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What Makes a Memorable Marketing Hook?


As a brand, your consistent, overarching goal is likely to attract customers who will spend money to support your business. Let’s be honest—you wouldn’t be in business if you were not trying to make money. In bringing up the concept of a marketing hook, we must cue the fishing analogies. In this sense, you can think of the marketing hook as not only the hook itself used to catch the fish, but also the bait to attract them. You want your bait to be enticing—to appeal to the fish you are trying to catch so that you can get them on the hook. When creating a memorable marketing hook, you’re essentially doing the same thing. The content of the hook is the bait that you will use to attract customers to your brand.

Keep in mind that the hook does not convey the entire offering. Rather, it is just a teaser of content to get your followers to want to pursue your brand further. Give them a taste, but leave them wanting more. A hook can come in the form of a jingle, a catchy phrase/tagline or even just a description of a special offer, (i.e. A gym might say, “Contact us today for a free nutrition and fitness assessment.”)

Let’s look at a few famous jingles and taglines that have made their marks on society:

  • “A diamond is forever”—De Beers
  • “Just do it”—Nike
  • “Every kiss begins with Kay” –Kay Jewelers
  • “The happiest place on Earth”—Disney
  • “We deliver.” U.S. Postal Service
  • “What’s in your wallet?”—Capital One
  • “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”—MasterCard
  • “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” —Federal Express
  • “The quilted quicker picker-upper”—Bounty
  • “The breakfast of champions.”—Wheaties
  • “Maybe she’s born with it? Maybe it’s Maybelline.”—Maybelline Cosmetics
  • “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”—M&M’s
  • “Tastes so good, cats ask for it by name.”—Meow Mix
  • “Nothing runs like a Deere.”—John Deere

And the list goes on and on. There are a few qualities that these successful hooks share that have made them staples in most of our minds over the years. Consider these characteristics of a memorable marketing hook:

  • They announce new information. Sometimes your hook will serve simply to announce something new that’s happening with your brand. Perhaps you just picked up a new product, or your brick-and-mortar store is expanding. You’ll want to share this new information with your clientele.
  • They’re creative. A trend you’ll notice among some of our famous taglines mentioned above is that they include a play on words, or a pun. (i.e. The U.S. Postal Service’s “We deliver” implies that the service delivers packages, but it also delivers you the quality service you expect). Consumers will appreciate the effort spent on creativity, and a play on words will make them stop to think twice. The more time they spend thinking about your brand, the better.
  • They catch you off guard. As we mentioned above, a memorable marketing hook is one that makes you pause to think. Asking a question, is one way to do this, for example: “Are you tired of your auto repair services throwing a wrench in your plans? (Yes.) Check out (insert name) for effective, fast auto body repair!”
  • They are unique. As with a logo, a marketing hook is a sensory way that people will identify with your brand, whether they see it on a billboard, hear it on a TV commercial or read it in an email. Thus, you want to make sure you stand out among the competition and that you are not ripping off an existing hook.
  • They elicit emotion. Happiness, positivity, pride, progress—these are all examples of emotions that a memorable marketing hook should portray. Take the Marines: “The few. The proud. The Marines.” This hook effectively makes the audience feel prideful for this group that puts its lives on the line to protect our country. Whether it’s whimsy, security, passion—an emotion that is able to be portrayed in just a few words is a sign of success.
  • They offer a key benefit. Attract potential customers by offering them something they want. Is it a bonus? A solution to a problem? A new feature? You need to explain to your audience why they should choose you over the competition, and the way to do that is to offer something that benefits them and their life. (i.e. “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” –Federal Express)

A memorable marketing hook is one that will not only draw customers in, but one that they will continue to remember and repeat to their fellow consumers. Need help coming up with a creative hook for your business? The McNutt & Partners team can help. Call us at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page!

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