AIDA aggressive and intrusive advertising. Does it work?

December 27, 2022

Table of Contents:

If we talk about advertising, we can say with a single thesis - any advertising works: and aggressive, and intrusive, and passive, and on the radio and on TV. "The "salt" is not at all in the presentation of the ad, not in the advertising format as a whole, but (primarily) in the target audience. The following material should not be seen as an "instruction manual", but rather as information for reflection. To begin with, let us remember the scheme by which many advertisers form advertising messages since 1898:


  • A - Attention
    Attention. It's simple: to grab the attention of the potential customer. Nothing has changed in 100 years.
  • I - Interest
    Interest. If your advertising message has aroused interest - then you're on the right track.
  • D - Desire
    Desire. Your advertising message has created a strong desire to "have" your product or service. This is already 90% of the case.
  • A - Action
    Action. If the recipient of your advertising message bought your product - the deal is closed. Advertising worked 100%.

Is this scheme as simple as it was proposed in 1898 by Elias St. Elmo Lewis? Or are there still nuances? What if your customer doesn't like your product/service after "Action"? This in 1898 there were no otzoviks and social networks - now every other "influencer" can be fervent to besmirch your reputation if he did not like something. Although social networks didn't exist in 1911 either, Arthur Frederick Sheldon added another letter to AIDA in his book "The Art of Selling":

  • S - Permanent Satisfaction
    Continued Satisfaction. Will the customer come back to you again? Actually, S is the progenitor of LTV (Lifetime Value).

To understand which of these letters applies to different audiences and types of advertising, let's first talk about how and who advertising works. First, let's break down what advertising is in terms of delivery.

Aggressive advertising

More often than not, we encounter aggressive advertising. This is probably one of the most popular formats for delivering advertising messages to the audience. Where can it be seen and heard? On radio, TV, video streaming, Google Network, in stores, on signs... just about anywhere. The advertising tools do not play a big role here, at the top of the pyramid is aggression.

How does it express itself?

Most often, this advertising is based on the closure of non-targeted needs*, appealing to emotions and the desire to "have" something that you do not yet have.

* Note from the author, who loves Egypt very much: In Egyptian-Arabic there is such a word - "baksheesh". Tourists and pampered locals in tourist areas use this word instead of the word "tip. In fact, the word "bakshish" has little to do with the meaning of the word "tip". The difference is this: the "tip" is what you pay for the service you received if you liked it, and the "bang" is what you pay for the service you didn't ask for (the pushy luggage delivery man, the room cleaner, the consultant at the hypermarket, etc.).

The main task of aggressive advertising is to play on feelings, to cause a spontaneous purchase, not justified rationally. And it works. But not for everyone.

The target audience for aggressive advertising:

  • Young people on parental support
  • Middle-income men and women who are prone to impulse buying
  • Men and women with high income who don't understand the product/service
  • Men and women with low income who are prone to spending credit but are not in debt
  • Men and women with emotional and mental problems: illness, loss, severe personal distress, depression, psychosis

This list can be expanded, but these are the main groups of people. Roughly they can be divided into three broad categories:

  1. People who are not yet or no longer able to take responsibility for their own finances.

    If they are "properly" influenced, they will buy anything because they don't feel the value of your product/service. The desire for something that will set them apart prevails. And it doesn't matter if it's their own money or credit. Often such people get into debt up to their ears in banks and then file for bankruptcy.

  2. People with high incomes, for whom these expenses are insignificant.

    For them, the cost of your product/service is insignificant. For example - they choose a gift without knowing the recipient's preferences. This category is the least vulnerable in terms of being harmed by the purchase of the advertised product or service. This category often buys certificates for: skydiving, paragliding, stone massage, etc.

  3. People who are in an "emotional hole".

    The most vulnerable category of people on whom aggressive advertising works most successfully. It can cause a feeling of need for a particular product/service, and the purchase itself is a burst of endorphin and other hormones of happiness, but it is short-lived. By the way, this category of people can also show good LTV, but it's too bad to take advantage of it.

* according to the author

What letters from AIDA are involved here: DA (Desire and Action).

First of all, the audience exposed to aggressive advertising, trying to close their personal problems by purchasing your product or service, with little consciousness in this decision. The main task of this kind of advertising - to cause desire and very quickly incline to action. The consequences are not important. LTV - in the second plan, in the first - profit.

This type of advertising is most often used by arbitrageurs traffic (people who sell other people's goods through "pads"), fly-by-night companies, cheaters and swindlers.

