Crafting Compelling Hooks Using 16 Human Desires
Last updated:
March 3, 2024

"Aligning your messaging with these desires, you can create advertising that not only captures attention but also motivates"

Welcome to the exciting realm of advertising and persuasion, where our innate human desires serve as the keys to unlocking hearts and inspiring action. We'll delve into the theory of motivation proposed by Steven Reiss, which highlights 16 fundamental human desires that form the foundation for creating hooks that genuinely resonate and empower.

Testing hooks using the 16 basic human desires is like playing the keys of a grand piano. When you strike the right chord, you'll create a hook that not only captivates but also converts, leaving your audience craving what you have to offer.

Desire #1: Power

In the world of advertising, the aspiration for empowerment is a driving force. Whether it's a luxury car, a designer suit, or a high-end gadget, your hook should convey how owning your product empowers individuals. Utilize phrases like "seize control," "lead confidently," and "achieve greatness" to ignite this desire.

Desire #2: Independence

The allure of independence is a potent motivator that signifies freedom and self-determination. Your hook should emphasize how your product or service liberates individuals from constraints, enabling them to chart their own course. Phrases like "break free," "forge your path," and "unleash your potential" can be incredibly inspiring.

Desire #3: Curiosity

Curiosity is a beautiful trait that drives us to explore and learn. Craft hooks that awaken the innate curiosity of your audience. Use intriguing questions, teasers, and the promise of discovery to draw them in.

Desire #4: Acceptance

The universal need to belong is a powerful motivator. Your hook should celebrate how your product or service fosters connections, creating a sense of community. Phrases like "join our family," "be part of something greater," and "belong to a vibrant community" resonate deeply with this desire.

Desire #5: Social Contact

Human beings thrive on meaningful connections. Your hook should spotlight how your offering facilitates genuine connections, strengthens relationships, and bridges divides.

Desire #6: Family

Family is the cornerstone of our lives. Your hook should convey how your product or service enhances family life, promotes togetherness, or simplifies daily routines. Showcase heartwarming family scenarios that touch the hearts of your audience.

Desire #7: Order

In a fast-paced world, the desire for order and organization is strong. Your hook should highlight how your product or service brings structure and clarity to people's lives. Phrases like "simplify your world" and "find harmony" can be profoundly motivating.

Desire #8: Saving

Everyone loves a great deal. Spotlight how your product or service helps consumers save money, time, or resources. Use phrases like "maximize your value" and "smart spending" to connect with this desire.

Desire #9: Honor

The yearning for honor and respect is deeply ingrained in our psyche. Craft a hook that positions your product as something that elevates the reputation and status of your customers. Highlight accolades, endorsements, and success stories that inspire respect.

Desire #10: Idealism

People often yearn for a better world. Showcase how your product or service aligns with noble ideals and contributes to a greater good. Use phrases like "make a positive impact" and "be a force for good" to inspire your audience.

Desire #11: Vengeance

While it may not be the most uplifting desire, the desire for overcoming challenges or adversaries is a powerful motivator. Position your product or service as the solution that helps individuals bounce back and overcome obstacles.

Desire #12: Romance

Ah, the enchantment of romance! Use hooks that taps into the dreams of love and connection. Paint a picture of how your offering can make romantic fantasies come true.

Desire #13: Eating

Food is a universal pleasure. If your product is related to gastronomy, let your hook evoke the sensory delights of a delicious meal. Describe flavors, aromas, and the joy of indulgence.

Desire #14: Physical Activity

For products related to fitness or physical well-being, emphasize how they satisfy the desire for physical activity and health. Showcase the benefits of an active lifestyle and the vitality it brings.

Desire #15: Tranquility

In a hectic world, peace and tranquility are treasured. Your hook should convey how your product or service provides a haven of calm and promotes relaxation and serenity.

Desire #16: Social Contact (Avoidance)

While social contact is a desire, there's also a desire to maintain personal boundaries. If your product or service helps people preserve their privacy or manage their social interactions, highlight this in your hook.

In conclusion, Steven Reiss's theory of motivation provides a rich framework for crafting a hook that deeply resonate and inspire positive action. By aligning your messaging with these desires, you can create advertising that not only captures attention but also motivates individuals to embrace the opportunities your product or service offers. So, remember, in the world of persuasion, the power of positivity and inspiration is paramount—use it wisely to connect with your audience on a profound level.

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