NEWS22 November 2022

Older ads ‘as effective’ as newer ones, says System1

Media News North America Trends UK

UK – The idea of ‘wear out’ in adverts might be false as the age of an advert appears to make no significant difference to its effectiveness, according to research from advertising analysis firm System1.

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‘Wear out’ is the idea that repeated exposure to an advert can lead to audiences tuning out or getting tired of the advert, as opposed to building long-term positive impressions and building mental availability.

System1 said its analysis of adverts, however, appears to debunk the idea that there is wear out for individual adverts and the firm said that advertising effectiveness did not decline over a two-year period.

The analysis was based on repeated testing of 100 adverts – half in the UK and half in the US – first aired in the first quarter of 2020 over two years, which demonstrated no significant change in the ‘effectiveness scores’ as the adverts aged.

In fact, the analysis showed evidence of ‘wear in’, where advertisements improved their scores over time in some circumstances, such as those using repeated characters and slogans.

System1 also segmented its entire Test Your Ad database based on the gap between test date and original air date, some of which had up to a 19-year gap between the two.

The segmentation found that the average scores were consistent no matter how old the advert was at the time it was tested.

Jon Evans, chief customer officer at System1, said: “The myth of wear out in ads has a hidden cost. Good ads are cut down in their prime when they still have so much to offer commercially.

“UK marketers in particular need to realise that re-using ads and running campaigns for longer isn’t just efficient, it’s effective too. Older campaigns and intellectual property are often a brand’s greatest and most neglected assets.”