An old woman

Although it is hardly ever mentioned in the usual two-day marketing seminars, AIDA remains to this day one of the most effective theoretical models of advertising operation in existence, both in its original version and in some of its endless newer variants.

AIDA was created back in 1898 by Elmo Lewis, who theorized that in order to have an effective sales pitch, one must:

1) Attract the ATTENTION of the consumer. This can be done in several ways, such as by placing advertisements in unconventional situations or places (what we would call Guerrilla Marketing today).

2) arouse his INTEREST in the product we are advertising. A good example might be Wendy's famous "Where's the beef?" ad campaign, all about the fact that the well-known fast food chain's burgers contained more beef than those of its competitors.

3) Stimulate his DESIRE to own or consume it by listing uniquefeatures and benefits (features and benefits) of the product.

4) Converge this desire into concreteACTION, which these days might be to visit a website or take advantage of exclusive promotions or free trials of a product.

Does simplicity mean strength?

As seems clear, AIDA is one among many linear models based entirely on the assumption that consumers take actions based on thoughts and emotional states.

The steps described above are called "hierarchical" and involve a series of steps taken by the consumer as he or she makes his or her purchasing choices. In other words, AIDA is a theoretical description of the four steps a customer goes through before purchasing a good.

Let's take an example.

When we succeed in attracting the attention of a potential buyer, it means that we have led him or her to wonder what the advertised product or service is (he or she may have seen a flyer and be intent on wondering what it is about).

If his interest is also piqued, then we can be reasonably certain that what we want to sell him will appeal to him (perhaps the flyer in question advertises a new bar in his area that is comfortable and welcoming).

Subsequently, the person will come to desire the good that is the subject of the advertisement, and this will theoretically lead him or her to action (which, in our example, might consist of going to the bar, sitting down, and ordering one's favorite drink).

Summing up, according to the AIDA model, advertising is a kind of force with the purpose of inducing people to take an action through several steps, all of which are necessary for the advertising message to take effect and achieve its purpose.

An extremely simple model that, precisely because of its basic structure, continues to have some success more than 130 years after its theorization.