Combatting Creative Fatigue, One Ad at a Time

Don’t Let Your Creatives Drag You Down

We’ve all been there, where we see the exact creative multiple times over, and all we can think is, “Ugh, here we go again.” Funny enough, you’re not alone. Many users are known to not only get annoyed with certain repetitive ads but also partake in mini cases of creative fatigue, leading to innovative and brand boredom. Creative fatigue is defined as the diminishing effectiveness of an advertising creative, characterized by a decline in conversion or click-through rates when users are repeatedly exposed to the same visual elements (creative) within an ad. This phenomenon occurs because users may lose interest in the creative due to the repetition, seeking novelty or experiencing a form of “ad blindness.” Creative fatigue is distinct from audience saturation and can be addressed by introducing new and high-quality creative elements to the same user or by targeting new audiences with different creative assets.

Prevalence & Impact

Creative fatigue is not as uncommon as you may think, in fact, around 19% of ad impressions have been seen more than five times in a single 30-day period. It varies somewhat across advertiser segments but is especially prevalent with ads that optimize for link clicks and offsite conversion events.

Studies have shown that creative fatigue can lead to higher cost per result, lower CTR, and engagement. The leading cause for creative fatigue is simple – advertisers focus on three levers to determine how efficient their creative is – ad frequency, CTR and cost per action. However when measuring only frequency, advertisers seem to forget that frequency is usually measured at a strategy/campaign levels while creative fatigue should be measured at a creative level and the measurement of frequency involves performance over a period of time, while creative fatigue should be measured in one instance repetitively over time as a holistic part of your strategy.

In addition to frequency, most advertisers neglect several additional critical players in identifying the adverse effects of creative fatigue, such as audience saturation, different baseline click-through conversion rates, previous brand exposures, and more. Therefore, when accounting for all of these factors, studies show that after four repeated exposures, the associated likelihood of conversion drops by about 45%

Now, you’re probably wondering, a frequency of 4 seems a bit low for my campaign…but what you should be wondering is what your next step as an advertiser should be to understand all of your optimization levers to decrease the chance of creative fatigue happening and instead create a more effective strategic campaign overall.

Creating Effective Strategies to Minimize Creative Fatigue

After seeing the detrimental impact that creative fatigue can have on your ad performance, let’s dive into how we can address this issue within our campaigns. Below we’ve included examples of levers that drove meta media effectiveness:

Creative – Campaigns with high-quality creative achieved based on top levers achieve +35% effectiveness. Effective performance on Meta technologies is primarily linked to ad creative execution, as campaigns with high-quality creative, defined by adhering to best practices like mobile-optimized video framing and immediate branding.

Frequency – Increasing weekly ad views per person is the second most important factor for effectiveness on Meta technologies, with campaigns averaging 2.25 impressions per week achieving 80% higher effectiveness than those with just one impression, aiming for about two ad views per week is ideal, while tailored testing for each campaign is vital.

Duration – Campaigns live for 50 weeks are 65% more effective than those lasting 10 weeks, emphasizing the importance of consistent, longer-lasting campaigns in generating returns for advertisers.

Reach – Campaigns reaching 15% of the US population achieve 35% greater effectiveness than 1% reach; aiming for 5%–10% minimum reach with efficient strategies using placements and demographics, while emphasizing sequential optimization of creative, frequency, duration, and reach, can yield optimal media gains in CPG marketing.

Creative Scoring to Maximize Creative Performance:

If you’re still here, reading this creative fatigue blog, thank you. But let’s say simultaneously you’ve reached the point as a marketer that you have implemented all levers and optimizations recommended above and yet you still believe your creative is still not as effective as it can be. Well, as an analytics-first company, we created a new way to measure creative effectiveness to minimize creative fatigue and maximize your creative performance. World, meet  our Machine Learning Creative Model Score; a tool that is able to measure creative fatigue by using advanced modeling to isolate the different factors in a creative and understand its true contribution to performance. The goal of this tool is to score each creative based on its proportional impact to incremental clicks, which in turn helps us to identify which creative has the best impact score that could lift website visitation and performance.

The data that contributes to this analysis (aka is important to deciding whether campaigns are plagued by creative fatigue) were as follows: 

  • Date – The date of the creative content.
  • Tactic – The type of creative content, such as a banner ad or a video ad.
  • Targeting Type – The targeting method used for the creative content, such as demographics or interests.
  • Creative Version – The theme of the creative image.
  • Spend – The amount of money spent on the creative content.
  • Clicks – The number of clicks on the creative content.

Overall, this tool has helped our team maximize our creative and campaign performance by identifying which creative factors leads to higher consumer interaction and in hand also identify if a certain creative reach creative fatigue based on the drop off of interaction. For more information on our tool, read our case study here.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, creative fatigue, characterized by the diminishing impact of repeatedly viewed advertising content, emerges as a substantial concern for advertisers seeking optimal performance. The analysis underscores the common occurrence of users encountering the same creative elements and the subsequent decline in user responsiveness with repeated exposures.

To effectively address creative fatigue, the recommended approach involves injecting fresh and varied creative content into ad sets experiencing performance deterioration. This proactive strategy not only revitalizes user engagement but also aligns with ongoing efforts to develop innovative solutions. In the future, the goal is to build a tool that effectively measures creative fatigue or implement alert systems within ads manager, introduce new product offerings, and provide experimental guidance, all aimed at better measuring and monitoring creative fatigue to support advertisers in achieving sustained campaign success.

Turning Strategies Into “Always On” Tactics.

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