The New A.I.D.A. – Updating The Process For Creating Ads

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Chalkboard racecar 600px

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action… in 1898, Elias St. Elmo Lewis provided copywriters with a 4-step formula for developing advertising.

  1. Attract Attention
  2. Maintain Interest
  3. Create Desire
  4. Move To Action

And while you might argue—and I might not disagree with you—that advertising formulas run the danger of producing predictable, formulaic advertising, how can you argue that, for more than a century, St. Elmo Lewis’ formula has helped more professionals market more goods and services that any other process?

It’s time for a change.

We’ve hurtled headlong into an era of rapid distraction. Our attention muscles have atrophied, and we’re more skeptical than ever. A few weeks back, I quite inadvertently articulated a new process that our company has been using intuitively for years to get the point and back it up more quickly.

  1. Relevance
  2. Credibility
  3. Social Proof
  4. Call To Action
  5. Relevance

I really, really, really want to call it the Racecar Process… but it doesn’t quite exactly fit. This process works for ads, landing pages, sales videos, and more. Let me quickly explain it to you…

Unless you’re talking to me about what matters to me (RELEVANCE) right out of the gate, you’ve lost me because there are way too many distractions in my world. You have to immediately open with why and how does this affect the consumer.

Then I have to believe you (CREDIBILITY). Why are you the best person for this product or service?

Then I want to know who else has benefited from this (SOCIAL PROOF). Give me testimonials or reviews from people just like me whose problem—my problem—you’ve solved.

Then, what is it you want me to do now (CALL TO ACTION)? Okay you’ve got me. You’ve talked to me about what I understand, you explained why you can do it, you told me who else has benefited from it, now you have to tell me what it is specifically you want me to do next.

Then you have to come full circle (RELEVANCE)… back to me imagining myself as having benefited from this…

Examples To Come

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll share examples of how this process has helped us. I hope you find it helpful, too.

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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  • NicSkovgaard

    Ok, so I know it maybe messing up the great advice but is Relevance,
    Attention, Credibility, Examples, Call To Action, Assurance, Relevance
    really out of the question? The ‘RACECAR’ method is pretty catchy…