Make This Big Idea Advertisement Better

I love it when I see local businesses doing extraordinary marketing and coming up with BIG IDEAS on ways to promote their business.  Over the weekend, I came across a full page advertisement from a local Italian restaurant I go to from time to time that I thought was worth sharing for several reasons, including a “rewrite the headline” contest I’m hosting (click on ad for bigger version).


I want to quickly point out several things this ad does a good job with:

  • It’s based on a BIG IDEA – see my comments below.
  • It contains some decent copy – could be improved, but overall, acceptable.
  • It does a nice job using a custom photo close-up of one their dishes.
  • It leverages a contest in the month of August, where they are giving away a $100 gift card each day and includes a Grand Prize.
  • It lists all their important contact information.

What caught my idea with this ad was the BIG IDEA of a virtual tour of Italy, with the chef preparing 10 special dinners, based on a specific region in Italy, throughout the summer and packaging each up as a special, price-fixed menu.

To me this is a neat idea and one I would be interested in going to, to sample the various dishes.  Kudos to Chef Cardillo and the team at La Locanda for coming up with a neat idea to drive business during the typically slow summer months.

If there was one major flaw in this ad, it would be the lack of an attention-grabbing headline.  Instead, the designer made a typical design flaw and put their logo in the top left corner of the ad.  Unless you are McDonald’s – nobody knows or cares about your logo.  It’s taking up valuable real-estate.

The “10 Weeks of Summer Cuisine 2016” could be a headline, and if this was the best they could come up with, I would make it bigger and center it (after moving the logo to the bottom right corner of the ad.

But this ad and it’s BIG IDEA are perfect for a well-thought out, direct-response style headline that ties everything together and does a better job of getting attention.  I have a couple in my head as I write this, but I want to see what my reader’s come up with.



What headline can you come up with?  No answer is wrong, and I will hand-pick the headline I think is the best one and send that reader a valuable prize package worth over $300.  This is not a made-up price but is the total value of everything I will send to the winner.

To enter (and you can submit more than one headline), type in your suggested headlines below.  Have fun with this and good luck!  I will announce the winner next Tuesday, July 5.



It was very cool to see so many people sharpen their copywriting skills by giving the advertisement above a headline makeover.  If you peruse the reader contributed examples below, you will see many excellent improvements to this ad.  So many in fact, choosing a winner was not easy!  Even picking my top three was not an easy task, but I felt compelled to choose more than one, after seeing all the powerful entries.  So while you may have your own favorite, here are my top three headline improvements from readers (also note the relocation of the logo to where it should be).  Click on the ad for a larger version.


Alan Steacy – Alan’s headline is terrific and his choice of words is captivating.  I also like the fact he specifically contrasted a tour of Italy with the actual location of the restaurant.  Nice job Alan!


Rebecca Bloomquist – Rebecca’s headline lures the reader in with a specific command/invitation and offers a BIG benefit in a clear, easy-to-get manner.


Greg Noland – Greg’s headline paints an enjoyable mental picture in the reader’s mind and practically forces the reader to keep reading.

There are many other fine examples below, but at least at the time I am writing this, the above three caught my attention and engaged me and are my top three choices.  Congratulations to Alan, Rebecca and Greg.  I will be following up with you to send you each a special prize!

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at


  1. Bob Britton on June 27, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Enjoy A Culinary Tour of Italy, But Leave Your Passport At Home!

  2. James Fairfield on June 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Come to Italy This Summer – Without Hassles of Airline Travel or Expensive Hotel Accommodations!

    • Mike Capuzzi on June 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      Dr. Jim! Long time, no talk! Hope all is well!

  3. king on June 27, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Tour Italy Without A Passport

  4. Neil on June 27, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Limited Engagements – Reserve Your Table Today

  5. Steve Leibson on June 27, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Would you like a 10-week Italian tour
    for just the cost of dinner?

  6. Jasmyn Winey on June 27, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Tour Italy With Us!
    How Would You Like To Take A 10 Week Tour Of Italy?
    We’re Going To Italy For 10 Weeks, Come With Us!
    Take A Culinary Tour Of Italy With Us!

  7. Steve on June 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    No Need to Go To Italy, Chef Cardillo Takes You There

  8. Aaron Crocker on June 27, 2016 at 5:31 pm


    10 Italian Regions • 10 Romantic Dinners • 10 Weeks of Summer

    Headline Option #1 In Bold:

    10 Weeks of Culinary Indulgences For The Romeo And Juliet In You

    Headline Option #2 In Bold:

    10 Weeks Of Mouth Watering Treats To Tempt Lovers


    And while you didn’t ask for it, I can’t help myself. I have to suggest a first sentence change:

    Chef Cardillo is eager to take you on a scandalously delicious tour of his homeland.

