A recent report from Nielsen highlights that African-Americans are exuberant and reflective—optimistic about present-day advances in income, education, entrepreneurship and health care, and determined to forge a better future as influential leaders and catalysts of social awareness against discrimination and social injustice.

Mia Scott from Nielsen, Robin Beaman and Shawn Tayler from Beamatic, write about highlights from the Nielsen report, pointing out that with $162 billion in buying power and undisputed cultural influence, Black Millennials are using their power to successfully raise awareness of issues facing the Black community and influence decisions shaping our world. Media and brands are taking notice, creating campaigns and content that target this increasingly influential demographic with greater ad spends and more diverse programming.

The 2016 report, they note, delves into the spending and viewing habits of African-Americans overall and credits a voracious appetite for television content with the dramatic increase in diverse television programming. Between 2011 and 2015, broadcast network TV ad spend focused on Black audiences (defined as ad dollars placed on programming with greater than 50% Black viewers) increased by 255%. The Top 10 TV shows among Black Millennials 18–24 and Blacks 35+ all had predominately Black casts or lead actors who are key to the storyline.

Marketers can target Affluent Blacks with TV and newspaper advertising. According to AudienceSCAN research, 20.3% of Affluent Blacks think TV is the most helpful for planning a big purchase; and 17.4% think newspapers are.

Some other key highlights from the report include:

  • Overall Black spending power is projected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020.
  • From 2004 – 2014 the number of Black households with annual incomes of $50,000 – $75,000 increased 18% compared to 2% for the total U.S. For Black households earning $100,000+ annually, the increase between 2004 and 2014 was 95%, compared with 66% for the total population.
  • The share of Black households with an income less than $25,000 declined from 43% in 2004 to 37% of the total African-American population in 2014.

PR Daily, in a recent report on this subject, proposes that, for marketing pros who seek to tap into this ethnically diverse and complex audience, Nielsen’s latest report “Young, connected and black” suggests examining one niche in particular: African-American millennials. To foster a more productive and successful connection with these consumers, consider the following approaches, says the PR report.

Authentic campaigns from advertisers would be well received by Affluent Blacks listening to radio. According to AudienceSCAN data, 62.3% took action after hearing radio (over-the-air, online, mobile or tablet) spots in the past year.

To hook black millennials, the messages and images must be authentic, says the report. A few specific interests to note from the report are:

  • Trend-setting black consumers are influencing the U.S. mainstream in profound and far-reaching ways when it comes to social media usage, television programming diversification, sports viewing, technology adoption and social activism.
  • Since African-American millennials over-index for learning about technology and electronic products from others, discussing and giving others advice about technology, and recommending technology products to people they know, campaigns using brand ambassadors should be considered when developing growth strategies.
  • Watching TV and movies is the primary way that African-Americans spend their time, says the report. Black viewers are helping to elevate up-and-coming black celebrities and programs, which are at the forefront of a trend towards diversity in television, movies and other media forms. More than 60% of black millennials agree that they feel really good about seeing celebrities in the media who share their ethnic background.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.