Keys to writing the best headline ever

An AdWeek editor shared some of his special sauce for headlines that provoke without being salacious.

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Shoulder pads. Hot coffee. Time on my hands. When these three elements collided as I sat in my fluorescent-lit corporate cube in the late 1990s, I would flip through Adweek, its large letters gleaming back at me with that imposing black font, bathed in all of its Madison Avenue glory. Those moments reminded me I had officially “made it,” even if I was working as a communications manager at a semiconductor equipment company, hardly the epicenter of tech excitement. Scanning the glossy headlines and photos, I secretly hoped one day I’d run a mind-blowing, multi-million dollar ad campaign that would be featured in Adweek. In the meantime I had my cushy job, Aeron chair, and fantasies to covet.

Recently, I heard Adweek editor David Griner speak at a marketing industry event. As chief honcho of its cultishly popular AdFreak blog, which covers all things digital advertising and creative. It’s heartening to know that Adweek is a survivor of the marketing industry’s ups and down, as am I (minus the shoulder pads and award-winning ad campaigns).

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