Copy-chella: The Six Genres of Great Marketing Copy

Can marketing copy be understood through the lens of musical genre? We think so—and we can show you. Here's what makes some copywriting pop and some copywriting rock.

marketing copy and music
Just like music, great copywriting speaks to our emotions.

In this post, guest writer Olivia McLean explores the common ground between music that moves and copy that sings. Read along as she illuminates why a genre-bending approach to writing is the key to inspiring your readers to take action. 

Picture yourself at a music festival. You’re wearing your Insta-worthy outfit. Everyone is  dancing and having the time of their lives. You even got the chance to ride that humongous ferris wheel they have every year. But then you realize … there’s only one type of music being played. Huh? That’s not how music festivals are supposed to go. And that’s not how marketing copy is supposed to go, either.

Festival goers return year after year to their favorite music festivals because they’re able to satisfy the many facets of their diverse musical interests. Your marketing copy should have the same ability, and that can only be done by incorporating different elements—the same way music festivals bring different genres together.

Effective marketing copy takes a piece of two or three genres and fuses them together to make a harmonious blend of writing. The six genres of great marketing copy are:

Rock and Roll

Fun and experimental, everyone can use a little rock and roll in their lives. That adrenaline rush accompanying a powerful guitar riff makes sparks fly. Strong, colorful wording is necessary to grab your audience’s attention and steal the show.

This is your opportunity to take a walk on the wild side and have a good time with your copy. Because the goal is to stimulate emotions and draw people in, you want copy that uses vibrant, energetic words. The result is a feel-good, invincible campaign that will have your audience feeling like Joan Jett.


I don’t consider myself a jazz enthusiast, or even a jazz fan, to be frank. I’m never the first to suggest hanging out at a jazz lounge or to dial in Kenny G Radio on Apple Music. But when I happen to come across good jazz music, I stop, and I listen. It’s inviting. It’s alluring. A hint of jazz isn’t loud or boisterous; it’s smooth, convincing, and lingers long after the instruments are played.

The power of persuasion is a key component of marketing and requires a certain finesse to appear natural. Jazz brings forth a soft touch, just like your copy should. Plus, who can resist a charming saxophone solo?

Hip Hop

Kind of aggressive and a little assertive, hip hop is always in your face. It packs a punch and has an unapologetic, rebellious attitude. With hip hop elements, your marketing copy challenges the status quo, no holds barred.

Think of that used car salesman’s commercial that comes on every morning during The Price Is Right. He’s shouting at you. He’s flailing his arms around trying to get you to look at the TV because he wants you to envision how good you’d look in that low-mileage Mercedes Benz. And it works. His aggression commands your attention.


Country music has a certain captivating charisma about it that can make an unfamiliar song feel like you’ve known it for years. It’s simple and to the point, making it relatable and easy to identify. If your marketing copy uses these country elements, your loyal followers who are already familiar with your brand should have no problem pointing you out in a sea of advertisers.

Country music produces warm feelings of familiarity—while also tugging on those heartstrings. I like to think McDonald’s utilizes these same homey feelings. A majority of the world has been eating McDonald’s since they were children, so the company plays on that, and their marketing methods lean toward a personal, friendly aura.


When you go on a tropical vacation, your goal is to relax and be tranquil. Everything else comes secondary. While on that vacation, you’ll probably listen to some reggae, an easygoing genre with a steady tempo and a nice, consistent drum. Reggae can be enticing, and there are minimal surprises with its rhythm, so listeners feel a sense of trustworthiness.

Copywriting that shares reggae’s non-threatening, dependable factor gives its audience permission to unwind—and, in turn, causes that audience feel at ease. As a result, trust is earned, and cash registers ring. Bob Marley did it, and so can your copy.


Here’s the tricky part. Pop is already a genre that incorporates multiple genres into one. Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry all use the influence of many genres to create their sounds. Being able to integrate disparate elements from across the major genres is a chemistry of sorts—and it can be risky. Done well, it creates magic. Done poorly, it can create a pitchy piece that’s blatantly out of tune. When it’s done right, however, the end result is a cohesive voice that really sings.

Let’s be honest: Marketing copy without emotion just doesn’t work. Music is made to evoke emotion, and each genre has its own purpose. When you parallel music with words, the similarities are striking. They both need the right instruments, a steady beat, and a voice to bring it all together. Variety is the spice of life and writing, so add a dash here and there to get the rhythm just right.

Paul Rosevear

Paul Rosevear

What do you get when you combine the soul of a musician with the mind of a writer? Copy that sings. And for the last decade, that’s precisely what Paul has delivered for global brands, bootstrap startups, and everything in between. When he’s not hard at work crafting top-notch communications, you can find Paul hanging with his wife and two young daughters, singing and playing guitar for The Vice Rags, or roaming the streets in search of the nearest slice of pizza.

More from MarketSmiths

industrial vehicle

How SafeAI Steers the Market for Autonomous Industrial Vehicles

Great Messaging. But Where’s Your Killer Statement?

Badvertising: High-flying Hijinks

content marketing services

SEO is Dead! Long Live SEO!

Inc 5000 content agency

M/WBE certified enterprise.

Design by WorstOfAllDesign. Digital Strategy by MadPipe. Photography by Chellise Michael.