Ad Creative Newsletter #79 — Set your competitors on fire... literally

"BuT lAsT iSsUe WaS aBoUt HoOks ToO…"

Yeah, well, that’s because we’re not done talking about them. And don’t even kid yourself. We know you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the sequel to the 7 great hooks by master baiters covered in the previous edition of your favorite newsletter. Any ad that doesn’t hook its online audience, is bound to be a sinker. So we reeled in 7 more examples of irresistible hooks to inspire while you craft shiny digital lures of your own.


Sarcasm — what a great way to get people to like you… No, but seriously, sarcasm is one of several dialects spoken by the jaded millennial (AKA the target audience). Like cardboard, this hook has multiple layers. The absurdity of the statement gets your attention while fortifying the visuals in juxtaposition against the inferior competitive product. Taking up a full 8s, this hook is definitely on the longer side, but it gets a pass for being entertaining and original. The rest of the ad holds its own thanks to a charismatic creator, solid USPs, and a clear CTA. Stock this cereal ad in your creative cupboard.


If you feature your competition in an ad, it’s important to let your audience know where you stand regarding their product. Jambys clears up any ambiguities with the less-than-subtle visual approach of setting the competition on fire. The copy and voiceover banishes users of competitive products to a “red flag” cohort that nobody wants to be part of. The creator’s additional “frat boy” jab sets the hook even deeper so that the native USPs can work their convincing magic. Although the CTA feels soft after such an aggressive hook, it can be solved in future iterations.

Soft Services

Being creatives doesn't excuse us from being familiar with basic principles of economics — especially when they intersect with social psychology. The scarcity principle states that humans ascribe higher value to products with limited availability. Create your own scarcity by, well… just saying that your product is scarce. Pointing out that your product regularly sells out is a double hook — it implies that others see value in what you sell while working as a silent “BUY NOW BEFORE IT SELLS OUT AGAIN!” CTA. Basically all this ad does, aside from offer a couple of product explainers, is tell you that you’re lucky to even be graced with the opportunity to buy it. Hard bargain from Soft Services.


Leading with a statistic is always a good practice — especially if you have a product that needs some explaining. Here’s how this ad would be received without the stat hook:

  • Umzu: Choline is one of the most vital nutrients in the human body.
  • Everyone: Neat. Thanks. Anywayyyy…

When you open with a startling stat saying that 92% of adults are deficient in something, the first thing the audience wants to know is whether or not they’re in that group. We bet that 92% of people seeing this ad for the first time don’t know what choline is or does. But now they’re primed to click through and learn more. If your hooks are statistic-deficient, it might be time to consider supplementing.


Just because you’re fishing with hooks doesn’t mean you can’t also cast a wide net. Make every viewer part of your in-group. Unless you’re on an IV of the stuff, coffee makes you crash. So yes, MUD\WTR is speaking directly to everyone. Additional snaps for not wasting any time. The hook only takes up 3 seconds before the creator takes over. Plus the creator is as relatable as the hook, so the explainers and USPs come off more conversational than sales-y.

10/10 — makes us want to drink some mud.


We’ve championed the text exchange format in the past. As this approach becomes more popular, it’s increasingly important to write a conversation that viewers have to read. Your audience has the POV of an eavesdropper, and gossip is at the top of every eavesdropper’s reading list. The opening line is dramatic enough to grab attention and set up the product/process explainer while the pacing ensures that the audience doesn’t drop off. However, the sender of the first text isn’t the only entity that could use some treatment — the framing on this ad needs some attention. Otherwise, this ad puts on a clinic of its own.


Remember HarlanMD and ColonBroom from the last newsletter? Don’t be afraid to get a little gross with your hooks. Although not on the same level of raw meat or wiping (fake) poo off of a bell pepper, not washing your bra for 10 consecutive days is its own brand of unsavory. It’s also the perfect setup for USP #1. Unfortunately, the second and third USPs don’t have anything to do with the hook. But, hey — as long as it’s supporting sales, this bra ad is doing its job.

Last (completely unrelated) thing: BRANWYN’s logo reminds us of the infamous Bassnectoe incident of 2017.

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Mary Boyagi

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