Reducing Digital Ad Fatigue

May 24, 2016 | blog | By Mike Sullivan


Advertising has always been somewhat of a game of cat and mouse, and it continues to be so in the digital age. Advertisers find new ways to reach consumers, consumers find new ways to avoid ads.

Next year will mark a major milestone for ad spending, as total digital ad spend is expected to eclipse TV for the first time with 38.4 percent of the pie. And digital, fueled by mobile advertising, shows no signs of slowing down. By 2020, digital ad revenue will exceed $105 billion, a 45 percent share.

As consumer-led habits drive ad dollars, companies must find ways to break through the clutter with advertising that catches their online audiences’ attention. Here are some ways challenger brands can adjust their digital approach to minimize ad fatigue and maximize conversions:

Target within your target. Within every target audience, there are ways to create segments to make your ad more effective and engaging, and 49 percent of consumers prefer ads that are relevant to them. Many companies seek out the powerhouse group of decision makers: moms, but there are countless differences among moms. There is definitely not one homogenous group. The real beauty of digital advertising is the ability to target (and re-target) online audiences based on a number of personalized metrics, including location, behaviors, actions, and interests.  With the right customization and strategy, you can reach the right users in the right place at the right time.

Color your creative. Color can be a showstopper. Color alone can camouflage your ad or make it pop. For example, on Facebook’s blue and white interface, you wouldn’t want to choose blue and white for your ad; with a white website, you’ll like want some type of border or color block to help the reader’s eyes take notice of your message.


Minimize ad copy. Make it skim readable. If it takes too long to get to the point, viewers will feel a surge of ad fatigue and move on. Dynamic creative captures the user’s attention and provokes action. In the digital space you need to contain your content to a bite-size nugget.

Deploy video. The play button has been called one of the most compelling calls to action on the web. Video ads have an average 1.84 percent click-through rate, which is higher than any other digital asset according to BI Intelligence.

Test your ads. Comparing two different ad versions is referred to as A/B testing or split testing, and it can be done quite inexpensively online and quickly, so there’s really no reason not to conduct some quick ‘n’ dirty testing to find out which creative concepts consumers most readily respond to.

Monitor. Notice the peaks and valleys of engagement with your ad and be ready to respond. If your ad is headed downward, it’s time to make a change. If it’s still on the upswing, you may have struck gold, and there’s a lot that can be learned from that if you carefully examine the data.

Measure. Over time, consumers’ engagement with your ads will help you develop a formula for what works–the formula isn’t necessarily a magic bullet that will work forever, but it can be very telling. Just like the split testing that you conducted at the start of your campaign, the completion of your campaign should provide more knowledge on what makes your consumers respond, and that will inform and improve your digital strategy.

Rotate creative. Facebook recommends that you swap creative every 1-2 weeks. That’s a good rule of thumb, but your let your data drive your brand’s decisions. Changing out the creative can extend the life of your campaign.

Diversify your digital strategy. Consider all the elements to create a campaign that is timed to allow for users to respond and tolerate the ads on each platform. This includes your promoted social content, display ads, pre-roll video, push emails, and more.

Consumers’ attention spans are quite short online, but your digital data will help you create an ad that will keep them engaged and compelled to take action while making your challenger brand more relevant to their life.

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Mike Sullivan

President at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency


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