How to advertise to Millennials

Nathan Pensky · January 24, 2012 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/23cb
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New study shows 13 to 31 year olds are less responsive to TV ads

As part of Generation Y, or the Millennials, I can attest that advertisements don't make much of an impression on me. It's just too darn easy to get distracted by the myriad other things vying for my attention. (Actually, I'm not sure if that makes me a Millennial or an ADHD-case.)

But keeping up with Millennials can be difficult, especially if you are the lucky one tasked with selling us a product. So if you find yourself grumbling about "kids these days," or you scratch your head at the music you hear blasting the earbuds of the young person in front of you in line at the coffee shop, you might be interested in new findings by comScore about how to advertise to Millennials.

Just as a refresher, Millennials are the generation born in the 80s or 90s, or anyone between the ages of 13 to 31 years old. Millennials are younger than Generation Xers, which were born between 1965 and 1980.  This generation is also called "Echo Boomers," as they're typically children of Baby Boomers.

ComScore found Millennials' defining characteristics to be comfort with new technology and cultural diversity, and being accustomed to on-demand access to entertainment, continual stimulation and extreme multitasking. Remember, these are people who've grown up with computers in the home and in the classroom, not knowing life without a cell phone.


Not surprisingly, the research found that Millennials are less susceptible to television advertising.

Slightly less predictable was that they've also been found to have higher inclination than other generations to actually retain impressions from TV advertising. So it seems its hard to impress Gen Y-ers, but once they are impressed, they're hooked.

Millennials show themselves to be generally less interested and more difficult to connect with. They're also harder to impress, convince and entertain. Research shows that digital advertising performs better with Millennials than TV. They're more price-conscious, and comScore speculates the reason is that they are less accustomed to disposable income.

While the above findings may paint a somewhat bleak picture of Millennials, in terms of their propensity to convert advertising spend, there are also some encouraging results.

In this figure, we can see that while the somewhat reduced attention span of Millennials makes for decreased immediate recall, they have a higher delayed recall than other demographics. This can be an important response in the ad moentization.

Like other age demographics, Millennials were found to be affected by creativity in advertising. They're also engaged in content they have decided they're interested in, both in television and digital mediums. ComScore views "engagement" as an important aspect in effective advertising, but especially so with Millennials.

So for advertisers set with the daunting task of actually manufacturing this "engagement," go creative. You'll possibly toil fruitlessly, but if you happen to tap into something that catches Millennials' attention, you're likely to have loyal customers.

[Image Credit: comScore]

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