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27/09/21 Gemma Broughton

Disruptive Advertising: How to overcome ad fatigue

Advert fatigue is an issue which is becoming more and more apparent to today’s consumer. They see so many adverts every day on the internet alone that they find it hard to distinguish between each of them, spending less time reading or clicking them than they used to. If you think about it for a second, this means that if you want your advert to be seen, you need to do something different. There are two ways in which this can be achieved.


But, just how many ads do you see on a daily basis without even realising it? The answer is roughly 10,000. Now imagine seeing 10,000 versions of something similar every day. It will all become a blur and you won’t remember anything specific. ‘Cutting through the noise’ and ‘Disruptive’ are marketing buzzwords you’d probably hear and simply roll your eyes at, but are the foundation of truly achieving any ROI from social media, both from an organic and paid perspective. 

What makes a disruptive advert?

Good disruptive advertising takes what you’d think is the right thing to do for a brand and throws it out the pram. It sticks out like a sore thumb so that it is actually memorable as a part of the 10,000 ads that you view each day. Social media in particular has bred a new type of consumer; one with an incredibly short attention span. 

While traditional brand loyalty is a dying concept and consumers are incredibly bored of the big brand experience, we have all been conditioned into cycles of repetition, buying all of the products that we have been told to for decades. 

Can you recall what happens in a single Apple ad down to the specifics in the last 5 years? I bet you couldn’t, but you would 100% be able to tell me you’ve seen Apple ads everywhere. Disruptive marketing breaks all of that and is what can turn a small business into a real challenger brand. Get it wrong and you could be laughed at, but it's okay — consumers are fickle, they’ll have forgotten about it within 2 weeks.

Examples of disruptive advertising

Examples of excellent disruptive trends tend to hit viral status on social media in an instant, usually without any sort of advertising spend. This makes it one of the cheapest yet most effective ways of getting your brand/product/service out there, if done right. Disruptive can be as simple as something which literally stops you in your tracks, causes you to take a photograph and share it. 

Think Playstation around the launch of the PS5, who created tube station signs out of the iconic button layout of the PS controller. While their own posts about it achieved a reasonable level of engagement, it was the disruptive nature of seeing these pieces out and about which caused people to share their own photography and cause true virality.


People don’t come to social media to actively be advertised to. Social media is not an intent channel like search, so you need to catch eyes to stop social users scrolling past you. To do this, be disruptive. Loud visuals generate higher click through rates which in turn reduce how expensive it is to drive traffic to site, which in turn can convert more traffic into customers.

In our experience running client accounts, especially within eCommerce, disruptive ad creatives which go against the expected conventionalities are normally the top performing pieces of creative. Acquiring that all too important first click, especially within prospecting and super cold audiences is the only thing that matters from a raw performance side. From there, these types of potential customers will fall into remarketing campaigns where your conventional category and product level pieces of advertising work best. 

Think of it as a part of the traditional marketing funnel. Awareness is built through disruptive scroll stopping visuals that offer you something to digest and think about. Once they have clicked they enter the consideration phase, to where they will either be bored to death by following remarketing ads over the next 7 days, or go on to actually become a customer. It is really as simple as that.

How to be disruptive

So how do we actually be disruptive? Be everything that counteracts conventional thought about your product or brand. We recently ran what could be considered a fairly offensive ‘2 finger’ ad for a Vegan brand. The result? 8:1 ROAS and five-figure revenue off the back of a very simple and well arranged piece of art shaped in the Churchillian classic pose of sticking up the 2 fingers. 

The Vegan Kind Advert

Vegan communities swarmed into the comments, 😂’s in abundance, connecting with and enjoying the light hearted human tone to this particular ad. These engaged users then filter into remarketing audiences, and become high value customers. Most people see the funny side of it and engage with it because it is human. 

Break the chain of monotony and start disrupting your target audience's online behaviour, it’ll change your brand for the better.