Wearout can occur when an advert is over-exposed. Advertising wearout is not common but it can be avoided with engaging creative and careful media planning. Decay can set in when brands decide not to advertise for long periods of time and can be very difficult to reverse.


Wearout occurs when an advertising campaign loses its effectiveness after repeated exposure. Decay represents the decline in product sales when advertising is discontinued.

Key insights

1. Ads wear out slower than previously thought

Research examining the effect of repeated exposure to advertisements on purchase intentions has shown that consumers who saw an ad 10 or more times had greater purchase intentions than consumers with less exposure. This is contrary to previous findings from studies conducted when the media landscape was simpler, which suggested that wearout occurs after 10 or more exposures. The stages at which consumers are in the decision-making process also had an impact. For example, purchase intentions were driven more by emotional motivations for consumers who had seen an ad one to two times.