Brady Snow explains the top 6 eCommerce hooks for YouTube Ads and why they succeed.
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Video Transcript

Find effective hooks for your ads

Brady Snow: Do you know how to create hooks for e-commerce that are going to work on YouTube? And when I say work, I’m talking about, it’s going to retain your audience’s attention to the point where you can make your offer. Where you can give them a call to action, you educate them about what your offer is, what your solution is, and you give them a call to action. And you send them to your landing page, somewhere for them to sign up, buy your product, learn more about it, download a lead magnet. Whatever the goal is, it starts with the hook. Today I’m going to show you how to use Video Ad Vault to come up with hooks for e-commerce ads on YouTube. And if you don’t work in e-commerce, this strategy I’m going to show you is going to also show you how to come up with effective hooks that are going to work on your YouTube ads. So let’s go ahead and dive into my YouTube ads account.

Real quick, I’m Brady Snow. I’m the director of content at TubeSift, where we help YouTube advertisers dominate their own YouTube ads in their own niche. I’m making this video today because we had a request in our comments of a video that our CEO and co-founder, Justin Sardi, created a couple weeks ago about the top five YouTube ad hooks, plus one bonus hook. If you haven’t seen that video, I highly recommend checking it out. We’re going to have a link on the screen right here, it’ll also be in the description. And if you’re watching this on the blog, we’re going to have link to it as well in the resources section. So check that out. It goes over the top five hooks for YouTube ads that are guaranteed the work. And now today I’m going to show you how to apply those hooks towards e-commerce. But if you don’t work in e-commerce, follow along, this is going to give you some valuable information as well about how you can find hooks and make them work on your own ads. Here’s the video, I’ll just play real quick. The first hook.

Speaker 2: Now, number one is going to be the curiosity hook. That starts by opening up with a question.

Brady Snow: Opening up by a question. There’s a few other ways you can do it, as long as you apply to curiosity. I’m going to show you a couple examples right now. I am in Video Ad Vault, I signed in, I literally just did a search for e-commerce. Now, you can check the filters that you want to search for. This is what it defaults to, it searches title, the description of the ad, the YouTube ad description, and the channel name. Usually those three searches bring up a lot of things, but if you want to also search by a domain or URL, you can check this box and uncheck these, and it’s going to pull up all the ads for that domain or that URL. For example, you can put in, it’s going to find their ads. You can also put in a channel ID, if you have a channel’s YouTube ID. There’s also additional search features here.

If I wanted to search by a specific keyword, I could just type in that keyword and then put in a certain brand, and it’s only going to find the ads for that. But I wanted to do a broad search today because I’m looking for a ton of different hooks, so I wanted to have all the options possible. And so if you’re just doing a broad search, starting out, trying to come up with ideas on YouTube, I recommend you just do a broad search at first, start with your niche. And then as you get better, if you want, you can filter for a certain brand. Say you find an advertiser that you like, you respect their ads, they always work, you can also see their views here. You can check, here’s one that has 28 million views.

Attract your audience's attention in the first 5 seconds with the curiosity hook.
Attract your audience’s attention in the first 5 seconds with the curiosity hook.

Curiosity hook 

This is a good ad: How top sellers built successful businesses with Wix. But then you can add more keywords and filter down, and get more specific with your search terms. But for this video, I just did a broad search for e-commerce, so I’m getting a ton of e-commerce ads here. And you can see the brands, names here. Wix, we got a ton for Wix. They’re big e-commerce platform, right? They sell to people that do e-commerce. Here’s GoDaddy. Here’s another one I had not heard of, I’m going to show you this ad later because it’s one of the examples I found.

But yeah, you can see where they’re from. If you want, you can click on the landing page. This is where the ad sends people to. So this one’s booking, looks like a conference. But anyway, you can do that. But I’m just going to study the ads today, because we’re looking at hook. As we know, the first hook was curiosity, and here’s one that I found.

So we got to that real quick. Postscript catches your attention. It’s a little long, but then we go brands talk SMS marketing. If you’re a brand and you’re trying to figure out the best way to sell something. If you’re interested in SMS marketing, you’re going to be curious. What brands are going to talk? What are they going to say about SMS marketing? That makes me curious, and I want to keep watching.

Speaker 3: As your list grows, you’ve got to continually nurture those subscribers with the right messages at the right time.