Compulsive advertising

Another interesting type of interaction and message delivery to the audience. This type of advertising does not cause (not aimed at this, but advertisers expect this) the sudden desire to buy a product or service, but it can cause it, if gradually affect the consciousness of the potential buyer. In today's reality, advertisers use a fairly extensive arsenal to deliver "compulsive" advertising:

  • surprise subscriptions (with discreet checkmarks - that you actually agreed to subscribe)
  • Push notifications in browsers and mobile apps
  • SMS newsletters
  • messaging in messengers: Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram

Communication channels the user is accustomed to, where advertising messages start "flying in", unusual for the user. What does the user do? Right! Most often - he ignores. What does the advertiser do? Right! He reports to the management about the effectiveness of advertising, showing not actual purchases, but clicks, engagement, views (the simplest KPIs).

One of the most typical examples of intrusive advertising is Google Network with the wrong targeting. To make it clear why the targeting is "wrong," let's look at this scenario:

  • A person is looking for a hair clipper of a particular model.
  • He visits several sites, including yours, looking for the right model.
  • Compares prices, delivery terms, service, warranty.
  • Looking through the addresses of stores ... in general, chooses.
  • Goes to the offline store and buys.

Attention - a question: how many months it takes to catch up with him advertising that he bought a clipper in your store, if he has already bought it in another?

There is no correct answer. It makes sense to set a different, adequate remarketing period for different product categories. The story described above is a real case of our employee. What conclusions can be drawn?

  • It is worth adequately assessing how long it usually takes your customers to make a purchasing decision.
  • Correctly set up the duration of remarketing. Otherwise you will get a low CTR (a lot of displays of ads, but no one clicks on them - because they don't need it any more).

Another channel for intrusive advertising - these are messengers. Where without them! Now every first person sits in some kind of messenger, and every first advertiser wants to use this channel for their advertising. And, it would seem, in a market of a huge number of proposals from companies / services / freelancers to organize messaging on messengers - well, only a fool would not use them! Unfortunately, the reality is that only the "stupid" use it. What is the problem?

The problem is extremely banal - messengers are not used by consumers to communicate with brands. Perhaps the more or less adequate exceptions - is Viber, which for several years now has been developing a platform for communication between clients and brands, and Telegram (with a very strong stretch) with its channels and bots.

Messengers are used by the average person to: interact with colleagues, exchange messages with relatives, friends, classmates, etc. If you "suddenly and unexpectedly" start pouring advertising messages into this channel - it will cause nothing but annoyance.

And while Viber has really adequately organized a platform for communication between brands and customers, Telegram only offers channels and bots. In general, also a good tool, the main thing is that the messages come at the initiative of the customer, without mailings.

For example, in New York, there are several restaurants (let's not name them, we've been there - we know) that offer their Telegram bots to reserve a table, call a waiter, and place an order - convenient, right? But if you only take advantage of it once, after a few days you will find out about changes in the restaurant's work schedule, repairs in one of the rooms, schedules for the opening of bridges, repair of neighboring streets, difficulties in getting to the restaurant, etc. What is the point of all this?

On the one hand it is clear - marketers are trying as much as possible to occupy the attention of their "former" visitors (in case he will come again), to report on the effectiveness of the advertising channel (views), but on the other hand - it is unclear why you need to know about the repairs in the hall, if you do not go to this restaurant every day, and went with friends once for dinner? Such a mailing can have the opposite effect - irritation. And the customer will not come back at all.

Intrusive advertising - works on very short time interval. When there is still a chance to "entice" the client to your side. Often remarketing also includes aggressive advertising. Advertisers should adequately evaluate not only the timing of such advertising, but also the tools - otherwise you can get quite the opposite effect for the same money: spend a lot, get nothing.

Target Audience:

No limits. Intrusive advertising, whether it be Google Network, messages in messengers, mailings - suitable for any client, both potential and current. The main issue is its effectiveness. You either have to predict it or track it.

If you yourself do not like intrusive advertising - do not resort to this method. Because the result is probably you (as an advertiser) will not be satisfied. If you really want to - go back to the point of "aggressive advertising. But of course, everything depends on your target audience.


The most unpopular type of advertising, but perhaps the most human. This advertisement does not try to influence emotions. The main purpose - to convey the possibility of solving the problem of the potential consumer with your company / your product. What are the difficulties with this advertising format:

  • Gathering a primary audience

    If we consider the tools of primary customer engagement - advertisers who use a "neutral" approach face the problem of setting a correct, adequate targeting: to select from the general mass of the audience only those people who are really interested in the product / service.

  • Remarketing/retargeting

    "Neutral" advertisers are more careful in their choice of "cannon to shoot at sparrows," even more likely to not use it, but to better set up targeting in terms of both duration of engagement and variety of advertising creatives. It's more expensive.

