The Longevity Of Advertising Effectiveness

Dan WhiteDecember 14, 20232 min

Do ads wear out? The short answer is no. If they do, it takes a lot longer than most brand/agency teams think.

The Longevity Of Advertising Effectiveness
Creativity is the biggest variable when it comes to ad effectiveness so if an ad works well, it should be used for as long as possible. Coca-Cola’s ‘Christmas Caravans’ ad has been used every year since 1995 in many countries across the globe.

Yet very few ads are used for more than a few months. What a waste! Why does this happen? Is it to do with licensing issues? If so, how could this problem be addressed?

Research data indicates that advertising ‘wear out’ is a rare occurrence:

  • It is true that if people see an ad more than 2-3 times in a week, its impact on sales diminishes – but after a short break, the ad’s effectiveness returns.
  • The response to an ad shown over months and years rarely changes. Enjoyment doesn’t diminish, and people do not get fed up with seeing it.
  • Ads that communicate motivating new information about a brand do ‘wear out’ in the sense that the persuasive effect of the news diminishes once the audience has already heard the news. However, only a minority of ads work in this way.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Dan White, author of The Soft Skills Book, The Smart Marketing Book and The Smart Branding Book

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