Brady Snow: That was more than the hook, but you can see how they transition from that hook. They grab your attention with that curiosity, brands talk SMS marketing. And then we had a couple more buzzwords come up, some keywords that relate to SMS marketing. It’s animated text, so it’s very engaging. And then this is about 15, 20 seconds in, it transitions to someone talking, which is a great change in pace. So you capture their attention with those animated graphics, with that term that’s going to capture their attention and their curiosity, brands talk SMS marketing. That’s a curiosity hook right there. Sometimes it can be as simple as that.

And I’m seeing this more and more, especially with e-commerce and software ads where it just starts with music and words, animated text. Usually, [inaudible 00:05:44]… Sorry, I’m dog sitting today. He barks every time a dog runs by outside. It’s okay, Apollo. Not to be confused with TubeSift CEO’s dog, Apollo. He has an Apollo too. That’s the original Apollo, he’s been in our videos before. I’m going to link to that one right here. Or, I don’t know where the link goes. It’s on the screen somewhere. Anyway, another hook for curiosity. So I’m going to close that one. Here’s another curiosity hook that I had found.

Johannes De Zordo: All the parts of the monolith we need to split. And so we have a shop system for catalog and products. We have a CRM in place. We have story block for the content side. And whenever there is not-

Your hook can be different and authentic

Brady Snow: I’m going to call this curiosity hook, because it’s not like your typical ad. It’s not the animated motion graphics like a lot of these ads are doing, like I just talked about. It’s set up like a documentary, you’re about to hear from an expert. He’s at a work station, a work table. Looks like he’s knowledgeable. It’s the right setting to convey the feeling that we’re about to get some knowledge dropped on us. And I believe it showed his name in the beginning. Yep. Johannes De Zordo, software developer at Marco Polo. It’s kind of like documentary style, and he’s clearly about to drop some knowledge. And then how does he hook you? What’s the first thing he says?

Johannes De Zordo: Just all the parts of the monolith, we need to split.

Brady Snow: The parts of the monolith we need to split. What’s he talking about? That’s a abstract quote. It’s almost getting philosophical. You saw where he works, when his title came up, when his name came up. And so he’s clearly talking about something related to what he does, and it’s an abstract quote. It’s interesting. I’m curious, what is he talking about? What’s splitting the parts of the monolith? And then he goes on to say this.

Johannes De Zordo: And so we have a shop system for catalog and products. We have a CRM in place. We have story block for the [inaudible 00:07:47]-

Brady Snow: He lists all the features and benefits of their business, of their products. That’s curiosity hook as well. Here’s another style of curiosity hook, and these are my personal favorite. This also has one of my favorite actors in it, one of my favorite comedians of sort. I watch his show, Arrested Development. Great show. And also his podcast, Smartless, is great as well. Highly recommend it. But this is shot like a scene, like it’s a acted scene. Which to me is curiosity because… Well, you’ll see. Here we go.

Speaker 5: Now that we have our commerce platform in the room, let’s talk about headless commerce.

Speaker 6: Learn it.

Speaker 7: We’ve got to make a change.

Speaker 6: No. No! No, no, no, no. No! Nooo!

Speaker 5: Always hearing no from your legacy tech, switch to Commercetools.

Brady Snow: It’s curiosity based to me.

Speaker 5: Now that we have our commerce platform-

Brady Snow: She says, “Now that we have our commerce platform in the room,” and then you see him. It’s Will Arnett.

Speaker 5: … in the room. Let’s talk about headless commerce.

Brady Snow: Let’s talk about headless commerce. What are they going to say about it? What’s going to happen? This looks like it’s a funny scene that’s set up here. I want to keep watching. I’m curious to see what happens next. It’s a good short ad. Funny. I love the acted scenes that are scripted like that. It’s fun. You don’t need a famous person to do it, you can shoot this with your team. Sometimes that can be a good team building exercise. If anyone is comfortable being on camera, wants to try it out. You can just make something real simple and fun like that. Have fun with it. Justin Sardi and I have done some ads like that, it’s been fun time. That was three different styles of curiosity hook, so you can see the breadth of how much you can do with one type of hook.

Create different hooks to capture different personalities in your audience. Image by  Quang Nguyen Vinh, license under Pexels.
Create different hooks to capture different personalities in your audience. Image by  Quang Nguyen Vinh, license under Pexels.

