Copywriting: Real is good. Interesting is better.

Ohrbach's ad
Vintage Ohrbach's ad, copy written by Judy Protas
Chemstrand ad

Miguel Ferreira, entrepreneur, prolific writer, founder of the newsletter, Creative Samba, and CEO of two copywriting agencies – Teardwn and Great Landing Page Copy – wrote a fantastic piece that makes the case for what makes good advertising copy more than just good. This article first appeared on on March 4, 2022. 

5 ThingsFacts are facts, but facts alone aren’t enough to persuade people.

“Full Metal Jacket” is considered by many as the greatest war film of all time.

In 1985 when Stanley Kubrick was filming “Full Metal Jacket,” Actor Matthew Modene (playing Private James T. “Joker” Davis) finishes a take.

Then he proudly says. “That felt pretty real.”

Kubrick stares at Matthew.

Then Kubrick replies, “Real is good. Interesting is better.”

If you watch Kubrick’s movies, you’ll notice that he built his career based on this principle.

“Interesting” for Kubrick consisted of a distinct cocktail of ingredients. A nice blend of disturbing character relationships, obsession for details, a dramatic visual style and a sarcastic, often pessimist perspective of life.

You see, Kubrick wasn’t interested in filming reality.

Kubrick was more interested in gifting his fans with emotionally pleasing stories – and a rewarding aesthetic experience.

Kubrick wanted to tell stories, but not any stories.

Provocative stories.

Stories that strike the right balance between communicating ideas and appealing to emotions. So, Kubrick could tap into people’s unconscious minds.

That’s how Kubrick became one of the world’s most admired movie directors.

Not because he created good films. But because he created totally new, artful, and raw worlds on film – like no other filmmaker could.

If you think about it, good copywriters think a lot like Kubrick.

Good copywriters know that anyone can state facts about a product. But making those facts come alive in an interesting and dramatic way is harder.

That’s why good copywriters are obsessed with details. Like all the silly little facts and information behind a product. How it’s made. How it works. What motivates people to buy it. What makes people notice.

Facts alone don’t persuade. But storytelling based on facts can be very persuasive.

No matter what you’re selling, writing good copy is essential to capturing your readers’ attention.

Here are the top 10 best copywriting books that will change the way you think about writing:

  1. Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
  2. Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath
  3. The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert
  4. Influence by Robert Cialdini
  5. Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
  6. Finding the Right Message by Jennifer Havice
  7. Never Split the Difference by Tal Rahz and Chris Voss
  8. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  9. Building Distinctive Brand Assets by Jen Romaniuk
  10. How to Write a Good Advertisement by Vic Schwab