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The same sense is expressed by words such as "craving". When a person desires something or someone, their sense of longing is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of the item or person, and they want to take actions to obtain their goal. The motivational aspect of desire has long been noted by philosophers (for example, stating that human desire is the fundamental motivation of all human action) as well as by scientists (see motivational salience).
Marketing and advertising companies have used psychological research on how desire is stimulated to find more effective ways to induce consumers into buying a given product or service. While some advertising attempts to give buyers a sense of lack or wanting, other types of advertising create desire associating the product with desirable attributes, by showing either a celebrity or a model with the product.
Desire plays a key role in art. The theme of desire is at the core of romance novels, which often create drama by showing cases where human desire is impeded by social conventions, class, or cultural barriers. The theme of desire is also used in other literary genres, such as Gothic novels (e.g., Dracula by Bram Stoker, in which desire is mingled with fear and dread). Poets ranging from Homer to Toni Morrison have dealt with the theme of desire in their work. Just as desire is central to the written fiction genre of romance, it is the central theme of melodrama films, which use plots that appeal to the heightened emotions of the audience by showing "crises of human emotion, failed romance or friendship", in which desire is thwarted or unrequited.