My Marketing Thing

Another silly-moo headline mistake

silly-moo cartoon

Following on from A headline mistake that’s a real doozy, here is another headline mistake that’s rather popular. Let me make it easy for you…


Another silly-moo headline mistake

Which line is easier to read and digest? You certainly experience the impact of the first example. But, psychologically-speaking, it’s the second one that actually wins.

Why? Because a whole line in uppercase is hard to read.

A HEADLINE ‘DOH’ is fine. This headline is short enough to be able to digest in capital letters. But a line that runs longer becomes laborious – unless you put it in sentence case (i.e. first letter in uppercase and the rest in lowercase).


Which brings me to Title Case

Title case is having the first letter of every word in uppercase – for example:

Another Silly-Moo Headline Mistake 

This reads fine. But sentence case can sometimes be considered more attractive because it says ‘conversation’ rather than ‘headline’. Here’s the sentence case example again:

Another silly-moo headline mistake

See the difference? It depends on the level of intimacy you want to create with your reader. Being an avid cuddler, I’m a sucker for sentence case.


Breaking up long headlines

If you have a long headline, consider presenting it as two lines. But you need to be careful with this. Think about natural pauses in the line.

This example doesn’t work very well:

Another silly-moo
headline mistake 

Breaking this headline up doesn’t work well here because there are no natural pauses in the line.

you made a mistake. 

works better because of the natural pause after the comma.
Taking some headlines from the previous post…
One investment that 
does tick all the boxes

This is a long headline that definitely works well as two lines. Having ‘does’ at the beginning of the next line gives the word extra punch. And it needs that punch in order to communicate the meaning of the line.
You almost missed out
is fine. But if you have a thin vertical advertisement to squeeze the headline onto, you could do this:

You almost
missed out
The natural pause isn’t so obvious here, but by moving ‘missed out’ onto the next line puts a natural emphasis on the word ‘almost’. So it works.


That’s it for now. Sometimes brevity is a good idea for posts as well as for headlines. But feel free to keep the conversation going by giving us your thoughts on this (see ‘comments’ below).


This post was written by Megan Hills.  Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing consultant who hates being yelled at by lots of bossy capital letters. Find out more about Megan

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment

 Related Posts