Another trick copywriters use to write a punchy headline is to invoke some element of pop culture. The latest fad, a popular sitcom, even the number one hit on America’s top 40; all these make for handy attention-getters for your headline.
Case in point, a recent client’s client, an asphalt maintenance company, was holding an Ugliest Driveway contest. Not exactly a topic that lends to a mass audience. So, we came up with a headline that catered to a larger demographic:
“If Ugly Betty can win a Golden Globe, your “ugly driveway” can win you a luxury night out!”
That’s a bit more enticing than “Ugliest Driveway Contest, winner receives a luxury night out!” And since topics like driveway generally appeal to a more masculine audience, we made the headline more mainstream by including a show that’s very popular with women.
That’s not to say you want every headline to have some pop culture reference. Pick your spots. Just make sure it’s something that is fairly well known. A pop culture reference that’s not terribly well known or appropriate for a particular audience can really fall flat on its face.