Ad Overfrequency Sucks!

  • by , Featured Contributor, November 2, 2023

Everyone who watches streaming TV — all of us — knows that we get way too many of the same ads, over and over and over again. Day in and day out. Week in and week out. And it only seems to be getting worse.

OK, but who's really getting hurt by streaming ad overfrequency? No one dies here. Is it so bad to get so many ads for Capital One and Max (except for Capital One and Max, who are certainly wasting a bunch of money on it)?

Yes, it does matter, and more damage is being caused than we might think. There’s research to prove it.

In July, Magna Global published research with streaming ad platform Nexxen on this very topic, studying results of campaigns involving restaurant company Applebee’s and apparel brand New Balance.

Here's what they found:

1)   87% of connected TV ad viewers said that they received too many of the same ads in their streaming viewing.

2)   83% said that they believed that the oversaturation was intentional, with more than two-thirds of all viewers believing it was the advertiser that was doing it to them intentionally.



3)   The more the same ad was viewed in a session, the more the purchase intent of those viewers dropped, with a 16% drop in purchase intent by the 6th impression.

4)   After suffering this overfrequency, 36% were inclined to never want to see that ad again.

You don’t believe this study? Do your own anecdotal research, with friends, family, acquaintances, total strangers -- anyone! I bet you’ll find validation for the Magna work.

We need to stop this. We are wasting advertisers’ money. We are hurting their brands. We are creating negative experiences within streaming services, which can only erode loyalty and viewership. We are poisoning that well that so many of us hope to be able to drink out of for decades.

Listen to streaming TV viewers: Overfrequency sucks! Fix it.

2 comments about "Ad Overfrequency Sucks!".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 2, 2023 at 5:56 p.m.

    Dave, I agree that something should be done about "over exposure" to the same commercial in the same episode of a program that a viewer is watching. Although we have lived with this for decades in our extended TV sports presentations and on some cable channels.

    But that's not the same thing as over exposure to a TV ad campaign which takes place over time when the commercials are shown in different programs on different channels. That's in large part a function of ad budget size which, in turn is a function of a brand's position within its product category. Big brands tend to out spend small ones.

    The survey you cited does not surprise me as it's a given that consumers will complain about too many "redundant" ads---especially in the same episode. Whether  such excess repetition will actually translate into would be customers "punishing" the offending advertiser by not using the product is open to question. Also I wonder how often does this situation arise? If one takes a typical national TV buy involving placements on the broadcast TV networks, cable channels, AVODs and FASTs does it manifest itself half of the time or 25% or 10% or 2%? If the answer is more than 10% then I agree that could be a problem that should be dealt with urgently. But if it happens to only 2% of your "impressions"---or less, maybe we should turn our attention to more urgent problems---like convincing the sellers to allow the  inclusion of ad attentiveness measures in our TV rating services.

  2. James Smith from J. R. Smith Group, November 2, 2023 at 6:20 p.m.

    Spot-on Dave. Many streamers, such as the network news live feeds, are also guilty of delivering the same batch of on-air program promos too.

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