you see, you’ll be able to improve your copywriting skills without actually writing a word.

Advertising is everywhere, so rather than consume passively, dial up your awareness and make it a challenge to re-write every headline you see to make it better. There are plenty of bad ads out there, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them. I don’t recommend sending them to the company – people don’t really like being told how bad their ads are – unless they ask for advice, of course – so just do it for you. If you really want to use the work for yourself, change the company name to anonymise it, design it up in Canva, and your portfolio is ready to go.

Action: Pick an advertisement you see in the newspaper or online that you think could be done better and re-write it.