Digital Marketing Ads Connect with Younger Audiences

BY Denise Gibson
Featured image for “Digital Marketing Ads Connect with Younger Audiences”

If your client’s target audience is or includes younger consumers, you can’t rely on general marketing data alone. Millennials and Generation Z have very different interests than their older counterparts, with a soft spot for digital marketing ads. Here’s how your client should really be targeting them.

Digital Marketing Ads Connect with Younger Audiences

Younger Generations Love Digital Ads

According to data from Horowitz, the digital marketing ads that younger generations are much more likely to find effective than older ones are:

  • Text Ads
  • Social Media Posts
  • Influencer Sponsorships
  • Podcast Ads
  • Ads in Music Streaming Services

That’s WAY different than the ads that are currently considered to be the most effective overall:

  • Email
  • Traditional TV
  • Streamed TV
  • Direct Mail
  • YouTube
  • Websites

Overall, according to data from AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel, here are the top five types of ads younger generations took action because of within the last year.

Generation Z:

  • Social Media Ads: 66.4% of this audience took action because of these ads within the last year
  • Ads on Mobile Smartphone Apps or Received Via Text: 64.9%
  • Streaming TV Ads: 63.9%
  • Sponsored Search Results: 62.8%
  • Pre-​Roll Video Ads: 61.5%


  • Social Media Ads: 77.6%
  • Streaming TV Ads: 77.4%
  • Ads on Mobile Smartphone Apps or Received Via Text: 76.6%
  • Traditional TV Ads: 75.3%
  • Sponsored Search Results: 75.3%

As you can see, digital clearly rules the roost for both generations. To learn more about their ad preferences, you can visit their profiles on AudienceSCAN. You can also your client’s target audience’s AudienceSCAN profile to see that audience’s age demographic information. 

That way, you can know for certain whether your client should cater their ads toward younger audiences.

Younger Generations Don’t Favor Print Ads

While you’ve heard that direct mail ads are making a comeback in a big way, not all generations agree.

According to Horowitz, 41% of consumers over the age of 50 believe that direct mail ads are effective. Younger generations who prefer digital marketing ads don’t feel quite the same. Only 20% of consumers between the ages of 35 and 49 agree that direct mail ads are effective. Only 13% of 18- to 34-​year-​olds agree.

That opinion extends to print ads in general, as well. Only 13% of 35- to 49-​year-​olds agree that print ads are effective. Only 7% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 agree. That’s way less than the 22% of average consumers over the age of 50.

Streamed TV is the Perfect Middle Ground

As you saw in the list of top ads for the two younger generations, streamed TV ads are super effective with them, especially millennials. Younger generations may be pulling away from traditional TV, but they still want to watch their favorite shows with fewer interruptions.

While many streaming services have been ad free in the past, ad-​supported streaming is picking back up. This spells great opportunity for more digital marketing ads targeting younger generations.

To create truly effective streaming TV ads, you have to get creative, says Horowitz. “As the digital television advertising space matures, consumers are becoming bullish on interactive advertising features that blue the lines between promotions and commerce.”

For example, your client can create streaming TV digital marketing ads that:

  • Feature products and services related to what they’re watching
  • Allow them to purchase products and services in the show that they’re watching by scanning an on-​screen code
  • Use augmented reality to “see how things might look in real life before buying”

Overall, younger generations, such as members of Generation Z and millennials, shouldn’t be targeted primarily with traditional ads. You client needs to invest in digital marketing ads to truly connect with these consumers.

Photo by: Karthik Balakrishnan