Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 281–301

Minimum effective frequency for interactive television ads


DOI: 10.1057/dddmp.2010.6

Cite this article as:
Bellman, S., Schweda, A. & Varan, D. J Direct Data Digit Mark Pract (2010) 11: 281. doi:10.1057/dddmp.2010.6


A key task for advertising media planners is setting a frequency goal for a campaign. This study used a controlled experiment to identify the minimum effective frequency (MEF) for TV ads offering interactive response, as opposed to direct response by phone call. Participants (N=273) were exposed to ads one, three or five times. A control cell saw normal TV ads, while an interactive TV (iTV) cell saw the same ads with interactive response banners superimposed. We found the usual ‘build-up’ effects for repeated exposure on ad memory in the control cell, but there was little added value in repeat exposure for generating interactive response (ie MEF=1). Interaction rates were higher for familiar brands, but brand familiarity did not alter the effect of repetition. These results suggest that iTV ads should be placed with a reach strategy, rather than a frequency strategy.


interactive televisionadvertisingmedia planningfrequencyresponsewear-out

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interactive Television Research Institute Murdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia