How to Combat OOH Ad Fatigue

The average American encounters between 4,000 and 10,000 distinct advertisements every day. On the one hand, that’s good news for business because it proves various advertising methods are reaching audiences all over the world.

But on the other hand, when highways, sidewalks, and other public areas become overcrowded with advertisements, it can lead to a detrimental effect known as creative fatigue or ad fatigue. This is when consumers become so inundated with messages that they begin to tune them all out. 

Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that brands can implement to keep ad fatigue from closing consumers’ eyes to their ad campaign. Keep reading for everything you should know.

What is Ad Fatigue? 

Ad fatigue, also known as creative fatigue, is a phenomenon that consumers experience when they become over-exposed to a specific advertisement or campaign, whether that be a social media ad or an outdoor ad. When audiences are confronted with the same marketing materials day after day, it’s only a matter of time before your ad becomes background noise, and they stop engaging with it. 

So, how does a marketer fight against ad fatigue and deliver fresh messages through OOH? Here are four top ways.

#1 Start With Quality Ads

OOH viewing time is short—sometimes as short as eight seconds (depending on the format), which neatly matches survey results about attention spans.

That means OOH ads need to make an immediate impact on consumers. Yet the impact shouldn’t be so immediate or superficial that it fails to retain ongoing engagement. This is especially true for OOH ads, as they appear in high-traffic areas where automobile commuters, pedestrians, and others tend to frequent daily. Your ad needs to capture their attention every time they see it.

Why is creativity necessary for crafting effective OOH display ads and combating ad fatigue? Because creatives are compelling and engage viewers. And if you want to not only prevent ad fatigue but maintain visibility against other marketing campaigns, it’s an essential ingredient. According to studies, ads that up the creativity factor are effective in the following ways: 

  • Capturing consumer attention
  • Promoting positive brand associations 
  • Influencing purchase behavior

Moreover, regularly revamping your OOH advertisements keeps them fresh and engaging to consumers. You can boost your campaign’s creativity by focusing on attributes like originality, aesthetic appeal, and clever ad angles.

#2 Be Location Savvy

It’s no secret that much of the success of an OOH ad is linked to location. Choosing the best billboard location for your ad ensures that the campaign reaches its target audience, is highly visible, and increases your ROI. 

That said, being smart about where you place your ad can also significantly cut down on ad fatigue. Consumers may be less likely to get tired of your marketing if you avoid locations that:

  • Are too close to your other ads, especially if those ads are identical
  • Are already over-saturated with other advertisements 

Additionally, consider how long people will have your ad in their line of sight. If it’s placed somewhere, they’re driving or walking past, they’re less likely to start tuning it out. But if they’ll be viewing a campaign you designed to leverage eight-second attention spans for much longer (e.g., on a subway, bus stops), fatigue may have a faster onset.

Take your out of home advertising to the next level with True Impact Media.

#3 Choose Your Format Wisely

Billboards and posters may be among the most recognizable OOH formats, but they aren’t your only options when it comes to reaching consumers on the go. In fact, the world of OOH includes a myriad of ad format options, and although the classics are nice, mixing up those you use to advertise can help combat ad fatigue among your target audience and help improve ad performance. They may encounter your messaging with more frequency, and you’ll be giving them something new each time.

If you’re worried about your ads getting lost in the haze, consider using different types of OOH. In addition to billboards, OOH includes:

  • Digital OOH, like billboards and kiosks 
  • Street furniture 
  • Transit media
  • Place-based media

#4 Give Your Ad Enough Lead Time

OOH moves fast, but its pace isn’t always fast enough to replace your materials before creative fatigue starts closing the eyes of consumers. If you start seeing your metrics and results from a given campaign dip due to fatigue before you have a replacement prepared, you’re already far behind schedule.

For that reason, keeping your ad relevant to consumer interest means building lead time for your next campaign into the schedule for your current one.

To ensure that your ad is timely and effective, be sure to account for the following during the planning process: 

  • Production timelines
  • Budget considerations
  • Delivery times for materials and finished ads
  • Installation timelines

Additionally, a marketer can harness data research to keep their ads fresh. For example, data on past ads can help you gauge the average lifespan of an ad based on its location, content, and other factors. It can also help you decide which type of OOH to use, whether it be transit media or OOH social media sharing methods. 

Keep Consumers Inspired When True Impact Media 

OOH advertising is exciting, engaging, and effective. But making the most of your outdoor advertising efforts means being smart about the many factors that are most influential to planning, designing, and launching your campaign.

True Impact Media is the bridge that can take you from campaigns that perform well and campaigns that exceed your expectations. Our team of advertising experts believes in the power of OOH to help you achieve all your business goals and keep your audience engaged whenever and wherever they see your ad.

It’s time to see for yourself how OOH can boost your business. Contact us today!


Forbes. Finding Brand Success In The Digital World. 

NY Times. The Eight-Second Attention Span. 

Fresh Business Thinking. Why location is key for outdoor advertising. 

True Impact Media. Types of OOH Advertising. 

Out of Home Advertising Association of America. OAAA Creative Best Practices. 

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