“Since April the word ‘headline’ has taken on way too many forms for my brain to comprehend. The problem is, there’s infinite ways they can play out. Should the line be funny, serious, one word, a metaphor…I just didn’t know. Luckily, my flawless cohort Sarah Gatling (Copywriter, Energy BBDO) gave the term ‘headline’ a peaceful direction for our class to run with.”
“Let’s begin with the scary part of writing the first headline. I’m talking about the big, blank, endless white page we all stare at while simultaneously wondering when it’s going to swallow us whole. Fortunately, Sarah has the answer on how to conquer this frustrating fear. ‘Write anything down on the page, like hot dog. Now you know anything you write down will be better than hot dog.’ Why couldn’t I come up with that? We then dabbled in the preference of headline style. Sarah believes that no matter if a headline is serious or funny, her favorite types are those that fall under the anesis category. Anesis is a figure of addition that occurs when a concluding sentence, clause, or phrase is added to a statement, which purposely diminishes the effect of what has been previously stated. Sarah’s favorite example of this was a Jim Beam ad that reads, ‘Civil War soldiers getting their leg sawed off weren’t given a vodka cranberry.’ You always want to make sure your headlines aren’t falling flat. Give them a twist, a punch at the end, something they won’t see coming”.
“The moral of this blog is that in order to get good headlines, ‘what you really have to do is WRITE. Write all the time. Write on the train. Write when you’re waiting for the bus. Every 5 minutes is a chance to jot down thoughts and lines.’ We moan and groan about writing 100 headlines, but news flash, that’s the real world! Write more to write better.”
Written by: 2nd Quarter CW & CPS Blogger, Jessi Pelzel
Check out Sarah’s book: http://cargocollective.com/sarahgatling