    “Gastronomical” though technically accurate, just doesn’t paint pretty pictures in the mind.

  9. Bruno on June 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    If you won’t come to Italy, La Locanda will bring it to you!
    Find Out How…

  10. Randy Owens on June 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Spend the summer in our Italy!
    But skip the lines at the airport.

  11. Rebecca Bloomquist on June 27, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Join us…Your Passport To 10 Weeks of Authentic Italian Cuisine Without Leaving Town!

  12. Judy Anderson on June 27, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    A Taste of Italy – Right Here at Home!

  13. Jerry Bresser on June 27, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Read My Lips
    Yum-Yum Times 10

  14. Phil Brakefield on June 27, 2016 at 6:21 pm


  15. Phil Brakefield on June 27, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Eat Your Way Through Italy In 30 Days!

  16. Mark on June 27, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    And a chance to win dinner for you and 39 of your friends

    or …

  17. John Peters on June 27, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    How would you feel being transported to Italy…. Instantly, without a plane ticket, passport, or long plane ride?

    Come to La Locanda restaurant for a 10 week tour of Italy and be transported to the old country. You’ll also be entered into our free drawing to an all expense vacation for two in Italy for for 10 days. Call Now before your spot is taken to enjoy this Amazing Experience!

  18. SHINYA Niimura on June 27, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Give me 10 days and I’ll make you the most experienced gourmet in your neighborhood…Let me prove it – for just $44.95 per dinner.

  19. Greg Noland on June 27, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Allow Your Taste Buds To Dance Around The Delightful Regions Of Italy – During Our 10 Week Extravaganza

  20. Dr. Carney on June 28, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Headline ONE
    10 Weeks Of World Class Authentic Italian Food Without Ever Leaving The U.S.

    Headline TWO
    No Passport. No Long Lines. Just Tasty Authentic Italian Food For 10 Straight Weeks.

    Headline THREE
    Make Wednesday Nights – Authentic Italian Culinary Night

  21. Patric Lever on June 28, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Headline 1/ Lunch In Pennsylvania – Dinner In Tuscany
    Dine in Italy With La-Locanda From June To August

    Headline 2/ You Know How Great Our Food Is
    Have A Hundred On Us To Pay For It.

    Headline 3/ Like A Four Course Dinner For You And 39 of Your Friends On Us?
    Well How about this…..Be Our Guest And Secure 30 Chances
    To Be The Proud New Owner Of A $100 Bill As Crisp As Our Salads!
    And, The chance For A Lavish Dinner For FORTY People……..Details Below!

  22. Mike on June 28, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Now You Can Savor All the Flavors of Italy Without Leaving [city or state]….

    All Summer Long at La Locanda

  23. Peter on June 28, 2016 at 4:31 am

    Discover the 10 Secret dishes from 10 regions in Italy

  24. Chukwuma on June 28, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Eat A Little Bit Of Italy This Summer (With Chef Cardillo’s 10-Regions’ Menus)

  25. Jim Edholm on June 28, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Tour Ten Regions of Italy without Even Packing a Bag

  26. Alan Steacy on June 28, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Join Chef Cardillo on a Savory 10-Week Culinary Cruise through Italy… right here in Newtown Square. No Passport required!

    Take your Taste Buds on a Savory 10-Week Culinary Cruise through Italy… right here in Newtown Square. No Passport required!

  27. Alan Steacy on June 28, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Chef Cardillo Invites you to join him on a Savory 10-Week Culinary Cruise through Italy… right here in Newtown Square. No passport required.

  28. Devina Sarwatay on June 29, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Head: Cucina Italiana in the US

    Head: Go Italiano

    Head: Experience Italian Cuisine in Newtown

    Subhead: 10 Weeks of Summer Cuisine Custom-made by Chef Cardillo

    Subhead: 10 Weeks | 10 Regions | 10 Delicacies

    Subhead: And win $100 Gift Card!

  29. Steven Dickinson on July 3, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Satisfy your hunger for Italian food. Experience the taste of food from 10 different regions of Italy. Join us for 10 weeks of cuisine. What are you waiting for?

  30. Alan on July 7, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Wow thanks Mike. That’s great praise coming from you.

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