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

Trustmary teamTrustmary team
Last edited: June 26th, 2024

Advertising isn’t easy.

It is really hard to persuade someone to buy your product in an era where an average person sees between 4K to 10K+ ads per day.

It has created a lot of problems with advertisers and marketers as consumers have started using ad blockers to stop seeing annoying and irrelevant ads.

As much as 48% of users say that they use ad blockers because they see too many ads:


If you know the basics of advertising, you can still stand out from the crowd easily 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 space.

If you are new to fear of missing out advertising, the following 7 examples will show you how powerful it is and how you can do the same.

But first…

What is Fear of Missing Out in Advertising?

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon where people fear missing out on things that others might be having fun with. A study defined it as:

“The uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you.”

It is used in advertising to trigger fear in the audience and then persuade them to take action. And it works. Research shows that 69% of millennials experience FOMO and consequently they show up, share, and engage. Over 60% of millennials reported that they make purchases based on FOMO.

Fear of Missing Out Advertising Examples

The following 7 examples of Fear of Missing Out in advertising will inspire you to start using FOMO in your advertising campaigns to see instant results.

1. Stock Left

Showing items left in the stock is one of the best ways to trigger FOMO. A product that’s limited in stock is perceived to be of high quality and people want to buy it, so they don’t miss what others are using.

Here is an example:

When people see that an item is scarce, they fear missing it and end up buying it. However, scarcity works best with perishable and time-sensitive products, according to Sungho Park. For example, hotel rooms are a perfect example of time-sensitive products.

Here is an example from Booking.com:

You can’t afford to miss this last room, right?

2. Countdown Timer

Using countdown timer is a great way to highlight scarcity and to make your traditional products appear time-sensitive. You must have seen countdown timers on several websites including eCommerce stores. This is a perfect way to trigger fear of missing out.

Here is an example of how 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 boost conversions and sales.

3. Reviews and Testimonials

Reviews, ratings, and testimonials from customers trigger fear of missing out to a great extent. Positive reviews show that people are enjoying your product, and this ignites a fear in potential buyers that they’re missing the benefits that others are having access to.

This is the reason why 72% of customers don’t take any action until they have read reviews and testimonials from existing customers.

Here is an example from Amazon. A product that has been reviewed by more than 27K customers means it delivers and this is what triggers FOMO in someone who is looking at the rating:

More reviews you have, the better as it makes your product more appealing to potential customers.

4. Social Proof

Reviews and testimonials are an important form of social proof but there is another social proof type that is extensively used in fear of missing out advertising. Showing website visitors who have purchased your product via a notification is an ideal social proof that triggers FOMO instantly.

Here is an example from Trustmary that helps businesses show these types of instant notifications to website visitors:

fomo advertising examples

You can choose from:

Sign up free to figure out how Trustmary could help you grow with FOMO and social proof, starting with reviews.

Back to the example.

Booking.com also uses this technique. They mention how many times a specific hotel has been booked in the past few hours to encourage people to take action:

When visitors see that people are buying a product, they want to buy the same products to ensure they aren’t left out.

5. Early Bird Discount

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

Here is an example:

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

fomo strategies that work

Why does this work?

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

6. Gated Content

If there is one thing that clearly shows your audience that they have missed something or are missing something, it’s gated content. Gated content requires a visitor to fill out a form or register in order to get access to the content.

Gated content is also often referred to as lead magnets, as it’s something that pulls in potential customers and is so valuable that people are ready to exchange their contact information for it.

These can easily be used as Facebook lead gen ads.

Here is an example:

Gated content is used by leading blogs and sites such as HBR, Statista, The New York Times, and others. Your content, in this case, must be exclusive and high quality in order to make it work.

A further example on gated content and how to use it in marketing can be found by reading our Definitive Guide for Understanding the Power of Social Proof.

7. Missed Opportunities

Showing your audience what opportunities they have missed and what they’re about to miss (if they won’t take action now) is another FOMO technique. You are clearly telling potential buyers what they are about to miss, and this works very well in most cases.

Here is an example:

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

When showing visitors what they have missed, it is essential to provide them with alternatives and guide them to take action quickly.


Fear of Missing Out is used a lot today. You’ll see it everywhere from small brands to multinational companies. It delivers great results when used right.

When using FOMO in advertising, you need to make sure that you don’t create fake scarcity. If a product isn’t scarce, don’t show it that it is running out.

This could backfire. Use it carefully and honestly and it is sure to deliver.

Further Reading

If you’re looking for more to read on this topic, here are some suggestions:

Trustmary team
Trustmary team


Trustmary is the most effective way to convert more sales by improving digital trust.