All display ads contain a headline. The headline should be written in a way that grabs attention. Along with the headline, a display adds contains a visual, such as a picture or graphic. Just as with other advertisements, the image should represent your headline and copy.
Display ads also contain subhead lines. Although it’s not mandatory to include a subheadline, adding a subheadline can expand on the headline and further compel the reader to continue reading. Subheadlines usually appear below the headline.
You can also use a pre-headline. In the example shown below, a pre-headline was used. Pre-headlines can be used to lead into headlines, as shown below.
They can also be used to create urgency by offering a warning or calling attention to something. Take a look at the example below:
The example above creates urgency, because the reader knows that what is written after the pre-headline may help them make a smarter buying decision. If the reader was considering buying a hybrid car, the pre-headline (highlighed as it is) would call their attention to the fact that there’s information in your ad that they need to know before making that purchase.
A display ad should also contain plenty of white space. It’s okay to have a visual or even more than one if it pictures the product, but you don’t want the ad to be cluttered. If the ad is overloaded with visuals and copy, there’s not one element that’s going to grab the reader’s attention. Remember that an ad doesn’t have to be filled with information to be effective. It has to be filled with compelling, benefit-laden information to be effective.
You should always write copy in a conversational style. You want to engage the reader, not bore them. Since you will only have a limited amount of space in print ads, you want to keep the copy as brief as you can to entice the reader to take action. You can look ad print ads in magazines and newspapers to get the feel for how much copy you should use.