Why One Advertisement is Not Enough

You finally did it. You ran an advertisement.

After months (or even years) of getting your business off the ground and establishing a base of customers, you decided it was time to put your product in front of millions of eyes. So you placed an ad. Now all you have to do is sit back, relax and wait for the sales to start pouring in. Or so you thought.

One Advertisement is Not Enough

Sitting back and waiting for a spike in sales would be ideal, but it’s likely not what’s going to happen after placing only one advertisement. What’s going to happen is nothing. That’s not what advertising agencies want you to believe, but it’s the truth. One advertisement is not enough to change anything.

What agencies should tell you, however, is that you need to place a certain number of ads to start seeing an increase in sales. You need a campaign or a package to see results. It would be great if placing one advertisement was enough, but most of the time it’s not even enough for customers to remember seeing your product. 


Running your advertisement in multiple publications will increase your chances of success.

Magic Number 3

Luckily, the number of times it takes for consumers to start recalling your product isn’t that much higher than one. It’s three.

According to numerous studies conducted throughout the years, the magic number when it comes to frequency in advertising is three. Essentially, a shopper needs to see your product three times before he or she is ready to make a purchase. The first time you place an ad, a shopper may or may not see it, but he likely flips the page without much interest. The second time, he notices your ad. Maybe he stops to look at it; maybe he doesn’t. But somewhere in his mind, your product has registered. By the third time, the shopper is interested. He wants to know more about your product at this point. He’s seen it multiple times, so it must be worth checking out.

This is called effective frequency. It’s effective because you target your consumers and make a sale without waste. You don’t need to show a potential customer your ad 50 times. That’s a waste of your time, money and resources. If a shopper was going to buy your product, he or she would’ve bought it long before seeing your ads 50 times. But just as having too high of a frequency is a waste, so is having too low.

Don’t Give Up

Placing an advertisement and failing to see results is frustrating. You paid money and spent time creating this ad, and you’re getting nothing in return. Now you wonder, how can this advertising agency ask me to do more of something that didn’t work in the first place?

Although is seems counterproductive, don’t give up after one advertisement. You might not see results yet, but they’re closer than you think.

If you don’t believe us, take it from one of our long-time clients, Ron Cummings, founder of Aminogenesis Skin Care:

How does a company know if their message is connecting with their potential customers? It’s probably the single most important question to ask yourself as the campaign manager. You can’t possibly know that by advertising once, or even twice. If your ads are not getting the results you want….it’s not the publication…it’s your message or offer. Stay consistent, keep refining your message. Once you get your message right, you have created a treasure map for your company!” – Ron Cummings, founder of Aminogenesis 

As Ron says, once or twice is just not enough. For your advertising to truly succeed, you need frequency. You need to stay consistent, yet refine your message and keep it current; you need to test different ads, and see what works best. One time is not enough to try all of this.

Although it might seem frustrating, advertising is all about frequency. Don’t quit after one unsuccessful advertisement. Just remember, Nike didn’t embed “Just Do It” in your brain with only one ad. Keep trying, and your ads will soon succeed!