Behind Super Bowl Commercials – AIDA Model and Advertisement



Hello all, it is Super Bowl Sunday! With football in mind, I will try to combine my topic with something Super Bowl related, and I hope you will enjoy it.

Let’s start with some numbers:

Through 11 weeks of this (NFL) season, the average time of game has been 3 hours, 9 minutes, 26 seconds. In 2014, the average game was 3:05:46 over the same period.”

Last Super Bowl, Super Bowl 49 between New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, took three hours and thirty-six minutes.

And we all know that the game itself is only an hour long.

So what happens to these extra two hours plus?

Commercials take place. Whenever there is a change in possession, a timeout or end of a quarter there will be Doritos selling chips, Nissan selling cars and Verizon poking other mobile carries. We know why they are there: if there are more than a hundred million people watching, then of course every single brand wants a customized thirty seconds showoff to attract customers.

But here comes something a bit crazy: “According to CBS president Leslie Moonves, via Forbes, a 30-second spot during this year’s Super Bowl will cost marketers a whopping $5 million.” Yes, five million dollars are spent to buy thirty seconds. Comparing with the potential benefit, it is still a good deal; however, it’s probably more important for any marketer to think about how to make a eye-catching advertisement.

Before answering that question, I want to introduce something essential to marketing, the AIDA Model.

Originally AIDA is a customer psychological term that “identifies cognitive stages an individual goes through during the buying process for a product or service.” In detail, the model includes four steps:

Awareness refers to the process in which customers start to pay attention to the product.

Interest describes the process in which customers get attracted to the product.

Desire is the step in which customers are convicted that they want the product.

Action is the step in which customers take actions to purchase the product.



But gradually this concept has been adapted into marketing as more than merely a psychological term: Sellers start to bring this model into their selling strategies because they only need to make sure customers go through each stages to sell their products.

And this is the time when advertisement come into action: it is so broad and so manipulated that it is literally an abbreviated brainwash. The advantages of advertising have made advertisement the most efficient way for a product to gain attention, to attract people, to convince potential customers and to motivate them to pull out their wallets.

Now let’s go back to the Super Bowl and take a look at how a couple commercials wither follows or digresses from the AIDA Model and make the five million dollars a worthy investment or a lip-service.

The first commercial I want to analyze is the Nissan Acura NSX one. Not a lot of people know that Nissan makes sporty cars, so the first accomplishment of this commercial is that as a whole, it tells people that Nissan makes cool and attractive cars: awareness. The first section of the commercial displays the designing concept and details but not the entity of the car, which makes the commercial mysterious; the effecting of this plotting is to invoke the curiosity of the audience so that they will keep watching the advertisement, interest. And then Acura presents the most entire car: its variegated lightening, its rich sound and its fluent motion. Added to the fitting music and well-crafted background color, this part inspires the “I want one of those” thought in the minds of customers. Now they are desiring the car. In the end a little line on the bottom of the screen says design your own stating February, which is the conviction part that is supposed to tell the customers how to make a purchase, but since we all know the brand and it is ubiquitous, this section is not as necessary as if you are making something brand new. But I do think it will be better if they at least make that line a bit larger so that people will start scoring their fingers down the mouse on a website instead of sitting down talking about the car. Anyway, this advertisement is still a decent one as it follows the AIDA Model and advances the product into the public.



But sadly, not everybody takes advantage of their five million dollars. The Mexican Avocado commercial is a funny one, but it fails to follow concepts in the AIDA Model. The advertisement is creative and hilarious, and using aliens is an intelligent way to grab the attention of others: the awareness box is checked. But that is probably the only successful part: do people become interested in the Mexican avocado? Or are we more interested in the story itself, or even the bizarre addressing magic cube? What makes it even worse is that it fails to convince the public that we should buy not merely avocado, but avocados from Mexico: what is so special about avocado in Mexico? The commercial doesn’t make a clear about about this question either. And needless to mention is that whoever made this advertisement doesn’t give any instruction on how to purchase this specific type of avocado…… This short clip is one of the funniest advertisement stories, but it fails to serve the basic functions of a commercial.



The Mexican Avocado is not along, as more and more brands are making entertaining commercials rather than successful ones. Or rather, the awareness and interest stages are being viewed as more critical to huge sales by brands. I would be delight to dive further trying to figure out if emphasizing awareness and interest is a finically smart choice.

3 thoughts on “Behind Super Bowl Commercials – AIDA Model and Advertisement

  1. aswilt

    I really enjoyed your dive into the mental aspects of the customer in product selling and the AIDA model. I really would like to know more about the difference between interest and desire, as well as how the jump between desire and action happens because of the commercials or if outside attributes affect the model. Great job!

    1. mxagro Post author

      @aswilt Thank you for your questions I should have made my points a bit clearer. To answer your questions, the one word distinction between interest and desire is the difference between “liking something” to “wanting something”. For example, I might like a Mustang but right now I don’t want it because I don’t have a license. But in a few years when I get my license I might start to think about whether if a Mustang is a realisticly good choice. One can have interest in a lot of things and a lot of them might be simply attractions but desire is when one is one step away from buying it. Both commercial and outside factors affect the action step. Commercials can achieve this by directly providing the method of purchasing (Website link, phone number, etc.). Nowadays however, it is so easy to get purchase access through the internet so the action step is being often ignored by commercials. But in a face to face sales promotion, action matters just as much as the other steps.

  2. lukasdesimone

    This is really well done, your writing certainly piqued my interest and grabbed my attention. I think one of the best commercials I saw this year was the Honda Ridgeline commercial, advertising speaker in the back of the pickup bed. Music is something that’s always easy to sell, because it doesn’t really need a justification! But Honda did it in an especially hysterical way. How would you break this add down?


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