Understanding & Dealing With Creative Fatigue

There’s nothing like that feeling when you have a winning creative ad. You’ve tapped into a great creative concept and copy, performance is stellar and KPIs are looking strong. It’s performing well via all formats that count on all relevant channels. But let’s face it, the win only lasts for so long. Winning ads have a shelf life, and as much as we would love them to last for months and years, ad creatives run their course quickly. As we say here at Liniad – you can run, but can rarely hide from creative fatigue.

Don't Fear Creative Fatigue; Embrace It

The deeper you immerse yourself in the world of creative ads the faster you realize that creative fatigue is no mystery, and it is not the boogie monster coming for your performance. It needs to be viewed as part of an ad strategy and should be effectively factored in as part of the entire campaign – in fact, the app advertising default mantra should be ‘the more popular the creative, the stronger the fatigue.’ Not the most exhilarating thought, but a necessary one – your winning ad will be eagerly consumed and can only hold intrigue for so long – it’s a simple matter of statistics. The concept of creative fatigue is so important that it should be built into your campaign early on, ready to recognize it as soon as possible. When your winning ads begin to dip, it’s time to ready the replacement. 

Tackling Creative Fatigue Head On

Effective Planning: When dealing with creative fatigue it is essential to zoom out and understand that it will set in because of your audience size (the fewer user groups targeted, the faster your ad will be seen); budget allocation (the more money spent, the faster your audience will be exposed) and the number of creatives in play (the more ads in circulation, the less likely one user will see the same one in a subsequent impression). Keeping these factors in mind will greatly assist as part of a broader fatigue strategy.

Effective Preparation: The right degree of prepwork will massively assist your ability to identify and switch for best possible ad performance. For example – considering campaign length is important, short campaigns encourage app advertisers to create and push out ad creatives in one go, whereas longer campaigns allow for better insight assessment and effective optimization. A handful of different creatives attributed over a longer period of time will see far less creative fatigue. 


Testing: Mapping out creatives from the get-go alongside a rotation and testing plan is critical for success. We are massive fans of the A/B test, and the results speak for themselves. Say for example you want to attack four markets with playable ads – having two playable ads with subtle differences per market will not only give you insights into which is the better performer, but it will give you eight playable ads right off the bat, with alternatives ready to step in at the first sign of exhaustion. 

For those willing to brave determining creative fatigue without an external tool, then naming conventions (by concept and iteration) are essential to maintain a system that can identify when creative fatigue is ready to take hold. With correct naming conventions in place and being able to quickly compare KPI and spend, you will understand that sweet spot faster, and get to a quicker understanding of when the fatigue hits and when a replacement needs to be sent into battle. 

With the right BI data in front of you, you will be able to allocate the right spend for each concept and zoom out far enough to assess performance of assets vs concepts over a designated period of time for complete ‘anti-fatigue’ optimization

Creative fatigue comes for the best of us. It is imperative to understand it, to embrace it, and factor it into your creative strategies so you can work with it, and not against it. For more insights into creative fatigue and how to simplify it, contact Liniad’s team for a thorough creative breakdown.

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