Marketers, let’s clear something up.
Millennials do respond to television advertising.
me back up. There’s a lot of chatter about Gen Y’s receptiveness to TV advertising after comScore’s new whitepaper was summarized in
Ad Age last week. But, two of those findings
fall in the myth category, not fact.
Allow me to elaborate.
Myth: Millennials don’t respond to TV ads
as much as their elders.
Fact: Millennials do respond to TV ads as much as their elders. The value of TV
advertising is unparalleled, even to Millennials.
- Millennials look to TV to keep up with
the hottest things to buy. In our research, Adult Millennials rated television ads as the top medium to discover what’s cool. Programs on
broadcast and cable closely followed. Generation X and Baby Boomers showed a similar pattern.
- Nothing even comes close to
generating awareness among Millennials the way TV commercials do. One in five Adult Millennials say TV ads are the most effective way to get their
attention about products. Gen X and Boomers showed a similar pattern.
- When forming opinions about products and making purchase
decisions, Generation Y says TV advertising is a key influencer. Half of Adult Millennials said ads on TV are important in forming an opinion about
products; one in ten even said it is the most effective way. One in five Millennials said TV ads help them decide whether or not to buy a product. Gen
X and Baby Boomer numbers are comparable.
Myth: Millennials are about as responsive to digital ads as other
Fact: Millennials are more responsive to digital ads than other generations.
- Millennials are more likely than Xers or Boomers to interact with digital ads. In every
type of basic Internet advertising Magid Generational Strategies™ studied (banners, pop-ups, video, animated, rollover and Facebook), the same
pattern emerged – the older the respondent, the more likely they were to ignore it and the younger the respondent, the more likely they were to
pay attention/interact with it. For example, half of Baby Boomers, compared to only a third of Gen Y, say they tend to ignore pop-ups—ads
universally categorized as annoying.
- Millennials increasingly get, and expect, behavioral targeting, but for
the most part, Boomers don’t yet. Marketers know online advertising has gotten dramatically better the past few years. So do Millennials.
Tracking our data back to 2008, we see that Gen Y’s expectations for online advertising rose in practically every area, whereas Baby
Boomers’ remained largely unchanged. Gen X’s expectations tend to be more closely aligned with Millennials’ than Boomers’.
- Placement of ads accompanying online video doesn’t matter to Gen Y, they remember it all the same; such is
not true for their elders. Video ads that appear before online content (e.g., watching a sitcom on Hulu) and ads in the breaks of content are
similarly memorable to Adult Millennials. Xers and Boomers show a big disparity, favoring the ads before the content.
Marketers subscribing to the myth will rely on comScore’s findings to rationalize unsatisfactory ROIs and ineffective web
Marketers questioning the myth will think of television’s undeniable reach and wonder what products and ads were
shown in the comScore study.
Marketers recognizing facts remember TV is Millennials’ top medium for discovering
what’s cool and they are just as likely to be influenced by TV advertising throughout the buying process as Xers and Boomers. These marketers
will also remember Millennials understand, expect and like behavioral targeting and accordingly respond to online advertising more than their