How do you write a compelling headline?


A pattern disruptor is the opening sentence or two in an ad that is completely different to what the reader would be expecting, which arouses enough curiosity for them to want to read more, to find out what that relates to.

The most obvious example of that I can think of was an ad that I had written for me for a digital marketing manager in Amsterdam working for a company, a very big German company, that sold sex products. And the opening sentence in the ad was: “Are you comfortable with your sexuality?”

Now, that looks very clickbait-y. But it aroused a lot of attention. A lot of people saw that and thought: “Wow, where’s this going? It’s a job ad. I wasn’t expecting to read that”.

And then the next paragraph went on to talk about how it’s important that people are comfortable with their sexuality because they’re going to be selling sex products.

That creative direction was taken because the company couldn’t fill the job because candidates kept changing their mind halfway through the process, thinking: “Oh, I’m not sure I’m going to be comfortable telling people at the next barbecue that I go to that I sell dildos.”

Another technique is to grab people’s attention with something they’re not expecting to read. But, whatever you put, it has to be relevant to the rest of the ad.

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