Shocking surprise: Gen X and Gen Y have very different advertising affinity characteristics, and also diverge when it comes to differences in how men and women respond to ads.
While Gen X is a smaller group than the demographics that bookend it, they are valuable because of the affluence and purchase habits. Ignore them at your own risk. New data from Nielsen zeros in on consumption habits of 35- to-54-year-olds, a cohort oriented to technology, affluence and brand loyalty.
The study, based on the tried-and-somewhat-true viewer survey method, finds that both men and women connect with household and family, and generally to real-world situations and authenticity. Also, the study shows that differences between men and women in terms of how they respond to ads is more "nuanced." Both sexes like calm and safe advertising, versus Gen Y, a population that likes anything high-energy and extreme.
Specifically, Gen X females respond to advertising that is more sentimental and relatable with themes around milestone events like a son or daughter's wedding. Men, on the other hand, respond to dialogue-driven ads, with "all-American" themes like football, cars, and "this old house"-type projects. They also like low-key and subtle ads. The study says Gen X men are "masculine, skilled, and authentic."
By contrast, Gen Y consumers respond to ads that are aspirational, and that reflect where they'd like to be in a few years more than where they are now. For Gen Y, the bottom line, per Joe Stagaman, Nielsen's EVP of advertising effectiveness and analytics, is that they know what they want, what they like, and who they are. “Recognizing this creates an opportunity for marketers to appeal to this population with a genuine and realistic campaign that Gen Xers can identify with.”