How brands can combat ad fatigue


Ad fatigue is a common issue in marketing, where your audience stops paying attention.
Learn what ad fatigue is and how to identify whether it’s happening to your marketing campaigns.
Understand how to improve your advertising campaigns and avoid brand fatigue.
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Ad fatigue is not a phrase that marketers like to hear. Think back to times when you changed the TV channel because you’d seen the same ad 20 times or when you switched the radio off entirely because you were so sick of that same commercial being played over and over. 

Ad fatigue, brand fatigue, marketing fatigue — whatever you want to call it, it’s the role of marketers to avoid it. Unfortunately, though, ad fatigue tends to be an unavoidable part of the lifecycle of any ad. Let’s take a look at why the problem of advertising fatigue occurs, how to identify the warning signs and act fast.  

What is ad fatigue?

Advertising fatigue occurs when your target audience has seen (or heard) your advert so many times that they become bored with that advertising campaign and switch off. They stop paying attention, and effectively, your advert becomes ineffective. This can also be termed “ad blindness”.

What are the signs of ad fatigue?

There are a few signs that your marketing campaign may be experiencing ad fatigue. The most common include:

Lower CTR

CTR is a metric used for digital advertising. It stands for Click-Through Rate (CTR). It measures the percentage of people who viewed your ad and then engaged with your call to action. It’s an indicator of how engaging your advert is to an audience. Is it convincing enough to compel people to explore your brand further? When the CTR is high, it suggests that your advert is doing its job – it’s caught people’s attention, and they’re looking to explore further. When the CTR is lower or begins to drop off, it may well be that your audience is starting to experience some sort of brand fatigue. 

Decreased engagement

In general, if you’re experiencing less engagement with your audience, it may point to ad and brand fatigue. In the world of digital advertising, we can measure this through clicks, comments, views and shares. When an audience is quickly viewing your ads and moving on, they’re not engaged – you won’t get the comments and shares integral to a successful online brand.

Higher CPA

CPA refers to cost per action (or acquisition). If you’re paying a higher CPA, it means that per action (perhaps the sale of an item of clothing), you’re paying more to achieve that sale. This would suggest that fewer people are viewing the ad and acting on it. Ideally, when your marketing campaign is performing well, you’ll experience a lower CPA.

How to overcome ad fatigue

We have a few tips and tricks to help combat this phenomenon and get your marketing campaign back on track.

Creative content

First, you must ensure that your content remains creative and fresh. Make sure that you’re staying up to date with trends and referencing relevant cultural phenomena. Using high-quality assets will also help you resonate with your audience. With Artlist, you can have access to an unlimited number of top quality, engaging, and creative assets that will help your content to stand out. 

  • Consider the power of music in creating engaging adverts. How many times has an advert stuck in your mind because of the music used in it? 
  • Diverse and dynamic visuals are essential to capturing an audience’s attention and maintaining interest. 
  • With the Artlist Enterprise plan, you can take things a step further and receive curated recommendations from your very own dedicated Account Manager.

Use data and feedback

In the world of social media, we’ve never been so lucky when it comes to real-time data and feedback. Brands can hone in on every aspect of an ad in more detail than ever before, and you. To stay ahead of the competition, remember to check your data and monitor feedback regularly. 

If your audience is talking about a specific aspect of the ad in your comments, pay attention to what that is. Is it positive? Hone in on that aspect and build on it. If it’s negative, take it onboard and tweak things accordingly. 

Suppose you’re noticing a significant drop in viewership at a particular point in your video or on a particular Instagram Story. You should take that vital data and update your strategy, creative, or distribution accordingly. 

Stay ahead of the game

It should come as no surprise to see this one on the list. Staying ahead of relevant advertising trends is essential to good marketing campaigns, especially if you want to avoid the dreaded ad fatigue. By being the first to roll out ads incorporating the latest trends, your marketing campaign will be fresher, newer, and more exciting to an audience. Things such as live video, virtual events, educational, and BTS videos are all performing well.

Incorporate UGC

There’s no better way of building a meaningful connection and engaging with your audience than user-generated content (UGC). When your content is created by real people trusted by their audiences, your brand is likely to be much more memorable and trusted. 

Rather than coming across as an advertising campaign from a brand, UGC is organic and authentic, which helps prevent advertising fatigue amongst an audience. This is why brands need to work with content creators in their marketing campaigns.

Wrapping up

The best way to combat ad fatigue is to stay up to date with trends, monitor performance, and act accordingly. Consider how your brand can use UGC and create fresh content. Keep these tips in mind when you’re planning or evaluating your next ad campaign, and you’ll have a much better chance of maintaining your audience’s attention and interest. 


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Daniela is a writer and editor based in the UK. Since 2010 she has focused on the photography sector. In this time, she has written three books and contributed to many more, served as the editor for two websites, written thousands of articles for numerous publications, both in print and online and runs the Photocritic Photography School.

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