  • Messengers and newsletters

    Advertisers in the "neutral" group try not to violate the personal space of the potential buyer. Even if you really want to - you have to do it carefully. Don't spam with sudden newsletters, always offer to unsubscribe (and if the user unsubscribes - really unsubscribe him from the newsletter), don't spam in messengers.

  • Respect

    Perhaps the most correct word to describe "neutral" advertisers is "respect" for the potential customer.

Did it seem like "neutral" advertisers and channels don't exist? Here are tips for "neutral" advertising, in terms of potential customer perception:

  • "Drop basket" with remarketing is not a week. Remind people who have put items in your online store in their cart but haven't paid. Offer a discount if your CMS and CRM allow it.
  • Standard remarketing with a limited "shelf life". No need to catch up with them for months, only a KPI screw up.
  • There can be many ideas, but the main goal: stay "neutral", do not be intrusive - this will significantly increase your chances of a longer client LTV.

Target Audience

Any potential and existing customers. Neutral advertising, if used as an unobtrusive reminder of yourself, can be used in different types of customer contact: mailings, calls, messengers. The key is not to be obtrusive.


Sensory advertising affects our senses. Most often there are two: sight and hearing. The most popular is sight, of course. In second place is hearing. Unfortunately, advertising for kinesthetic people (except for promoters in shopping malls) has not yet been invented.

This kind of advertising was hard to get out of the "aggressive" section, but nevertheless it does deserve its own section.

What kind of ads are these?

  • "Are you still boiling? .... " (c) Powder
  • "Hands-......... " (c) IM
  • "Always-........." (c) Beverage
  • "Melts in your mouth, . . ...." (c) Chocolate
  • "Anywhere ....... ......" (c) Chocolate
  • "For girls it's ....., it's like honey for bees" (c) IM (I don't even want to comment)
  • "Heels, makeup, ........ .... .. . . ." (c) Brand of intimate hygiene products for women
  • "Don't slow down - ......" (c) chocolate
  • "And you pour, ......." (c) juice
  • "Your Pussy ........................." (c) cat food
  • "I'm from Germany Arrive - ......." (c) cough medicine
  • "Pay attention - ............." (c) household appliances

Probably at least some of the brands mentioned above - you remembered. What's the "salt" in it? It's simple - in a very hard imprinting of the audio row in the mind, which forms a strong association with the brand. Taking into account the video sequence that accompanies this advertisement, the effect reaches its climax.

According to statistics cited in Susan Hagen's article "The Mind's Eye" it is stated that almost 50% of our brain is more receptive to "visual" information.

That is, the brain of a healthy person is designed in such a way that visual information is the main information for him, and this is predictable and logical. It is not for nothing that our eye has been evolving for millions of years. And if you add the "sticking" audio row - BINGO! Advertising will cover the entire CA, except for the kinesthetics - they need to touch.

In fact, the most popular method of advertising influence on people for the last 50-60 years is exactly "sensory", affecting both "seeing" and "hearing" at the same time. Such a tandem of influence allows you to very clearly and firmly fix ("stick") the association in the human brain, and if you also pick up a memorable soundtrack, uffffffff.

Target audience:

  • All people, audial and visual, works either way.

Let's talk about AIDAs

The S in AIDA is a very difficult letter. First of all, it was not there in the beginning. But if it wasn't there, how did it become one of the most important letters for marketers?

S - Permanent Satisfaction.

If you translate it literally - this letter has to mean something about the constant satisfaction of the client. That is, he must use your services continuously? Long enough? Forever? How much compared to other clients?

All of these questions have spawned a whole new criterion for evaluating customers - LTV.

LTV - Lifetime Value.

Literally translated: how much money a particular customer has brought to your business.

This metric does not affect businesses with "one-time" sales to the end consumer - for example, sofas, tables, bathroom tile. This parameter was originally derived from SAAS services with the payment format as a subscription.

By the way, have you noticed that in the last 10 years, every self-respecting service has started to move away from one-time payments and switch customers to a subscription-based payment format? Because this way there is more LTV. And for the end consumer, if he's not Jack Sparrow, the question is whether to pay for a subscription at a LARGE cost, or to pay for the entire product at a LARGE cost? The end consumer most often chooses a subscription (remember micro-transactions in the game industry, right?).

Anyway, as much as the average marketer would love to cram the letter S into the AIDA acronym, it's impossible for one simple reason:

    • AID is what happens BEFORE the purchase.
    • A is the purchase itself.
    • S is the service and customer care, which, if dissatisfied, can cancel the subscription/terminate the contract.

That is, the letter S is on a different plane, after the sale, and it involves completely different algorithms of customer retention, not related to the scheme AIDA. But that's another story.

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