The power of words is immeasurable, and you only need a few to make a massive impact. We think it’s even more satisfying when brands achieve more with the fewest words. In this article, we want to take a look at the juiciest one-line ads that have made the DMT copywriters giggle with grammarly joy. We want to highlight the power of good copy and hopefully provide some inspiration on how to get your ads to live in people’s heads rent-free. From Oxford University to Durex, we have some of the best one-liners we could find.
A One-Line Ad that will Make You Swoon
Swoon is a furniture company based in London that provides bespoke and unique furniture at affordable pricing. You might recognise this company from their adverts on the London Underground. Tube adverts take copy to another level. The tube is notoriously fast-paced, filled with impatient and busy Londoners trying to get from A to B. That means the adverts featured have to go above and beyond to catch the attention of travellers. Sometimes Tube ads are bold and outrageous, sometimes they’re aggressive, and a lot of the time, they’re hilarious. Swoon doesn’t disappoint with this witty one-liner.
‘One nightstand you won’t forget’.
We love this advert for its clever play on words, it’s cheeky, and it makes something relatively uninteresting extremely eye-catching. This advert targets the lifestyle of high earning young professionals to afford home luxuries and a thriving social life.
The Time That Oxford University Got Sassy
We’d be disappointed if Oxford University couldn’t come up with a witty advert, and luckily, we weren’t disappointed with this one. University adverts don’t tend to be overly funny due to the nature of the institutions, and universities such as Oxford are generally associated with traditions and prestige. So we were very impressed with this particular advert that simultaneously made us feel dumb and smart.
We can’t lie, we’re here for the sass, and it makes a good point of recognising that the literary icons that are held in such high esteem aren’t completely flawless and should be scrutinised. Did Oxford Uni just start on Shakespeare? We think so. Beyond that, seeing a more lighthearted approach for prospective students is refreshing. It’s a great piece of copy by being recognisable to the average reader but also adding a humorous flare. We loved it.
Spotify Had Us in Our Feels with 12 Words
Spotify is great at running campaigns and adverts that get people talking. Spotify Wrapped could be a national holiday at this point, and the introduction of Blends, On Repeats, and Time Capsule playlists have all been successful campaigning strategies by Spotify. This advert has an ideal combo of clever writing and nostalgia. The outdoor advert was aimed at an older audience to highlight the diverse range of music that is accessible on the app.
This ad came in a series promoting the app, with other copy including “24-hour party people” that changed to “2-4 hour party people.” This advert is a fun way of showing how simply copy can be interpreted and re-interpreted using a simple shift in spelling. If ‘you be forty’, this advert might feel a little too personal, but we thought it was hilarious.
The Economist Keeps Roasting Us
The Economist is quite well known for having witty adverts that effectively convey the position of The Economist and the audience it wants to reach. Let’s be honest, The Economist is a newspaper for people who want to seem (and likely are) smart and educated. That’s its brand. In the same way that Nike wants to appear like it’s a brand for winners, The Economist aims to suggest that people who read their newspaper are intelligent, so if you think you’re intelligent and aren’t reading The Economist, you should maybe have a think…
This piece of copy is snappy, simple, and, importantly, it’s relatable. This one-line ad does a great job of catching the reader and leaving them with something to think about afterwards. As the copy is humorous, The Economist can get away with sounding a bit pretentious without it being offensive.
Air Asia is Not Rated PG
Generally speaking, Air Asia aims its adverts to a specific demographic, especially because it tends to try and discreetly sneak swear words into its ads. It’s a bit risky to do something like this within an advert; some people will, of course, take offence to the use of swear words (or almost swear words) within adverts. But, in the spirit of ‘all press is good press’, these ads get people talking, and it’s definitely going to make readers pay attention to your ad.
It’s bold, and it’s funny, so we love it. It’s more on the risky side of advertising, but we promised you juicy copy. This advert was a great play on words that kind of gave dad joke vibes. By being mildly controversial, this advert was way more likely to get noticed, remembered, and shared.
Aston Martin Are Cocky, But Then Again, Fair Enough
Few people will be surprised to realise that a brand like Aston Martin has a historically gendered tone of voice that plays sexual stereotypes. The overall image of Aston Martin is opulence and the luxury lifestyle. This advert fits in perfectly with this brand image by being relatable to the people who buy Aston Martins and what people who don’t buy their cars assume their buyers are like. So, it might be a stereotyping advert, but it suits the brand, and it’s witty whilst it does it.
It’s funny and encapsulates the energy of excess wealth and the luxury lifestyle of Aston Martin customers. The company has recently targeted a broader audience by appealing to more women and younger people in the last year. Nevertheless, the way this ad almost mocks its own traditional customers makes it appeal to a broader audience by itself.
Durex Are Talking About Sex Baby
Durex subtly champions an important cause of destigmatising conversations around sex, especially within adverts. The brand uses humour throughout its adverts to make light of discussions around sex and helps to normalise under-represented conversations, for example, female discomfort during sex in its promotions of lubrication. The adverts are usually very forward and humorous, and they are a great way of engaging consumers and getting people to talk about their campaigns. They absolutely nail buzz marketing, and their adverts successfully make conversions about sex seem casual and off-hand.
We can’t lie; this advert was iconic. It was a wild divergence from the usual celebratory Father’s Day adverts. Most people weren’t expecting Durex to roll out a Father’s Day ad, yet its copy linked it perfectly to the national day whilst simultaneously attacking its competitors. In the usual Durex marketing style, it also highlighted that not everyone wants children, and safe sex should be a priority.
We think that the key to a good advert is knowing your audience and effectively using a few words. If you can be clever with your words, you don’t need more than one line to create a successful campaign. We also think that approaching your adverts with humour allows for more room to experiment with your words, and you are more likely to stick in the minds of your audience.
Our talented team of copywriters at DMT are experts when it comes to playing with words. If you want to check out the services we offer and how we can help grow your business, make sure to check out our services and case studies on our website.