The best overall writing advice I’ve ever come across is to think of your words like a movie camera. Point your camera at the action, zoom in on it, make jump cuts to heighten the action and suspense. SHOW the action. Make the story come alive as a movie in the reader’s mind.

This, as you can imagine, is especially important advice for screenwriters, who are commanded to write “film-able moments.” Abstractions can’t be directly captured on film. Interior thoughts can’t be captured on film. Neither can most statements of fact.

What can be captured on film? Actions. So the job of the screenwriter is to communicate abstractions and thoughts and emotions, and facts through action & Dialogue. It’s great advice that applies to a lot more than just screenwriting. And while there isn’t always opportunity to use this advice in PPC Ad copy, it happens often enough to make it useful. This contest is a nice example of that:

The winning ad, penned by Booster PrincessH, lifted click-through-rates by 57% — not bad by anybody’s standards!.

And what accounts for this difference?

It’s not a difference in the content of the message. There are no facts or offers provided by one ad that aren’t mentioned by the other. Nor is it a difference in claims.

Nope! The entire difference between the two ads consists of film-able vs. non-filmable copy.

  • “View Local Vacancies Online Now” invites users to imagine themselves doing just that! It’s an action oriented invitation.
  • “Find Mechanical Engineer jobs here” wins the keyword competition, but loses out in it’s ability to capture the imaginations. It’s just not as inherently film-able.
  • “Use Our Complete Job Search Engine!” is another action-oriented film-able piece of copy. You can picture yourself using their search engine to look for a job.
  • “the most complete job site online” isn’t as film-able. It’s a non-active claim.

At the end of the day, people looking for help finding Mechanical Engineer Jobs will look at the winning ad and see themselves finding a local vacancy through the client’s search engine. And people looking at the losing ad will just see less-than-credible claims being made.

And that’s how the winning ad boosted CTR by 57% without changing the content of the ad one iota and giving up a slight lead in keyword use.

So are your ad writers boosting up your PPC Ads with film-ables, or are they weighing them down with abstractions and non-credible claims?