How advertisers can battle digital fatigue

Oct 19, 2020

Anastasia Romanowicz

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During the lockdown that accompanies the first part of the global COVID 19 pandemic, media consumption shot up. Much of that increased time was spent digesting content through our smartphones and mobile devices, since we’re all a lot more used to having them less than an arm’s reach away. But when is too much, too much? People are starting to feel burned out from all that screen time.

Digital fatigue is a term that’s been around for a few years to explain the phenomenon of burnout and exhaustion brought on by excessive time spent in front of screens. Not only is it real, it’s more acute than ever, thanks to shelter-in-place rules, which are only slowly being eased across the country.  

So what can be done about it? Combatting digital fatigue starts and ends with generating fresh interest in your advertising. One of the best ways to generate strong engagement and recall is to let the consumer choose which advertiser he or she wants to hear from. Although not everyone chooses an ad, among those who do, ad recall triples

Targeted advertising also can help your brand shine through, even in this era of digital fatigue. Better yet, do a little extra math, particularly when it comes to video advertising. Many advertisers are satisfied with measuring video completion rate, which is a good KPI, but I argue they need to go one step further: look at video completion rate multiplied by the viewability. Because if no one saw the video ad that ran its full length, it doesn’t matter how long it ran.

Finally, believe that less can be more. Frequency can be your enemy in the era of digital fatigue. If the platform you’re advertising on doesn’t suggest capping the number of times your ad will be seen (and they may not because they are looking to maximize revenue) then you should demand it. No one wants to see the same ad over and over, whether you’re streaming, scrolling or gaming—it will just result in making them mad at your brand.

That ties into what you shouldn’t do: buy tonnage, or lots and lots of cheap ad inventory. To say there’s too much advertising all over the digital landscape is a gross understatement. Why else do ad blockers exist, except because people got tired of being relentlessly bombarded by advertising?

Digital fatigue is real. Making sure your brand doesn’t get dragged down by it means taking smart steps around it.

To read more you can visit my Forbes article.

Thomas Pasquet, CEO, Ogury