“How to create a website that sells” (a long copy ad inspired by David Ogilvy)

I was wondering why small and medium businesses normally ask for short adverts.

It’s partly fashion and partly economy – if you have no money to test long copy against short copy, you’ll choose the short stuff.

That’s why we’ve decided to buck the trend by placing this long-copy advert on the back cover of our local business magazine, Colchester Connected.

It has well over 700 words, and it’s shamelessly inspired by this David Ogilvy classic (though he didn’t have to fit his on a sheet of A4).

Download your copy here

Update: this advert was responsible for bringing in a significant percentage of our income for the year. It performed significantly better as a leaflet than as a magazine advert.

7 responses to ““How to create a website that sells” (a long copy ad inspired by David Ogilvy)”

  1. Lorraine says:

    I love this ad, Ben.

    The long copy lends substance and authority–and includes plenty of truly useful information. A refreshing change from most of today’s jargony, clever and vapid ads.

    Predicting you have a hit!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lorraine Thompson and Ben Locker, Marco Fossati. Marco Fossati said: Repetita iuvant: “How to create a website that sells” (a long copy ad inspired by David Ogilvy): http://bit.ly/doZ39I via @addthis […]

  3. Martin says:


    The ‘slippery slide’. Love it.

    Dying to know what sort of response you get.

    I too predict a hit.


  4. Ben,
    A great guide to website content, but you could perhaps have talked more about layout and structure. In particular, bookmarking, highlighting key words and phrases and using the inverted pyramid, all ways of making information accessible and easy to find.

  5. Paul says:

    Clever work, Ben.

    Though I’d point to the usefulness of your ad, not the length, as the most notable characteristic. Getting attention with free advice.

    (Also, I love the phrase “dogmatism of brevity” in the Ogilvy ad.)

  6. […] Copywriting news, comments and ideas from the UK’s Ben Locker and Associates Great post: Ogilvy-style Long Copy Ad Twitter: […]

  7. James says:

    Great advert and long copy.
    The tips are great but you should also get your designers to take a little trip back to school to find out about orphans & widows as they can really distract a reader from your glorious copy.

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