Capture your audience’s attention with different hooks

There’s just a lot you can do, but it’s all about grabbing their attention with something that’s going to make them curious to keep watching. Think about that when you’re creating your ads for your scripts. We do recommend, at TubeSift, doing multiple hooks on your ads. You can capture different kinds of personalities that way. Because there might be multiple types of people in your niche that have different personalities, different ways of thinking, different things appeal to them. Testing different hooks is always good, and then you can always see which one performs best and then ramp up ad spend on that one. Or you can pause other campaigns that aren’t performing well.

It’s always good to have different hooks, which is why I’m showing you all the hooks that we covered on the top five hooks video. The next hook is, I will show you how to do something. We called it that. It’s, I will show you how to… You basically make a claim showing the viewer that they’re going to get to see something or how something is done, learn a new scale or strategy, or a new method for accomplishing a certain goal. Here’s a couple that I found.

Speaker 8: Hey, check it out. Do you know how we scale from here from zero to $1.5 million?

Capture your audience by giving the solution to a problem your audience is having.
Capture your audience by giving the solution to a problem your audience is having.

The “How to” hook

Brady Snow: Do you know how we scale from zero to 1.5 million? This is a like a selfie style ad. Shot on a cell phone, guaranteed. They zoom in on his computer screen, he points to it. He says, “Do you know how we scale?” He doesn’t say I’m going to show you how to right away. Let’s keep watching. But he says, “Do you know how we do this?” It peaks your interest right away because you’re going to want to know how he does this. Let’s keep watching.

Speaker 8: In just a little bit over the months from zero, right? Like new product, new funnel. And we scaling that from zero to seven figures. So if you want to copy the exact scaling framework we are using to scale products just like that for your own e-commerce or job shipping business, then just apply for a call with-

Brady Snow: He said, “If you want to follow our exact framework that we’re using to do this, just apply for a call.” Book a call. So he’s saying, I’ll show you how to do this. I’m going to show you our exact strategy that we use to scale this much. I will show you how to, great hook. Because especially with business, someone’s trying to accomplish something. If you’re doing a business to business sales or something, or some kind of e-commerce too, it’s going to work great. People want to solve problems in their lives that they have, and if you can tell them an easier way to do it, show them an easier way to do it, give them results. They’re going to keep watching your ad. They’re going to click. They’re going to convert. So that is a, I will show you how to ad.

Start your hook with good questions so your audience watches the ad looking for the answer.
Start your hook with good questions so your audience watches the ad looking for the answer. 

Open-loop hook

The next one that we have, the next type of hook is an open loop ad. It’s like curiosity, but I think you go a step further as you open a topic of discussion. Or something that matters to your ideal audience that they’re going to be concerned about for a long duration of time. Right? It’s what they do in life is work on this problem, solve this problem, dominate this problem. So opening with, let’s look at a couple examples.

Speaker 9: Do you sell online? Have you considered getting your own e-commerce website? Creating an e-commerce website on QShop is so easy.

Brady Snow: Do you sell online? It opens a loop. It’s like, oh yeah, I sell online. What else are you going to say? And it’s like saying, have you considered-

Speaker 9: … getting your own e-commerce web-

Brady Snow: Getting your own e-commerce website? Oh, yeah. I’ve considered that. The loop’s open now because now I’m like, yeah, I want to keep going with this discussion. I am considering all these things. What have you got to tell me?

Speaker 9: Creating an e-commerce website on QShop is so easy.

Brady Snow: Creating an e-commerce website on QShop is so easy.

Speaker 9: You don’t need to have-

Brady Snow: You don’t need to have C++. They got you there, you’re watching long. I do not like the narrated robot thing, so many ads are doing that these days. And I’m like, just give us a speaker, let’s have real intonation in our voices. But it works. Sometimes you can save budget if you don’t want to pay someone to narrate. But also, if you’re okay being on camera, you can just narrate it yourself too. I don’t like the robot voice, but they work, and it’s convenient for some people. So if that’s your thing, not hating, but it’s just a personal preference of mine. That was an example of an open loop. I think I got one more open loop ad for you here. This one is from Wix.

