Digital ads will become more creative in 2012 to motivate a generation often  characterized as “stimulation junkies,” as marketers focus on capturing 79  million U.S. consumers born between 1981 and 2000. It turns out that 93% of  those ages 18 to 34 — the Millennial generation — are Internet users, compared  with 88% of adults ages 35 to 54, and 42% of adults age 55 and older, according  to a new report.

“Next Generation Strategies for Advertising to Millennials” suggests a high  comfort level with technology, along with an estimated annual $170 billion in  purchasing power, which defines this group as one of the most desirable to  marketers. It’s the first generation to grow up with computers in the home and  the classroom, not knowing a life without the Internet or cell phones.

Millennials can multitask better than other generations, combining social media with online entertainment, video chatting, homework, and television. But  they don’t pay much attention to the content on the TV. Millennials are more  difficult to persuade through television advertising when compared with older  viewers.

The average 4.6 share of choice (SOC) lift, comScore’s measurement  identifying the ad’s ability to influence brand preferences and purchases,  remains significantly lower when compared with Generation X at 5.3 SOC, baby  boomers at 6.4, or seniors at 6.6. SOC identifies the ad’s ability to influence  brand preferences and purchases.

When it comes to digital advertising, SOC measurement reflects a slightly  different story.

Millennials sit at 6.0, Generation X at 6.4, baby boomers at 6.8, and seniors  at 6.4. Marketers must find a reason — brand differentiation — for millennials  to favor their brand over another. This generation responds when given a  compelling reason to choose the brand.

Overall, influencing millennial-generation consumers through an ad remains  far more difficult compared with other generations because of the low immediate  and delayed recall rate. The study indicates that millennials have 43% immediate  recall and 24% delayed recall of an ad, compared with 50% and 23% for Generation  X, 54% and 21% for baby boomers, and 54% and 18% for seniors, respectively. The  study suggests that it is important to show the product longer, make the brand  name more visible, and have more mentions throughout the campaign.

The report, conducted in 2011 and released in January 2012, addresses whether  there are broad commonalities between millennials and other generations. It also  attempts to identify whether traditional television advertising can become as effective for this group as digital, or whether the bits and bytes remain a  better alternative.

This research also identifies more than 200 creative elements that can have  an impact on an ad’s SOC lift, while a subset of these elements, what comScore  calls Validated Drivers, has a significant impact.