Monday, February 15, 2021

Repeated ads work, so get used to them

If, like me, you hate - I mean HATE - that tedious, dated Rolex advertisement they insist on playing ad infinitum during every major televised tennis tournament you've ever seen in the last several years, you might have wondered, like me, whether it might not be counter-productive for advertisers to repeat ads quite so often.

Apparently, it has been shown that an ad needs to be seen 3.7 times before it "takes", or before a viewer "gets" it. It can then be seen up to 15 times with continuing good results, and after 15 "impressions", it ceases to be effective. But that doesn't means that it starts to actually have a negative effect, just that it does not further consolidate the favourable effects.

At no point, then, does repeating an ad seem to actually work against the advertiser. Many times, I have said things like, "If they show that ad again, I swear I will never buy x ever again". But apparently I don't mean that, and the old adage "there's no such thing as bad publicity" (a phrase originally attributed to showman P.T. Barnum), really does work in advertising - if not necessarily in politics - unless, of course, the publicity is so egregious and offensive as to be career-ending. Advertisers just want to get their name into your skull any way they can, even if only because of how much you hate it or how much it bores you.

So, sorry, there's likely to be no let-up from those annoying ads. They work. Anyway, why make five different ads when you can just make one and have the same effect. And advertisers wonder why people hate them.

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