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3 Tips to Avoiding Brand or Message Fatigue

May 14, 2021

Since March 2020, most of us have been spending more time at home in order to decrease the spread of COVID-19. While that has restricted business activity offline, the time people have spent online has skyrocketed, according to Deloitte Insights.

Limiting face-to-face contact with others has had real world consequences for marketers though. Consumers are juggling all of these activities across multiple devices – smartphones, smart TVs, laptops, desktop computers, and tablets. Most of these online activities are advertising supported. And as Thomas Pasquet from Forbes points out, message fatigue is very real. 

Social scrolling on Instagram and Facebook, “doomscrolling or surfing” on Twitter, livestreaming on Twitch, online gaming, and of course, the explosion of online streaming platforms such as Paramount and Disney+ are just some of the platforms experiencing growing demand over the past year. 

Excessive time spent in front of so many screens leads to digital burnout and exhaustion. As consumer interest fades so does consumer engagement. This leads to less app downloads, cancellation of online subscriptions, decreased viewership figures, and unfollowing or muting social media accounts.

What can marketers and content creators do to keep message or brand fatigue from setting in?

By using frequency rules, dynamic creative, and message personalization in social media and PPC campaigns, one can keep engagement at desired levels.


Google and Facebook both offer a very useful campaign feature that we recommend all brands implement: automated frequency rules. Facebook’s tool, for example, allows advertisers to choose:

  • The criteria that triggers the rule
  • The action your rules takes on the ad
  • The active campaign, ad set or ad you want the rule to affect

BigWheel adds a frequency rule to every Facebook campaign we manage. While people do need to view an ad more than once to lead to the ideal outcome (conversion or purchase), there comes a point where you experience diminishing returns. 

If a person has not acted by the time they’ve seen your ad 4 or more times, it is best to stop showing that particular person your ad. This action keeps ad or brand fatigue from occurring and helps cut down on the time needed to manage our ad campaigns. Once you create an automated rule, the rule runs continuously every 30 minutes until you turn it off. 

What’s an additional digital marketing tool that’s great for testing and determining which creative resonates the most with which audience?


Dynamic creative is the answer. 

PPC and social media platforms allow campaign managers to take multiple ad components such as images, videos, titles, body copy, headlines and descriptions, and optimize them during ad delivery. Google or Facebook will then serve different creative variations based on getting the viewer to take the desired action (visit a website, fill out a lead generation form, or follow a Facebook page).

The image below details the types of personalization available in Facebook.

Example of Facebook’s Dynamic Creative

Once your campaign is up and running, we suggest giving the platform 72 hours to collect data and results. How do you see the performance of different creative assets? In Ads Manager, navigate to the Breakdown tool and select “By Dynamic Creative Element.” 

Our example below shows the performance of the different text elements for a manufactured housing dealership that is a client of PowerSlide by BigWheel.

Facebook Performance Breakdown of Dynamic Creative Elements

Using dynamic creative, however, does not replace traditional A/B testing. Now that you have a better understanding of ad performance, it’s time to apply those learnings to future campaigns.

How else do we keep people from becoming bored or annoyed with your promotional messages?


AdRoll published some interesting survey insights from 2016. AdRoll’s survey stats reveal that:

  • 46% of respondents unfollowed brands for posting too many promotional messages
  • 41% unfollowed because of irrelevant information
  • 35% unfollowed because brands posted too much 

Add in too many emails from a brand and people have plenty of valid reasons for avoiding a company’s marketing messages. Despite that, by adding frequency rules, testing campaign elements with dynamic creative, and finally, personalizing all marketing messages are three actions to avoid creating brand or message fatigue with your target audience.

How do we personalize ads?

In a previous blog post, we described three approaches to better audience segmentation. One of those suggestions is creating buyer personas for your brand. You probably already work with buyer personas on some level. You and your sales staff already keep in their heads the demo/psychographics of current or ideal customers, and an understanding of past purchase behaviors. 

Add those ideas to paper (while going as granular as possible) and this clarity will inform your ad copy and graphic design. Remember it’s always important to create with intention, i.e. writing with a specific customer in mind and closing with a strong call to action.

We now take the learnings from our dynamic creative campaigns since Facebook and Google have already identified the top performing elements, and craft new ads with buyer personas in mind. Ads might vary from platform to platform because users have different expectations when surfing Google versus scrolling through Instagram or TikTok. For example, you might consider whether vertical or horizontal video is native to the online experience, or whether your brand should be on a particular social media channel to begin with.

Have you had success with other tactics for avoiding message and brand fatigue with your company? Please share them with us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

If your company needs help optimizing digital marketing campaigns, call us at (865) 584-9740 or drop us a line and tell us about your project.