Aristotle, AIDA, Advertising and Pursuasion.

So, I haven't blogged in a long long while. I doubt that anyone still reads this (apart from me) although the numbers tell a different story. Anyway one of the reasons I started blogging apart from fame seeking and the suspect satisfaction I get when somebody actually disagrees with me is that I surprisingly do want to keep some sort of a record of random doodles in my head. Here is one about pursuasion. Looking into various theories about communication I found that in a world where we are hyperconnected and people find out stuff from their mates first instead of a t.v. ad we still seem to be basing the entire modern marketing industry on ancient models of communication. Take AIDA a model based on attention, interest, desire and action that influence how advertising is concieved and evaluated with various metrics such as awarness, recall, consideration are somehow justified by things like AIDA. I find the whole thing a bit suspect. AIDA was developed by E St. Elmo Lewis in guess when???....1898. And it was a model based on personal selling not mass communication. Since the 70's we've been slaves to Millward Browns awarness index and other metrics that are supposedly what we are trying to achieve with marketing and advertising. Take desire (the D in AIDA) is about filling a brand or a product with emotional meaning and appeal. All the usual lovely ad stuff. However, I was wondering since I was contemplating how old these things are why not go really old. Aristotle seems to have had a better version that I like. Aristotle's model of persuasion was about three simple things you need to have in order to pursuade. Ethos, Pathos & Logos. Ethos is based on the reputation and the credibility of the speaker. Pathos is based on appealing to the emotions of the audience via appealing to their values, speaking to their goals and challenging or re-inforcing their beliefs. Logos is about having evidence and reason to back up the case you are making. Now if Aristotle was alive today he may very well agree that brands convey Pathos through advertising and Logos through product and experience. However, when it comes to the question of Ethos he will probably go 'mmmm'.


Thomas said...

Interesting thought.
Wouldn't truthful CSR and PR as well as an open conversational approach to communication fit perfectly for Pathos?

Thomas said...

Ethos of course.