Transform Your Display Ads with Power Words

Write Label
4 min readNov 29, 2023


By: Edward Sung

Browse the web for any length of time, and you’ll see countless banner ads emblazoned across the top of web pages, clamoring for your click. What makes some ads click magnets and others mere background noise?

Striking imagery alone can grab the audience’s attention — and many powerful ads include no words at all — but most often, it’s the copy that ultimately motivates an audience. As advertising legend Bill Bernbach observed, “It’s not just what you say that stirs people. It’s the way that you say it.

If advertising were only about drawing attention to a product, a display ad could convert audiences simply by stating facts:

Admittedly, the above banner could work as an anti-advertising style spoof for an unconventional business with a meta brand voice!

Compelling messaging — enhanced by a few well-chosen words — can turn an ad that merely informs into one that persuades.

Discover the Secret of Power Words!

Power words in advertising are words with a time-tested ability to influence and persuade. They trigger emotional or psychological responses that grab attention, evoke feelings, and prompt action. Used effectively, they can supercharge your copy’s impact.

How Power Words Drive Action!

You may have read this insightful quote about how we respond to words: “People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Power words drive action by tapping into the audience’s emotions and psychological triggers. These words are chosen for their ability to trigger specific responses, such as excitement, curiosity, fear of missing out, or a sense of urgency.

For example, words like “limited-time offer” convey a sense of scarcity and encourage immediate action. Others, like “discover” or “new,” might spark curiosity or entice readers drawn to the latest and greatest. By resonating with the audience’s desires, fears, or aspirations, power words can effectively motivate them to engage with the ad.

Top Power Words That Sell!

Here are a few classic, time-tested examples of power words:


Perhaps the most powerful word in advertising. It makes your ad personal, speaking directly to the reader and creating an instant connection.


“You Deserve the Best in Comfort”


Creates a sense of urgency and encourages immediate action. Suggests that delay might mean missing out on a desirable opportunity.


“Grab These Deals Now Before They’re Gone”


Any purchase involves a degree of risk that the product won’t live up to expectations. A guarantee can be a deciding factor for people who are on the fence — especially when it comes to big-ticket items.


“Guaranteed Satisfaction or Your Money Back”


Creates a sense of scarcity and urgency. Implies a level of prestige and status. The idea that something is “exclusive” can enhance its perceived worth. And as Bluebeard’s wife tragically discovered, there’s nothing like a locked door to arouse curiosity!


“Be the First to Explore Our Exclusive Designs”


Speaks to our natural instinct to seek out novel experiences. Creates positive expectations and conjures images of adventure and exploration. For consumers weary of aggressive selling words like “buy” or “shop,” it’s less about a hard sell and more about inviting them to learn and explore.


“Discover the Future of Smart Home Solutions”

Now let’s revisit the banner ad from the beginning of this article, with copy that incorporates some power words:

This won’t win any Clio awards, but you get the idea.

Key Resources for Power Word Mastery!

Here are a few online resources that can help you incorporate power words into your copy: 29 Persuasive Power Words That Sell (With Real Life Examples) Power Words: How to Use Power Words in Advertising 150 Power Words to Add Some Oomph To Your Copy & Deliver Results

Your choice of words can transform dull, ordinary ads into messages that resonate with your audience and unlock their deepest emotions. As you craft your next ad, experiment with power words and discover the incredible impact they can have on your copy. (See what I did there?)



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