Test This Headline. Or: Copy Testing Is Coming To The Web.

This week’s Ad Age focuses on digital, and shows how old-school copy testing is coming to the web:

“A home-page takeover on Yahoo can cost a million dollars a day,” [ARSgroup CEO Jeff Cox] said. “The traditional thing with digital was if it’s not working, we’ll take it down. When you drop a million dollars in a day, you’d better be sure it’s working.”
Copy testing can squelch creative, Mr. Cox acknowledged. “But the marketplace and the world’s largest advertisers see value in doing this.”

As the article goes on to mention, P&G is one of those marketers who value copy testing. However, Wieden + Kennedy, who works on P&G’s Old Spice brand, doesn’t let clients copy test ads until they’re produced.
Anyone who’s worked on e-mails or SEM campaigns knows that copy is always refined and tested based on what generates the most response. So should digital advertising (whatever you consider that to be) be any different? Why would anyone keep an ad online for a minute longer than necessary if it’s not working? Or are web metrics not as pure an indicator of success as we’d like to believe?



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.