I found little empirical evidence that advertising wearout exists for successful executions. Great content has a longer shelf life than you might think. We marketers often want to move on to the next campaign out of personal boredom, not real consumer insight. Think twice!
Advertising Wearout and writer’s block
I recently encountered what real writers call “writer’s block” – a condition in which an author is unable to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. To keep this blog alive, I’ve reshared one of my earlier articles about the power of looking beyond Return on Investment (ROI) to make marketing decisions. While furiously debating with myself about what new topic I should start writing about, I ended up selecting an existing article to share. I’ve made peace with the conclusion that something good that proved to have worked in the past could work as well in the future.
I wish marketers would replicate this model when the advertising wearout topic comes around. In Marketing, we encounter writer’s block when we fail to develop a new creative idea to add to our toolkit of existing ideas. We can’t find the insight, see the strategy, or agree with our creative and media agencies on the right execution. Our best decision is to reuse something that worked in the past and bank on the opportunity cost of the time saved to work on a new brand challenge.
Consumers aren’t tired of our ads; we are
Placing the consumer’s hat on our heads helps us recognize that no one is regularly “tired” of seeing our ads except us. Marketers tend to beat the advertising wearout effect by assuming a particular dullness for an existing creative. You might have worked on that execution for six months and saw it hundreds of times in different formats, but your consumer probably saw it once or twice. When she saw it, it was probably while checking her mobile during an ad break or scrolling past your precious video in her newsfeed. Give it another opportunity to see.
Don’t underestimate the power of repetition, especially when dealing with a consumer that is really not that engaged in your advertising world. Stop believing in myths. Look for facts for advertising wearout.