Digital ad blindness happens when an ad is seen so frequently that viewers become oblivious to the ad.
“Ad blindness” occurs when viewers are over-exposed to an ad. As a result, they no longer mentally register the ad.
Display ads are more vulnerable to this phenomenon because images are recognized more readily.
Ad Blindness Primarily Impacts Display Ads
Display ads are based upon a strong image component, unlike search ads which are primarily text based. However, the bigger difference is that display ads are shown to users who do not have search intent, they are targeted using audiences.
Display ad viewers are fundamentally different than search ad viewers because display ads are not displayed in response to a search engine query on a search engine results page. Instead, they are displayed at targeted spots across the internet, and within apps on mobile devices.
This can be pertinent to search campaigns after they run for a long period of time; but not in most market segments. On the Google and Microsoft PPC platforms, high-performance search ads can run successfully for years without performance decay. Primarily, ad blindness is an issue with display ads.
With search ads, there is a search intent – the person searching is querying a search engine, to find something. With Display Ads, on the other hand, we are delivering ads to “audiences” of targeted people who may have an interest, but likely don’t initially have an intent. In other words, search is a form of direct marketing and display is advertising.
When Does Ad Blindness Occur?
Ad blindness occurs when a display ad is seen so many times, it becomes part of the background. It’s ignored by the subconscious so literally, fails to “make an impression”.
Digital ad blindness is treatable!
How do we overcome this as advertisers? In Display campaigns, we are always on the lookout for new images and copies to test against existing ads. We make full use of responsive display ad formats, which can rotate from a selection of images; and we are always on the lookout for decaying ad performance.