Millennials Watch Digital Video, Still Hard To Reach With Ads

Young people are more digitally savvy right? They watch more video, play more games and spend more time in front of their screens, don’t they?

By and large, the answer is yes. And while logic would dictate that reaching them via digital venues is a slam-dunk, that’s not actually the case. Millennials might watch more videos, but they are also more distracted while watching, meaning marketers have to work harder when it comes to brand recall and persuasion, according to a recent study from ad platform YuMe and IPG Media Lab.

First, let’s set the stage. The study found that those in the 18-to-34 age range are more likely to watch digital videos in nearly all content categories. About 37% of Millennials watch TV shows online frequently, compared with 26% of Generation Xers, and 16% of Baby Boomers. Millennials also watch more movies and user-generated programming than those groups.



But despite their high video consumption, this group remains somewhat elusive to marketers. About 49% said they multitasked on a Web-enabled device when watching videos on TVs, PCS, smartphones or tablets, a stat that’s much higher than for other demos – 36% for Gen Xers and 26% for Baby Boomers. As such, digital video ads have less of an impact and Millennials recall them with less frequency.

The solution to reaching Millennials across devices may lie in more refined and targeted exposures. Video ads are most effective among Millennials when appearing on smartphones, the study found. The ads that do break through can make a bigger impact -- especially in the perception of quality, modernity and respect for brands that reach them via smartphones.

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