Clever Ways to Prevent Ad Fatigue That Really Work

May 17, 2021
Stacy Wells

Every time we search online for information or products, we are slammed by an overwhelming quantity of advertising. We have to sift through three to four ads at both the top and bottom of almost every search result page. It's exhausting. In fact, this deluge of advertising information is now a common state known as ad fatigue.

Ad fatigue is a combination of two experiences. One, ad exhaustion originates with the massive number of commercial messages that compete for our attention. Second, consumers simply get bored by watching the same advertisements over and over. It's a downward spiral of marketing peril.

The Danger of Ad Fatigue

Marketers used to believe that exposure equals attention. However, this adage does not hold true in the new digital landscape. 

When the same viewers see an ad too often, it's actually the opposite response. The more we are exposed to ads, the less attention we give; spelling trouble for brands. 

In fact, there is actually a term for people ignoring banner ads. The act of disregarding banner advertisements is known as banner blindness. And it's a real problem for marketers.

What Is Banner Blindness?

Banner blindness is a type of selective recognition in which website users fail to notice advertising messages displayed in banner ads. People either intentionally or instinctively overlook information in banners to avoid disturbing their online experiences.

Ad Blockers

Nearly 27% of the population avoid advertising altogether with software to block all ads. And to make things even more sober here's a statistic from the Re/code Code Conference that rattles marketers:

The following graph shows the growth of people in the United States purchasing technology solutions to stop them from ever seeing advertisements.

chart that displays Ad blocker user penetration rate in the United Stated from 2014-2021
Source: Statista


Ad fatigue is relatively easy to recognize. It manifests in the data such as engagement and click-through rates. When you start to see your results go down, these are warning signs that it's time to retire your ads. 

As a marketer, you are probably already checking progress and results at least weekly. Technology and software enable businesses to analyze almost any aspect of their marketing. Performance marketing techniques monitor different touchpoints and consolidate the activity from each source. 

how to detect ad fatigue

The following areas are essential to watch for ad fatigue signals.  

Lower Click-Through Rates (CTRs) 

CTR shows how advertisements entice your target visitors to look deeper into your brand. 

Easily decide whether viewers are interested in your brand by looking at your click-through rate. If the CTR value changes and goes down over time, it is probably due to exhaustion.

Ad Fatigue Solution: Switch and alternate ads.


This performance marketing metric is straightforward. Frequency is the average amount of occasions people can see your ad. The more people see an ad, the more they will start to block it out. High-frequency ads become a bother to your potential customers.

Ad Fatigue Solution: Switch and alternate ads

Increasing Cost Per Click (CPC) 

Much of digital advertising is pay-per-click on search engines and social media. Whenever anyone clicks on your PPC ads, you pay a certain amount known as the cost per click or CPC. 

The value and importance of the keyword you target determine how much CPC you pay. You may choose to approve a higher or lower bid based on the significance of the keyword to your market. Also, you can set a max daily and weekly PPC budget to help control costs.

As people see an ad more often and click-through less, ad effectiveness decreases. Similarly, it costs more to get outcomes from ads with weaker engagement.  

If the cost you are paying per click is going up, it's a classic identification ad fatigue. 

Ad Fatigue Solution: Switch and alternate ads

solution to ad fatigue


As you start to notice ad fatigue, the prevailing solution or fix is to rotate your ads. Well, we have a much more creative and effective solution. When you're tired of running a new version of the same message every few weeks, you might consider a new marketing channel. 

A touchpoint that is organic and very powerful is influence marketing. 

Customers are already taking the initiative. They trust other people and seek product information from other sources - not ads. 

In reality, most shoppers go out of their way to get advice from others before buying. 82% of consumers proactively seek referrals from peers before making a purchasing decision. (Nielsen)

Ironic, isn't it. Consumers are worn out from all the ads they see. So brands have to run more ads to compete with diminishing attention spans, making people even less likely to engage with ads. 

download the brand ambassador playbook and comprehensive guide

Types of Influence Marketing

Companies are beginning to create room for all brand stakeholders to share in their conversations, from actors and professionals to employees and customers. 

Marketing influence can emanate from many different people and various sources. Here are the main types of influence marketing programs you can launch to combat ad fatigue.

  • Pro team: the face of the brand 
  • Influencers: one-off posting or placement of brand alliance
  • Ambassadors: long-term relationships with key metrics
  • Content Creators: photos, video, and blogs.
  • Partners: social extension of natural partnerships including media, retail, affiliate, or brand partnerships
  • Employees: internal advocacy, friends and family programs
  • Industry Professionals: online and offline industry advocates such as coaches, trainers, physicians, teachers, shop owners
  • Customers and Fans: open to all customers and people who like a brand

Define what kind of impact would be more beneficial to your organization. Learn how you can set up an ambassador program in this recent article. 

Key Takeaways

People get tired of marketing messages that they see repeatedly. Ominous symptoms that your ads have become too familiar and ineffective are decreasing CTR, rising CPC, and increasing frequency.  

It can be hard to recover once an audience gets tired of seeing certain ads and brands too much.

A unique opportunity to end ad fatigue is to enlist other marketers with influence to help. This approach ensures that your messages and interactions are always relevant and fresh. You don't depend on Google, Facebook, or Instagram to control exposure and cost. 

Whether you're running a D2C company or B2B brand, the mission is the same -- to establish value and transform people into loyal customers. Ambassador marketing opens a new channel to authentically build value through trusted relationships and convert followers into clients. 

Grow your ecommerce sales with people who love you. Request a demo today!

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