Frequency: How much is too much?

This article is part of a series of articles on frequency. Read more.

In an age of multi-channel media planning, shorter consumer attention spans and ad avoidance, marketers and their agencies need to think hard about the issue of frequency when designing media strategies. Too little and the campaign risks having no impact, too much and advertisers are likely to be wasting money. And while it is true that even a perfect advertising schedule is not going to make an ineffective ad effective, it is also true that good scheduling can improve the payback of a campaign.

There has been widespread debate since the 1970s about whether a low-frequency, high-reach strategy is better than a high-frequency lower-reach one. This debate has intensified in recent years with the balance tipping towards the former approach.

In this article, we look at:

  • The history of frequency theory;
  • What history can teach us today.

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