Often when we think of advertising, we just think of great ads that make us laugh or engage us in some manner. We tend to judge ads by these simple criteria.
However, a far more powerful way to look at advertising is by understanding that advertising is a communication task, and therefore we need to understand how communication works.
Without going into the long history of communication, we will instead look at one simple but powerful way of viewing the communication process (in fact, there are several different communication process models). This process has several names, but is often referred to as the Hierarchy of Effects Model of the communication process.
THE HIERARCHY OF COMMUNICATION EFFECTS
Think of the several mental steps through which a product or brand must traverse in a consumer's mind before it gains acceptance.
In the first step, the brand must capture their attention. In a cluttered world or media context, this is difficult to do. You can read a excellent tutorial on all the issues involved in capturing attention.