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  • Writer's pictureBelinda Fischer

3 Compelling Copy Examples by Big British Brands

Make it simple, but significant.

- Don Draper, Mad Men

Is it that simple? According to the TV series "Mad Men" (the "Mad" referring to advertisers on New York City's Madison Avenue), it is.

Before we dive into examples of copy, let's start by differentiating "copy" and "content":

Content refers to an educational piece, something that aims to inform the reader, or potential customer or client. Its main purpose is to provide value, not sell. This blog is an example of "content". I don’t get paid to write it; my main intention is to share insights.

Copy, in this context, refers to advertising text that has the sole intention of persuading the reader to buy a product or service. In this blog post, we'll be taking a look at examples of copy by big UK brands that were written to entice potential consumers and sell products.


1. Compelling Copy: John Lewis  Yellow Suitcase

Read the original here.


"Whether you're jetting off for a family summer holiday, a romantic weekend for two, or just another business trip, our Orlando range has been designed to make your adventures that bit more stress-free.

Made from an ABS and Polycarbonate blend shell and a matte finish, its unique exterior and vibrant colours mean you'll know exactly when it's coming round the carousel at your destination. Handy when you're in a rush for a taxi and connecting flights.

Secured with a recessed TSA lock located on the side, the internal divider, integrated mesh zip pocket and secondary zip accessory pocket in the lining all keep your small essentials like passports, tablets, phones and hotel key cards safe and easy to find in a rush."

Keywords (what does the brand want to be known and rank high for in terms of SEO?):

easy, stress-free, vibrant, (organised)

Why is this copy so compelling?

Have you ever hopped off an airplane, queued up at immigration and rushed to baggage claim only to realise that your subtle, non-offensive grey or black suitcase does NOT stand out from the crowd? I bet you have. By highlighting their suitcase range in "vibrant" colours, John Lewis aims to solve the above-mentioned problem. How many passengers will you see now that have the same yellow suitcase as you? One, maybe two? Exactly. I purchased this particular yellow suitcase because I needed one, but also because I wanted something that stood out visually. Cue: the yellow suitcase. What particularly grabbed my attention in the above copy was the emotional appeal. The copywriter put themselves in the consumer's shoes, showing that they understand these typical travel scenarios such as wanting all your stuff to fit inside your luggage or rushing off to catch a taxi or connecting flight.

 2. Compelling Copy: M&S – Comfy Armchair

Read the original here.


"With its chic everyday style, this Highland petite armchair has a vintage vibe that brings easy sophistication to any space. Its elegant, refined shaping complements the irresistible comfort of this compact armchair, is easy to place where needed and brings some style elevation to living rooms, snugs and bedrooms alike. Some of our upholstery fabrics are treated with Aquaclean technology, so stains can be removed using only water. Available on Aquaclean Weave and Aquaclean Velvet."


Chic, vintage, sophisticated, elegant, comfy, clean

Why is this copy so compelling?

M&S (short for Marks and Spencer) are known for selling anything from clothes, food, home décor to cosmetics and even Christmas hampers. In this particular piece of copy, M&S emphasise everything you could be looking for in an armchair: style, comfort, practicality. Nothing more, nothing less. For some brands, it would have been fitting to dive a bit deeper into the emotional side of things, such as: "Enjoy the comfort of this armchair after a long day at the office…", but for M&S, the tone here is on-brand.

3. Compelling Copy: Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate – Roses 

Read the original here.


"The brightly wrapped delicious Cadbury Roses chocolates, in distinctive blue packs, have been a family favourite in boxed chocolates since 1938. Using one of the most popular slogans in advertising history, 'Thank you Very Much', the messaging still lives on today. This extra-special box also wears the Royal Warrant on the pack; proof of just how special Cadbury Roses really are."


Bright, delicious, family, (extra-)special

Why is this copy so compelling?

Hmm, yum! Almost everyone loves chocolate, right? That's why Cadbury has decided to basically forego the whole chocolate part here and come straight to what makes their "Roses" product so special: Its long history and "Britishness" (the rose, i.e. an English national symbol; the 'Royal' Warrant), how giftable it is, and the fact that it's considered a special treat. Don't you just want to pick one up from the shop, either for yourself or to thank someone special?

So, what is it that makes advertising copy so compelling? Well, it's a combination of several factors that need to harmonise without being too "in your face":

  • Emotional appeal: Why would I want this? How would it make me feel?

  • Practicality: How would this fit into my life? Would it improve anything or solve a problem?

  • USP (unique selling point): How does this stand out from similar products?


Consumers need to feel enticed to buy from a brand. They need to be able to imagine their life with that particular product and its positive effects.

In the above examples, the positive effects are:

1. John Lewis – Yellow Suitcase: stands out from the crowd; easy to find in a busy place

2. M&S – Comfy Armchair: provides a comfortable place to sit; sturdy; easy to clean

3. Cadbury – Roses Chocolates: serves as a great gift for someone special


Which of these copy examples did you find most compelling and why?

Have you ever come across advertising copy that particularly enticed you?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and input.


If you'd like to see the type of copy and content I translate, have a look at this website's Marketing Translation page.

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