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.