Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Advertising Theories and Models


AIDA was created by Strong in 1925 and Elma Lewis in 1900 and it is a behavioural model that has as purpose to make sure that an advertisement raise awareness, stimulate interest, and leads the customer to desire and eventually action (Hackley, 2005). 

The model is seen as a highly persuasive and is said to often unconsciously affect our thinking (Butterfield, 1997). 

With the AIDA model Strong suggests that for an advertisement to be effective it has to be one that: 

1. Commands Attention
 2. Leads to Interest in the product 
3. And thence to Desire to own or use the product 
4. and then finally leads to Action (Mackay, 2005) 

For the advertisement to contribute to success it has to be designed so that the customer passes through all these four phases, with all being equally important. The model implies that advertising should inject memorable and believable messages that will make costumers triggered to act in a certain way (Brierley, 2002).

 The model may be seen by many as the strongest advertising theory, but has along with the others been criticised by different sections of the advertising community. They claim that there is no evidence that customers behave in this rational, linear way. They mean that mass media advertising in general fail to stimulate desire or action. The model ignores the role of context, environment and mediation in influencing the effectiveness of the advertisement. The advertising world has because of this lately turned into focus more on the two main behavioural responses: awareness and interest. They mean that all four phases are not equally important and to be successful the advertiser has to look further into the behavioural phases (Brierley, 2002).

 Another criticism that the model has met is that it represents only high-involvement purchases. According to AIDA customers always goes through this rational process when buying products, but many says that purchases more often are spontaneous (Hackley, 2005).

 In 1961 there were two new models published, the DAGMAR theory (Belch & Belch, 1995) and Lavidge and Steinerís hierarchy of effects model (Lavidge & Steiner, 1961). 


Russell Colley created DAGMAR when he prepared a report for the Association of National Advertisers. This report was entitled Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results, shortened down to DAGMAR, and thereof the name, (Belch & Belch, 1995) and was later in 1969 published as a book with the same title (Mackay, 2005).

 DAGMAR was created to encourage measurable objectives for each stage of the communication (Smith & Taylor, 2002) and does not deal purely with the message (Mackay 2005). DAGMAR focuses on the levels of understanding that a customer must have for the organisation and on how to measure the results of an advertising campaign (Belch & Belch, 1995). 

The main conclusions on the DAGMAR theory were expressed in the following quotation: ìAll commercial communications that weigh on the ultimate objective of a sale must carry a prospect through four levels of understanding.

1. The prospect must first be aware of the existence of a brand or organisation 
2. He must have a comprehension of what the product is and what it will do for him 
3. He must arrive at a mental suspicion or conviction to buy the product 
4. Finally he must stir himself to action.î (Mackay, 2005, p.25-26) (See Figure 6)

The communication has to be specific and measurable, and is therefore based on a hierarchical model containing the four stages set out above in the quotation (Mackay, 2005).

 The DAGMAR approach has had a huge influence on the how to set objectives in the advertising planning process and many planners use this model as their base. However, just as the other approaches within advertising, DAGMAR has been met with critique. One of the major criticisms towards DAGMAR is on its reliance on the ëhierarchy-of-effects theoryí, just as with AIDA. Customers do not always pass through the stages in a linear way. Another criticism made towards the DAGMAR approach is that it focuses too much on strategies. Many creative people within advertising are looking for the great unique idea that can result in a successful campaign and feels that the DAGMAR approach is too concerned with quantitative measurements on the campaign (Belch & Belch, 1995). 

Lavidge & Steiners Hierarchy-of-effects model

This model was published during the same period as DAGMAR. The model was named the hierarchy-of-effects model which is the same name as some authors used on the foundation theory,and will therefore go under the name, Lavidge & Steiners Hierarchy-of-effects model in this study. 

According to this model customers do not switch from being completely uninterested to become convinced to buy the product in one step. Lavidge and Steiners Hierarchy-of-effects model is created to show the process, or steps, that an advertiser assumes that customers pass through in the actual purchase process (Barry & Howard, 1990). The model is based on seven steps, which as with the other models must be completed in a linear way.

The big difference between this model and the others is not only the steps, but also the view on how to pass them. Lavidge and Steiner (1961) write that the steps has to be completed in a linear way, but ìa potential purchaser sometimes may move up several steps simultaneously (Lavidge & Steiner, 1961, p. 60) which is supported by Munoz (2002) who writes that normally ultimate customers do not switch directly from being interested to become convinced buyers.  

Lavidge and Steiner identify the seven steps in the following order: 

1. Close to purchasing, but still a long way from the cash register, are those who are merely aware of its existence.
2. Up a step are prospects who know what the product has to offer. 
3. Still closer to purchasing are those who have favourable attitudes toward the product ñ those who like the product. 
4. Those whose favourable attitudes have developed to the point of preference over all other possibilities are up still another step. 
5. Even closer to purchasing are customers who couple preference with a desire to buy and the conviction that the purchase would be wise. 
6. Finally, of course, is the step which translates this attitude into actual purchase. (Lavidge & Steiner , 1961, p. 59)

Lavidge and Steiner (1961) also wrote, in their article, that they are fully aware of the impulsive purchases that customers can make, but they mean that for higher economical goods these steps are essential for the advertiser to include. 

This model also has as a premise that advertising occurs over a period of time, and may not lead to immediate response and purchase. It is rather a series of effects that has to occur, with each step fulfilled on the way towards the next stage (Lavidge & Steiner, 1961) 

Behind this model is according to Belch & Belch (1998) the premises that ìadvertising effects occur over time and advertising communication may not lead to immediate behavioural response or purchase, but rather, consumers must fulfil each step before (s)he can move to the next stage in the hierarchyî (Belch and Belch 1998, p. 146). 

As with the former models discussed, this model has also been criticised. The criticism on Lavidge & Steiners model is very similar to the one made on DAGMAR and AIDA. There is still no evidence on the fact that awareness of a products leads to purchase, and the steps are still unclear.

 Criticism has also been made on each individual step in the model. Critics do not think that the model explains how the customers will go from one step to another and to point out the steps without explaining them further is not seen as enough (Palda, 1966). 

Other Models