A lot of us became bombarded with ads that pop up on the internet, TV, radio, and so on. Imagine you came across a video on Youtube that you really like; so you click on it and all of the sudden razor ads, food, cars, shopping deals, and worst of all ads that you cannot skip. Ads are becoming so irritating these days. You might be thinking “why not just stop these ads from popping up, I’m never gonna buy your product!”. But actually, you do.

There is a term in advertising called “effective frequency”. This term refers to repetitive exposure to an advertisement until the consumer either purchases the product, or remember the ad and hopefully buy it in the near future or talk about the product to someone else so that they’ll buy it and so on.

Marketers don’t just pop up the same ads endlessly even though it certainly feels like that’s the case. Marketing and advertising cost enormous amounts of money and there is a lengthy process before releasing an ad, but more on that on a later topic. There are a certain number of times an ad gets popped up in front of our screens. According to “Successful Advertising”, a book written by Thomas Smith, after the consumer is exposed to the same advertisement for the 20th time, they will buy the product. So advertisers only need to show us the ad 20 times to persuade us to buy their stuff.

There was research done to explain the cognitive effects of repetitive advertising. The link to the research is below. The aim of the research is to find out whether repetitive advertisements strengthen their brand belief and affect the consumer’s opinion towards the product, or simply repeating an ad without any brand beliefs would be enough to persuade consumer’s. Their results were surprising. Repeating an advertisement several times has no effect on the consumer’s attitude and decision towards the product. In fact, according to the research, it only takes the consumer to see the advertisement twice to make up their mind on whether or not they should buy the product.

We like to think that we could not be persuaded at all by advertisements and that the company is wasting their money trying to persuade you to buy their stuff. And I think some of you might do it out pity. But one take away from this is that these ads cost you nothing but a few seconds of your time. The advertiser, on the other hand, might lose a lot.

Research: http://acrwebsite.org/volumes/9356/volumes/v04/NA-04