Social MediaWhat is Ad Fatigue in Digital Marketing?

What is Ad Fatigue in Digital Marketing?

Creative Fatigue IS Real…

… and this article shows you how to avoid it.

To introduce this topic, let us define ad fatigue through simple questions.

  1. Do you ever get tired of seeing the same ads repeatedly? If yes, then you have experienced ad or creative fatigue.

  2. Do you keep promoting ads to the same audience for months on end? If yes, then you are disengaging and potentially harming the overall effectiveness of your ad campaigns.

In other words, ad fatigue is when you see the same ad so often that you get tired of it. It’s like when you hear the same song on repeat over and over again - eventually, it just becomes noise in the background. Familiar with this phenomenon?

The exponential growth of digital media, the ability to remarket in many ways, and the increasing time people spend online mean that ad fatigue has accelerated in the digital world. As a result, ads must be kept fresh and engaging.

So buckle up as we take a deep dive into ad fatigue causes, solutions, and impacts on digital marketing campaigns.

How Do You Detect Ad Fatigue?

From an advertiser’s point of view, detecting this problem in your ad campaigns can be pretty straightforward. For example, the impact of ad fatigue is usually driven by the following:

Decreased engagement rates: Fewer clicks, impressions or overall engagement due to increased scrolling or ad block usage.

Negative feedback: Negative comments on an ad (about the ad).

These, of course, are common occurrences on all paid campaigns, which means they should only be considered when ad frequency is taken into consideration. But more of that in a little bit.

How does Facebook identify Creative Fatigue?

Facebook’s Meta ads manager will notify you of any potential creative fatigue before and after your campaign’s launch.

Facebook Ads Affected by Creative Fatigue Warning

For example, the creative fatigue guidance in Meta Ads Manager states that if the Facebook platform anticipates a campaign could experience creative fatigue within the initial seven days, they will send a notification before the ad is published.

As well as this, Facebook uses ad engagement metrics to help identify creative fatigue. This will appear as a “creative limited” or “creative fatigue” notification in the delivery column.

Ad Fatigue Causes

From your audience’s point of view, there are multiple reasons why they’re experiencing ad fatigue, such as:

Overexposure: When people see the same ad too many times, they get tired of it. Overexposure can make people feel like they’re being bombarded with ads, making them less likely to pay attention to them.

Irrelevant targeting: If an ad is not targeted to the right audience, it can quickly become annoying and irrelevant. For example, if you keep seeing ads for products you have no interest in, you’ll soon start to tune them out.

Poor ad design: If an ad is poorly designed, it can be off-putting and cause people to disengage with the content. A poorly designed ad can include anything from low-quality images or text to ads that are too busy or cluttered.

Repetitive messaging: When advertisers use the same messaging repeatedly, it can become monotonous and boring. People are more likely to engage with fresh, exciting content than something they’ve seen a hundred times before.

By understanding the causes of ad fatigue, advertisers can take steps to mitigate them. They can vary their messaging and design, target their ads more effectively, and limit the frequency of ads to ensure that their audience stays engaged and interested.

Best Way to Combat Ad Fatigue

If you have started seeing issues with a creative and you’re left wondering how to get rid of ad fatigue, try implementing frequency capping.

This technique limits the number of times an ad is shown to a single user. By setting a maximum frequency cap, you can ensure that an ad is shown enough times to make an impact without becoming overwhelming.

An example of frequency capping can be seen on Facebook. When creating a new campaign, you can try this by selecting “reach and frequency” in the buying type dropdown. Once you select this campaign type, you can choose the exact reach and frequency balance you wish for your creative. Frequency Capping Example Facebook

Example Campaign Preventing Ad Fatigue

The Old Spice "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign is a good example of a campaign that tries to combat ad fatigue.

Using a series of humorous and engaging ads that followed the same theme but included frequent rotations meant there was a much lower chance of overexposure to one single ad and an even lower chance of the audience seeing a repetitive message.

Additionally, Old Spice constantly tested and optimized their ads to ensure they resonated with their audience and drove engagement.

How long should you leave a facebook ad running

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, and it should be decided by looking into available metrics.

Suppose you aren’t sure about the performance of a particular ad. In that case, you should consider creating another ad materially different from the original creative and running this alongside the original ad. This means you can let the ad platform decide when to pause an ad, so you can focus on maximizing results.


As digital advertising continues to play an increasingly vital role in modern marketing strategies, it is more important than ever for brands and marketers to address the issue of ad fatigue.

Strategies such as frequency capping, ad rotation, targeting refinement, and testing can help keep ads fresh and engaging; however, in the end, the key to combating ad fatigue lies in a willingness to experiment, learn, and adapt.

Unlock your team's creative side.

Organize ads and help your creative marketing team work more efficiently. Get started today.

Unlock your team's creative side.

Organize ads and help your creative marketing team work more efficiently. Get started today.

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