AIDA principle (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is an acronym for a principle coined by the American sales and advertisement legend Elias St. Elmo Lewis in the late 1880s. The principle consists of four key stages in the advertising process: obtaining the attention of a potential customer, evoking interest in a product or a service, developing the desire in the customer to have what is offered and inducing action which might lead towards the purchase. Nowadays the AIDA principle is not used as an exclusive marketing approach but it is still an important part of advertising.


An advertisement must grab the attention of a potential customer. This is best done by incorporating advertisement as a disruption. The disruption can be achieved through placing advertisement in unexpected places or situations – the so called guerrilla marketing. Moreover, a personalized approach tends to attract more attention from people. For example, the Coca-Cola Zero original campaign consisted of posters on bus stations and billboards with no notion that it was an advertisement (for anything). The posters were black and had peculiar red questions written on them. The campaign successfully attracted attention of massive amounts of people before they even knew what it was about.


It is essential to keep the potential customers interested in the advertisement. This means large amounts of dull text just are not going to cut it. An original, entertaining, brief, witty and informative approach should result in a positive reaction and building of the interest. Once again, personalizing the approach can do wonders in your quest. The above stated campaign formed the questions always incorporating the symbol or the word ‘zero’. When people started noticing that this was the only consistent thing (in addition to appearance) in the posters, they became interested to know what it represented.


Building up the desire to have or use a product/service in potential customers consist mostly of accumulation of positive arguments. In addition to the basic information provided to this point, now it time to bring forth numerous benefits of a product/service which have not been mentioned so far. The Coca Cola Zero campaign introduced the beverage and focused on advertising the fact that although it does not contain sugars (hence the zero in title) it tastes the same as the original beverage. This stimulated customers to give it a try!


Closing the deal is the last step of the AIDA principle. A percentage of customers has fallen off as each stage progressed. The people who arrive to the action stage are the ones which acquired a positive impression of the product/service which was advertised and the only thing which can now be done is offering them a sale. This is a stage where you win some and you lose some. However, if the work in the previous stages was done well, a solid ground is made for potential future transactions. Longevity of a business is always dependent on positive relations upheld with existing as well as potential customers.