Older Online Users Are More Likely to Click On an Ad Than Those Young Whippersnappers

I shudder to imagine how an older person will fare using the Obamacare Website, being that nothing much online caters to older people, or even cares that they exist. By repute the old are infirm and Internet imbeciles who really should just watch “Dr. Phil” and shut up.

Indeed, it might be a good idea--before it’s totally hopeless—for a national campaign to get the Internet illiterates, regardless of age, to attain at least some agreed-upon grade level of competence. I am struck by the number of Internet-related products that now underscore that their new thing requires no new learning skills. (Google’s Chromecast dongle ad is a good example of the “simple” guarantee. “You won’t have to learn anything new,” it promises.)

That said, it’s interesting to learn that older American Internet users can be captivated by content.    

Slightly fewer than 1 in 8 online video ads in the US were targeted towards the 65+ crowd during Q3. That’s according to Videology, says a valuable Website called

But, the Videology report goes on to say, while old people aren’t the targets, it’s the elderly who are most likely to click on a video ad. Their index figure is 103.3, which is even better than 18-24 year olds. Their completion rate is pretty good too.

For the quarter, 31% of ads were targeted to viewers aged 55 and up, an increase from 28%. Completion rates are highest for charity ads, lowest for—get this—consumer electronics advertising. Is there some self-loathing going on here?

The Videlogy report also says the click-through rates on mobile devices is far higher than average, a point that notes is consistent with recent research from Unruly, that elicited a number of disbelieving responses when I wrote about it earlier. You’ve got to remember, of course, that Unruly and Videology are using their own samples so answers vary, as do methodologies and such.

But back to old people, for just a second, or rather back to discussing future old people: The Videology report says the least likely age group to click on an ad are people aged 45-54, and 23% of online video ads are aimed at them. The next-most targeted demo—35-44 year olds, were slightly more likely to look at an ad, and slightly less likely to finish it.

I suppose you can attribute all those stats to the possible fact that older Internet users have flat out more time to blow, or possibly, are less familiar with ways to exit from an Internet site, or just perhaps, might have this thing called “patience.” It was once considered a virtue. That was a while ago.

1 comment about "Older Online Users Are More Likely to Click On an Ad Than Those Young Whippersnappers".
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  1. Matthew Kessler from Vox Media, October 30, 2013 at 4:12 p.m.

    What is the index among 18-24 year-olds? Understandably it is under 100...

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