Myth Busting: Millennials DO Respond To TV Advertising

Marketers, let’s clear something up.

Millennials do respond to television advertising.

Let 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.

The Evidence:

  • 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 generations.

Fact: Millennials are more responsive to digital ads than other generations.

The Evidence:

  • 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 campaigns.

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 elders.

1 comment about "Myth Busting: Millennials DO Respond To TV Advertising".
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  1. Petar RADETA from service pub & sparta kakanjac, January 27, 2012 at 11:02 a.m.

    I Like hawe TV to my mlog

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