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. Advertising wearout is rare

Genuine wearout of individual TV ads is rare. Campaigns can wear out; but this too is rare; there is little evidence of good campaigns wearing out. Indeed, many do not even get the chance. Many brands replace advertising because they are not proving to be effective enough within a limited timeframe, despite research which shows that familiarity and consistency boost effectiveness. Many campaigns need time to ‘wear-in’. Yet replacing ads is very costly.