AIDA and the digital content age

Posted on Apr 2, 2015
AIDA and the digital content age

Remember Aida? Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action?

When digital meant a Casio stopwatch on your Christmas list, advertising was the be all and end all. Everything was rooted in AIDA and advertising could open and close the deal by the time you got to the tagline. Of course, had it been well planned, sharply targeted and brilliantly crafted, it would get you to the shop, dealership, travel agent accordingly… slogan neatly embedded in your head and job done. Allegedly.

Despite being placed on the endangered list for years, advertising has adapted remarkably to the new digital content era.

The advertising-as-content age ask tougher questions of AIDA principles. Today’s campaign planners have unleashed advertising’s genuine power to capture hearts and minds with brilliant storytelling. So much so, the campaign becomes the dominant narrative, nurturing the audience into a much more informed and emotional debate on ‘is this a brand for me?’

The tag, once a blunt slogan, is now a dynamic and sleek call-to-engagement. No longer does it try to close the deal, it now wants to open our minds (and ultimately our hearts).

02Apr15-Hibernot-posterThe Landrover Freelander campaign #HIBERNOT demonstrated how a single idea could pack so much storytelling. Challenging consumers to avoid hibernating through winter, the campaign nestled the audience in wave of brand values, usage occasions, rational drivers and emotional dialogue. From brand films, to experiential stunts, digital and print take-overs… the message was beautifully simple and the experience dynamic and multilateral.

Scottish Widows is also fine benchmark in content-advertising challenging hard truths with human insights. Acutely aware that pensions are still a suffocating experience for 97.8% of the populous, “Change your life in an hour” presents life-stories and how big things have small beginnings. 20 years ago, a ‘changing lives’ creative strategy would be confined to wry catchphrases and witty insights … today we get to explore the human spirit.


Right now, the best campaigns are writing great narratives. They aren’t pushing audiences to close the deal at obvious and clumsy touch-points. They’re holding a living discourse, which grows with real credibility through on and offline space.

So does this new model still support the AIDA dogma and does it really matter? Die-hards could build a convincing argument, undoubtedly. Yet, perhaps most importantly, campaigns today are fluid and multilateral. Audiences provide the momentum to move ideas and build share-of-engagement. AIDA describes an era when slogans alone tried to ring the tills.

Posted by: Kingsley Roberts