FOMO is scared of missing out, real

7 Real Examples of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) in Advertising You Can Copy

Advertising is not easy. It's really hard to convince someone to buy your product at a time when the average person is seeing between 4K to 10K + ads per day. Advertisers and marketers are facing a ton of problems as consumers have started using ad blockers to stop seeing annoying and irrelevant ads. 48% of consumers say they use ad blockers because they see too many ads:

If you know the basics of advertising, you can still easily stand out from the crowd by creating personalized ads that your audience will interact with. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) advertising is one such technique that is used extensively in today's advertising and marketing industries.

If you are new to using advertising for fear of missing out, these 7 examples will show you how powerful it is and how best to do it.

But first…

What is fear of missing out on advertising?

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon in which people are afraid of missing out on things that others might have fun with. One study defined it as follows:

"The restless and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you are missing out on something - that your colleagues know more or something better or are in possession of it."

It is used in advertising to create fear in the audience and then persuade them to take action. And it works. Research shows that 69% of Millennials experience FOMO and therefore show themselves, share and get involved. Over 60% of Millennials said they make purchases based on FOMO.

Promotional examples of the fear of missing out

The following 7 examples of fear of missing out in advertising will inspire you to use FOMO in your advertising campaigns to see instant results.

1. Remaining inventory

Viewing items that are still in stock is one of the best ways to trigger FOMO. A product that is limited in stock is perceived as high quality and people want to buy it so they don't miss out on what others are using.

Here is an example:

When people see an item is running out, they fear they will miss it and end up buying it. However, scarcity works best with perishable and time-limited products, according to Sungho Park. Hotel rooms, for example, are a perfect example of temporary products.

Here is an example from

You can't afford to miss that last room, can you?

2. Countdown timer

Using countdown timers is a great way to mark scarcity and make your traditional products appear for a limited time. You must have seen countdown timers on multiple websites including ecommerce stores. This is a perfect way to create a fear of missing out.

Here is an example of what a countdown timer looks like:

Research shows that countdown timers increase sales by 30%. Using countdown timers with exclusive items is a great way to increase conversions and sales.

3. Reviews and recommendations

Reviews and recommendations from customers are very likely to trigger a fear of missing out. Positive reviews show that people are enjoying your product and this dispels fear among potential buyers that they are missing the benefits that others have access to.

This is why 72% of customers take no action until they read reviews and recommendations from existing customers.

Here is an example from Amazon. A product that has been reviewed by 27K+ customers means it does what it says on the tin and that's what FOMO does in someone who looks at the review:

The more reviews you have the better as it makes your product more attractive to potential customers.

4. Social proof

Ratings and recommendations are an important form of social proof, but there is another type of social proof that is used extensively in advertising related to the fear of missing out. Showing website visitors who bought your product via a notification is ideal as social proof to trigger FOMO.

Here is an example from Trust Pulse helping companies show these types of instant notifications to website visitors:

We actually pretty much have the same functionality as the TrustPulse above, but I'll let you decide what suits your needs. also uses this technique. They mention the number of times a particular hotel has been booked in the past few hours to encourage people to act:

When visitors see people buying a product, they want to buy the same products to make sure they aren't left out.

5. Early bird discount

Giving discounts to the first hundred customers is another FOMO technique that is used extensively by marketers and advertisers. It is mainly used for events and conferences.

Here is an example:

Research shows that the early bird discount is one of the most effective and top-rated event promotion techniques:

Why does it work

Because people don't want to miss the event and they end up buying the ticket to avoid missing out.

6. Limited access

If there's one thing that clearly shows your audience that they missed something or something is missing, it's limited access. Limited access requires a visitor to fill out a form or register to gain access to the content.

Here is an example:

Limited content is used by leading blogs and websites such as HBR, Statista, The New York Times, and others. In this case, your content must be exclusive and of high quality for it to work.

7. Missed opportunities

Showing your audience what opportunities they have missed and what they will miss (if they don't take action now) is another FOMO technique. You are clearly telling potential buyers what you are going to miss out on, and that works very well for the most part.

Here is an example:

This shows potential buyers that they missed an opportunity and they can then switch to other hotels and make reservations quickly to avoid missing their favorite hotel again.

When showing visitors what they have missed, it is important to offer them alternatives and encourage them to act quickly.


The fear of missing out on something is used a lot today. You will see it everywhere from small brands to multinationals. It gives great results when used properly.

When using FOMO in advertising, you need to make sure you are not creating a fake scarcity. If a product is not in short supply, don't say it is. This could backfire. Use it carefully and honestly and it will give you the results you want.

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