Speaker 10: If you want to sell online, make sure you stand out. Go to-

Brady Snow: If you want to sell online, make sure you stand out. That opens a loop. Because you’re like, oh, yeah, I want to sell online. Oh, yeah, you’re right. I do got to stand out. That’s really important. Otherwise, I’m not going to sell anything. But this is engaging ad. We got music, we got animated motion graphics and stuff. Okay, how do I stand out online? I’m going to keep watching.

Speaker 10: … e-commerce and create a professional online store that will grab-

Focus on your prospect's pain points and how you can solve them.
Focus on your prospect’s pain points and how you can solve them.

Pain point hook

Brady Snow: Use Wix e-commerce because you can create a professional store that way. That is an open loop hook. All right, the next type of hook is pain points. Speaking to someone’s pain points. This is a very effective one. This is straight out of the marketing playbook from the 1950s. It still works online today. Speak to your customer’s pain points. Let’s watch a couple examples.

Say hello to 24/7 customer support. Awesome. Yeah, that has been a pain point for me as someone who works in e-commerce. The platform that I sell online with, sometimes they don’t have 24/7 customer support. Say I’m in a different time zone. Say I need an answer right now, right away, something broke. I want 24/7 customer support. That’s a pain point. If that’s something you care about, you’re going to keep watching this ad and be interested in what they have to say. Let’s look at another example.

Speaker 11: Wait, wait, before you skip this out, I just got a quick question to ask you. Have you ever taken a training program before, or an online course? Didn’t bother to open it, or maybe you got halfway through it. At the end of the day, you didn’t get the result that you were looking for.

Brady Snow: You didn’t get the result you were looking for when you signed up for a course. I’m sure a lot of people have gone through this pain, this struggle. Okay. He spoke to something that has caused me struggle and pain before, it’s been a conflict for me. Clearly he knows something about this, I’m going to keep watching.

Speaker 11: Well, did you know that nine out of 10 people that buy a course or a program don’t end up actually doing anything with it?

Brady Snow: Then he goes on to educate you, that’s the next part of the ad. Those hooks are so quick and short, but they are the most important part. Especially on social media and especially on YouTube, just because people can skip, they want to see the next thing. But the good thing about YouTube is people go there with intent. They’re trying to learn something, so it’s a great place to advertise because they’re already there to be educated about something. So great place, great hook, YouTube.

Teach your audience how to do something in a new way.
Teach your audience how to do something in a new way.

Old versus new hook

The next type of hook is old verse new. We’re talking about an old way of doing something verse a new way of doing something. There’s a lot of ways you can phrase this in your hook and capture their attention that way. But usually if there’s a new way of doing something, someone is going to be curious about that. Because no one wants to be caught doing an outdated strategy, or using some outdated product. So if there’s a new and improved product, say it’s a new back massager, automatic back massager. It’s like, there’s old ones. It’s like, wait, there’s something better than this? I want to stay up with the times. Or if it’s a strategy too, like a online course or something. It’s like, oh, there’s a better way to sell online? I want to hear what you have to say. Let’s watch an example of that. This is Klaviyo, which is a email platform.

Speaker 12: Klaviyo, there’s a new way to grow your business.

Brady Snow: That’s it, he says one thing. Klaviyo, there’s a new way to grow your business. With Klaviyo, there’s a new way to grow your business. I want to keep watching because I want to know the new way to grow my business.

Speaker 12: … own terms. All your data-

Brady Snow: Oh, wait, let’s hear that again.

Speaker 12: … way to grow your business on your own terms.

Brady Snow: There’s a new way to grow your business on your own terms. That sounds pretty good to me, I like to grow my business on my own terms. And there’s a new way to do it, you’re telling me? What you got to say? I’m going to keep watching.

Speaker 12: All your data in one customer platform. Personalized email and SMS experiences in minutes.

Brady Snow: Going on to educate, showing all the benefits of their platform. I want to watch this again because I’ve heard good things about Klaviyo, honestly.

Speaker 12: Personalized email and SMS experiences in minutes, and all the tools you need to get smarter over time. Own your data, own your growth.

Brady Snow: Own your data, own your growth. That’s not the hook, that’s the end. But, awesome. That’s a great ad. Old verse new. If you need a hook and you want to try a new hook, or you’re struggling to come up with a new way to hook your audience, try old verse new one. It’s a great one.

Speak to your audience’s desire with a bold statement.
Speak to your audience’s desire with a bold statement.

The unbelievable statement hook

The next one… Let’s see, we’ve done 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. That was five. So that was five hooks. And the video I was referencing that Justin created was the top five YouTube ad hooks. But Justin threw in a bonus hook for us on that one, and this one takes a little bit of courage to make it happen. It is the bold, unbelievable statement. This is exactly as it sounds, you make a bold, outrageous claim that is almost unbelievable, but sounds like a legend. Like something that would be so great, like too good to be true. Think of it that way. Something that is too good to be true, but if it were true, that would be pretty awesome. Let’s look at the example that I found.

Imagine if you invested in Google, Tesla, or Bitcoin in, I think it said 2009. Back in the day when it would’ve been cheap to get in and then you would’ve had massive profits. And it says, “Here’s the next opportunity.”

Speaker 13: 30 million new people enter just because of the pandemic.

Speaker 14: Tai Lopez-

Brady Snow: It’s got a news flash style after that. That’s exciting, because what’s the next best thing? You’re getting little clues of it here, but what is it?

Speaker 14: So you guys just closed on Modell’s for about $3.7 million.

Speaker 15: We bought here one last month for 31 million.

Speaker 16: And Dress Barn did 740 million of revenue in the last 12 months.

Speaker 14: Radio Shack and Stein Mart-

Speaker 15: My business partner, Dr. Alex Mehr, he just sold this company Zoosk for $300 million in July.

Speaker 16: I have a list of 30, 40 major American brand-

Brady Snow: Anyway, you just saw me staring into the screen there because I was captivated. That took me so much past the hook. Awesome ad. I think it’s well-done. 500,353 views. Go into Video Ad Vault, let’s see where that ad was. I’m just going to do a search and find it. There it is. It’s this ad here. It was as easy for me to… When I found it, I clicked play, and that pulled up the YouTube video that I showed you, right? And sometimes there’s an ad before an ad. You want to look at the landing page again, you can click this, you see where he pushes people to. And then you can see the copy that they’re using. Look, a lot of this was from the ad itself.

They mention Dress Barn in that news flash sequence. Why invest? So this is about investing. Not necessarily e-commerce, but they’re talking about investing in e-commerce companies it looks like. That’s why it’s it came up in this search, because e-commerce is such a big theme in it. But that hook works in e-commerce too. The bold, outrageous claim. If you were doing, let’s go with the back massager, the automatic back massager example that I was using earlier. It’s like, if you want to have the best massage of your life, better than even a human being, use this product, try this product. That’s a bold, unbelievable claim. I’m going to tell you why. Use this product, I’m going to tell you why it’s going to be the best massage of your life. That would be great. That’d work on an ad. That’s that exact kind of hook.

Create an irresistible hook using Video Ad Vault

Anyway, those are the top five YouTube ad hooks, and with a bonus hook too. So technically the top six YouTube ad hooks. And that’s how you can use Video Ad Vault to apply this to e-commerce, helping you find effective hooks, come up with ideas. You can see what other people are doing, and then you can customize your own ad. You can try making hooks with all of these. If you want to use Video Ad Vault yourself and get this kind of deep level intel about all the ads running in your niche right now, you can check out You can pick up a monthly or an annual license. If you get the annual plan, you can get access to our exclusive coaching group where you can talk with our expert YouTube advertisers about any questions you have about your campaigns, how to use these tools to the maximum advantage, and all that. is that URL. There’s a link in the description. If you’re on the blog, you can just go to the homepage, we’ll have a link to that as well. Yeah, so that’s how you come up with e-commerce hooks for YouTube ads. Study what other people are doing. If Video Ad Vault is not for you right now, you can also just install the TubeSift bookmarker, which is a free Chrome extension that allows you to bookmark all the ads that you do see. So if you want to check out a video about how that works, we’ve got a link to that as well, somewhere on the screen here. Yeah, you can get that installed and then save all those ads for later, refer back to them when you want to, when it’s time to write your ads.

If you like a hook that worked well, you can go ahead and replicate that by referring back to it, and then writing your own hook specific to your offer. So that is how to create e-commerce hooks for YouTube ads. Feel free to play around in Video Ad Vault, or using the TubeSift bookmarker and saving all the ads that you see that you like. Thanks for tuning in. Please subscribe to this video if you like this content. We publish a video every week with YouTube ad strategies, case studies, and tips that you can use to dominate your niche. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time.

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