Communication Theory: AIDA Model

This is working towards objective 1.

Whilst researching the Shannon-Weaver Communication Model, I came across the AIDA Model which I feel may be more relevant contextually to my working research question and practice.

“The phrase AIDA, in marketing communication was coined by American advertising and sales pioneer Elias. St. Elmo Lewis in the late 1800s. The model talks about the different phases through which a consumer goes before going to buy a product or service.” This can be seen in present day through the use of marketing and design-led strategies within the consumer industry, such as the fashion and beauty industries in relation to my practice, especially in regards to social media and magazine advertising.

AIDA, an acronym, stands for the following: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. It is said that these are the four stages which a consumer will pass through whilst engaging with a piece of communication. Lewis notes that the primary purpose of advertising is to capture the consumers attention, spark interest on the product at hand building up a desire to own such product, leading to action in the way of a purchase. However, this is also applicable to magazines for instance and the ad campaigns filling the pages, or the cover alone for example, attracting the consumer through a headline or cover model, gaining interest through the copywriting and content leading for a desirable product to purchase leading to further content and advertisements inside triggering the same process, allowing for more actions to be taken, and more products to be purchased. This can also be looked at from the point of social media as recently researched and worked on throughly Instagram project. By uploading images this can cause attention and interest from followers or communities, leading to a desire to buy into a new product, or change ones appearance for example, leading to an end-action as a result of the initial ‘image’ or ‘advert’.

The AIDA Model is something which I would like to consider for my Social Media Wellbeing Campaign project which I am hoping to begin experimenting with this week, in order to create effective ideas for an advertising campaign.

This process has been summarised below (source):

  • Attention: Attention is usually grabbed by the use of image, color, layout, typography, size, celebrity, model etc
  • Interest: Once attention is grabbed, it’s necessary to create interest in the viewers mind so that they will read more about the brand being advertised. By the use of an attractive sub head, interest can be invoked
  • Desire: The element of desire is usually created by the use of body copy where you write in detail about the necessity of buying the brand, thereby explaining the features of the brand, facts and figures
  • Action: Towards the end, the contact information of the brand will be given where they expect the viewers to take action. It can be in the form of shop address or website address for example.

An example has also been taken from the Communication Theory website to show how this often works in direct relation to a visual in an advertising campaign context, opposed to in a social media context as also discussed above.


The acronym AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. These are the four stages that a consumer goes through when watching or viewing an advertisement.


This can also be seen in a campaign spread taken from Vogue Magazine (source):

  • Attention: Photograph
  • Interest: Headline
  • Desire: Subhead
  • Action: Product Names, Prices and Contact (store/website)


Unknown. (2014). AIDA Model. Available: Last accessed 6th November 2016.
Vogue Magazine. (2011). Image. Available: Last accessed 6th November 2016.