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Using AIDA to analyse an advert for a power bar.

Free essay example:


AIDA stands for:

A: Attention. The advertiser must grab the viewer’s attention. He wants consumers to read his advert and pay attention to the product he wants them to buy.

I: Interest. The advert must hold the viewer’s interest and must create and sustain the viewer’s interest. This obviously links with the A, for attention.

D: Desire. The advertiser must play on the viewer’s desires or what the viewer wants. For example, the advertiser may urge the viewer to “Buy one, get one free”, playing on the viewer’s desire to get a good bargain, or “Phone now for a free quote”, which appeals to the same desire to get something for nothing.

A: Action. The advertiser wants to be sure that the consumer will go out and buy the product that has been advertised.

Let us use our AIDA approach to analyse this advertisement.


A: Attention

When we see the advertisement, our eyes fall immediately on the man. Our attention is focused on the man because he is placed in the middle of the page; also he is in silhouette which makes him seem interesting.

Our attention is also grabbed by the huge weights he has above his head. These weights look ridiculously large and heavy for him.

Then our eyes go down to the energy bar and the advertiser has our attention focused on the product which is being sold: Power. We also now understand why the weights are so big!

I: Interest

With interest, we now examine the advert more closely. We read the headline. It is in bold to grab the readers’ attention and to hold our interest. It is also in the form of a rhetorical question, again to grab our attention and to hold our interest. We will answer that question in our heads. Yes, of course we need the power to do more!

A busy housewife never has enough seconds in the day to administer everything she is in charge of: children (fetching and carrying, supervising homework), housework (cleaning, dusting, tidying, washing, washing up dirty dishes), animals (feeding, nursing, taking to the vet), the property (garden, swimming pool, fences and gates, organising stove and fridge repairs), her husband’s affairs (being a hostess and a loving wife), financial matters (paying the bills, sorting out the tax), etc. And that’s just one kind of person! What about a business man or a teacher or a student? They all need the power to do more. Therefore, this rhetorical question will evoke a response in any number of people of different ages and race groups and careers. Our interest is definitely roused.

D: Desire

So is our desire! We all have the desire to do more, to achieve more than we can, to cram our activities into the short hours we are given each day. The idea that we can be given – easily and simply – more power to do all those things we want to do and need to do and have to do is a wonderful one. We will all respond by looking closely at the advert to see HOW this can be achieved.

The answer is: “The energy bar with the most power”. We feel: wow! All we have to do is eat at least one of these energy bars and we shall have a whole lot more power to get on with our lives. This is a very tempting thought – no drugs, no expensive or illegal chemicals, just an energy bar. At this point, we look even more closely at the product. The use of colour (red

especially) suggests power and heat. The energy bar is inflated to create the image of size and weight. The inflation also suggests the power that is bursting to come out of the bar.

This rather exaggerated idea (it is, after all, just an energy bar) is continued in the picture of the man and his weights, which we now look at again: there is no way that this man can lift those weights. The advertiser has deliberately used hyperbole in the picture and in the language. This creates a light-hearted atmosphere, which appeals to the viewer. The slogan is definitely hyperbolic: “The energy bar with the most power”. The advertiser is laughing a little at himself and we, the viewers, appreciate this. Many advertisers seem to take themselves and their products far too seriously. It is pleasant and attractive to find one who is prepared to mock himself and his claims a little. Rather than to detract from the claims and the impact of the advert, this technique serves to win our respect. Notice the asterisk. It is used to draw the viewer’s attention further. The asterisk draws our eye to where more information is given to the consumer: the energy bar is available in white chocolate as well.

A: Action

By now, we are probably salivating for this energy bar with its white chocolate. We shall be very tempted to go out and buy one. In this case, the advertiser has achieved his aim, which is to prompt the viewer to action. All his techniques and skill are worthless if the viewer does not take action, and the action demanded by this advert is to BUY.

There are other techniques that you can be tested on in a question about advertising. The most important one is EMOTIVE LANGUAGE. Emotive language either Shows the emotion or feeling of the writer


Creates an emotion or feeling in the audience An advertiser must make use of emotive language to work on the feelings of the viewer.

In this advert, emotive words include: “need”, “power”, “more”, “energy” and “chocolate”. Each one of these words is intended to arouse a feeling or feelings in the viewer. For example, “need” plays on the idea of stress in people’s lives. We live at a very fast pace and we often feel inadequate. It is not that this energy bar would be an indulgence, the advertiser implies. No, indeed, we “need” more energy and power. More power is essential because so much is demanded of us.

In fact, the advertiser is helping us or doing us a favour by providing the means for us to meet those needs!

Notice that the advertiser has used white space for effect. Our attention is grabbed because the man and his weights are in colour and because there is nothing else surrounding him (white space). Our interest is held as we look at the details the advertiser has provided within that white space. The space of the advert is not filled with detail or cluttered with a great deal of writing. Instead, there is white space to allow our eye to focus on the details the advertiser HAS provided: the headline, the slogan, the picture and the energy bar itself.


Find an example of an advertisement in one of the print media (newspaper, flyer, magazine, poster). Analyse it according to the AIDA approach.


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