Just Do It. The phrase is every copywriter’s dream. Those three small words have been responsible for billions of dollars worth of sales around the globe. It’s difficult to estimate an exact figure that can be attributed to Nike’s genius ad copy campaign, but the Center for Applied Research reports that sales increased from $877 million to $9.2 billion during the first ten years of the Just Do It campaign.

Clearly, a little bit of ad copy goes a long way. If those dollar figures are too much to even fathom, consider this: the same study reports that 80% of the Nike sneakers were never even used for the athletic activities they were designed for. Nike said Just Do It, and America said, “Okay.”

It’s All About Image.

While strong sales and a solid “bottom line” are essential for any business, ad copy is a huge part of a business’s content strategy for another reason: image-boosting. Looking good.

When you use ad copy to promote a compelling, well-defined image, the sales will follow. Of course, ad copy isn’t even the biggest part of the sales story, but it’s our focus today. Let’s take a look at some incredible examples of ad copy that worked wonders for some brand images.


Volkswagen ran some incredibly effective ad copy back in 1959. The Think Small campaign has become even more famous since Advertising Age declared it the number one campaign of all time back in 1999.

Clever pieces of ad copy like the one that pictures a Volkswagen with the single word “Lemon.” below it became a hallmark of VW’s advertising strategy. The slightly self-deprecating and tremendously forthright advertising copy powered the VW brand image into the forefront of the American car scene.

Old Spice

Today, Old Spice is running one of the most effective ad copy strategies. The hilarious and absurd Smell Like a Man, Man campaign is effective in its ability to entertain and drive sales through brand boosting. The commercials’ star, Isaiah Mustafa, is the genius creation of ad copywriters Craig Allen and Eric Kallman.

But, it’s not just these two writers’ clever scenarios that make the campaign so effective. Old Spice knows who is primarily responsible for purchasing men’s hygiene products: women. And, so, these advertisements actually target women.

The lesson here: effective ad copy doesn’t just create a brand’s image. It also drives sales by targeting a specific customer base.


You know you’ve reached the pinnacle of the ad copy game when you don’t even have to use words anymore. Just as Nike is able to sell shoes with a swoosh and a three word phrase, Corona can sell more than just a round of beers with it’s incredibly focused brand image.

And, do you know one of the ways they developed that tight brand image? Of, course you do: effective ad copy. By using effective words, Corona was able to get the brand to a point where they could leave words behind. Now, you know you’re watching a Corona TV commercial immediately. You don’t have to wait until the end of the 30-second spot to confirm that you’re right.


DeBeers created one of the most brilliant effective ad copy campaigns with these four words: A diamond is forever. Since a young copywriter penned those words back in 1947, diamonds have been flying out of the mines and onto ring fingers everywhere at unthinkable speed.

Now, the slogan has become such an integral part of the American subconscious that your love is hardly justified without one of these stones. This mentality is just now starting to disappear with a surge in social awareness.

Doing it Right

Make sure your copywriter is boosting your brand image. The brilliance that’s behind these major campaigns can work on a small business level, too. In fact, chances are, we cover your industry.

Effective ad copy is a part of nearly everyone’s content strategy today. What are some of your favorite examples of ad copy boosting a brand’s image?

Read more: Brand Journalism: Nike Risk Everything