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Creative Fatigue: Insights from Our Experience Working with Creatives

At Nimble, we’ve gained valuable insights into a persistent challenge in the advertising world: creative fatigue. Rather than being a roadblock, creative’s can be harnessed to boost performance, and we’re here to share our experience.

At Nimble, we’ve gained valuable insights into a persistent challenge in the advertising world: creative fatigue. Rather than being a roadblock, creative’s can be harnessed to boost performance, and we’re here to share our experience.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the concept of creative fatigue, its prevalence, and its impact on ad performance.

What is Creative Fatigue?

Let’s start off with one simple observation; the demand for fresh content is relentless. The discourse around dwindling consumer attention spans is a frequent topic of discussion, with many asserting that attention spans have grown shorter over time. We’ve all experienced it ourselves—scrolling through platforms like TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter, only to be irked by encountering the same content repeatedly. Our expectations are set high; we crave novelty and excitement.

Content creators and social media platforms understand this dynamic all too well (that’s why the algorithm works the way it does). However, it seems that advertisers have not always given it the attention it deserves. Enter creative fatigue—a very real phenomenon that underscores the decline in ad effectiveness when users are repeatedly exposed to the same visual elements within an ad. Visuals wield more influence than we might realize.

How do we begin to understand Creative Fatigue?

Even though creative fatigue is a very straightforward concept, we should not base our strategy only on what feels obvious. Creating content is a time consuming process, and we need to make sure that it’s done right. The first step is always to measure it. One very common metric to use when measuring creative fatigue is frequency. Frequency is the calculation of total impressions (number of times the ad was shown) divided by the number of distinct users who saw the ad. This is a useful metric since it’s easy to understand, a frequency of 3.2 tells us that a user has on average seen the same ad about 3 times.

Using frequency does however have its drawback. For starters, as Meta in detail pointed out, Frequency is measured on an ad level and not at a creative level. Fatigue can occur from the combination of ads, the placement of the ad and even from similarities in creatives, frequency simply does not capture that.

Instead of relying on the limited metric of Frequency, we track creative/user exposures at the creative level. In our experience, it’s more common than not that users are exposed to the same creative repeatedly.

How Nimble measures Creative Fatigue

To fully understand the effect of creative repetition on ad performance, we initially look at click-through rates (CTR) in relation to the number of times a user encounters the same creative. As the exposure count rises, we usually also observe a decline in CTR.

Beyond CTR, we also make sure to account for other factors such as audience saturation and conversion rates. When multivariate analysis is conducted, we usually account for:

  • Historical creative exposure
  • Historical exposure to your account and ad
  • Click probability

We just want to note that Regression analysis and logarithmic analysis can seem a bit intimidating at first (does it really need to be that complicated?). But the whole benefit with having a digital agency is that we will do the heavy lifting for you. Our philosophy is always that the information we provide should be easy to understand and take action upon. The focus for us is to always provide you with actionable insights.

How does Creative Repetition impact Results?

In contrast to the prevailing belief that repeated exposures can enhance ad performance up to a certain threshold, our experience has been that ad performance declines with repeated exposure to the same creatives. This realization underscores our commitment to the regular updating of creatives in our campaigns. Our recommended approach revolves around a diversified distribution of ad repetitions, grounded in the understanding that introducing fresh creative elements to ad sets with high repetition rates yields tangible improvements in both conversion rates (CTR) and overall ad performance.

Learn more about our Creative offering here.

Your organization’s specific requirements and the frequency at which you can produce creative content play a pivotal role in shaping your advertising strategy. Consider augmenting your performance marketing efforts with the incorporation of digital creatives as an adjunct service. Our team of experts stands ready to assist you in evaluating the optimal configuration for your unique business needs, ensuring that you harness the full potential of your advertising endeavors.

If you want more detailed information about how Creative Fatigue affects ad results – we highly recommend this article from Meta.

Conclusion

In summary, creative fatigue is a substantial consideration for advertisers seeking to optimize their ad performance. Users frequently encounter the same creative elements, which diminishes their responsiveness. To combat creative fatigue effectively, our data suggests that infusing new and diverse creative elements into ad sets experiencing performance declines can yield significant benefits. Contact us to learn more.

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