The Hook


Because the hook brings you back
I ain't tellin' you no lie
The hook brings you back
On that you can rely

You have 3 seconds to name the band who sang those words. If you can’t, you can go straight to hell with no detours.

Ready for the overused analogy of the day? 

The hook.

A well-crafted hook can be the opening of a wonderful sales funnel, a catchy song, or a gratuitous blog post. We are all sheep in some regard. Yes, we all try to preserve some semblance of individuality, but as rapper, Macklemore, tells us, we are all a part of some kind of movement. The shepherd leads us along, the sheep that we are. The puppeteer puppets us along, the puppets we are. Sound like I’m wearing a tin-foil hat? Maybe I am.

But of this I am sure, you are constantly having hooks thrown at you, whether on TV, on billboards on the highway, and on your social media feed. Some of the hooks just suck.

David Ogilvy, nicknamed the Father of Advertising, won an account by the name of Rolls-Royce in the late 1950s with this line: “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” There’s a lesson to be learned here from Mr. Ogilvy. The plot thickens.

In 1933, an automobile company named Pierce-Arrow produced an ad that read: “The only sound one can hear in the new Pierce-Arrows is the ticking of the electric clock.” 

Now, can we be 100% sure that Ogilvy ‘stole’ this piece of writing? Of course not. 

Author W. H. Davenport Adams once wrote, “Great poets imitate and improve…”

There is a fine line here, but there is also instruction to be gleaned. Study those who are better than you are. Study those who came before you did. This can be done without blatantly stealing. In this case, Ogilvy somehow called something to mind, and though where he conceived that idea is under scrutiny, the idea worked. You can’t draw water from an empty well. He found a hook that worked, he tweaked it to fit his objective, and it won him business.

Imitate and improve. 

Stay sharp. 

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