Multitasking Millennials to be Targeted with More Creative Ads

Last week, we highlighted a study by LIM which characterized Millennials as being a group that enjoys shopping in traditional stores, especially for apparel and footwear. The study also indicated their reputation for heavily using technology may be overstated. But research from a different source indicates that marketers can reach Millennials with their online advertising messages as long as they use the right strategies.

A new comScore study shed more light on advertising to Millennials. comScore first considered TV and reports that advertising through this channel is a difficult way to connect with Millennials. Interestingly, a similar study in 1999 which focused on Gen X consumers reported the same outcome, leading researchers to conclude that  “lower responsiveness to advertising among young consumers is at least in part a reflection of life-​stage rather than generational factors.” The comScore study also found that Millennials had poorer immediate recall of TV ads but when they did like an ad and the related product or service, their extended recall was higher than that of any other group. Not surprisingly, Millennials were more receptive to online advertising than all other demographic groups.

comScore researchers also tested responsive to ad content by age group. While highly engaging creative copy is a must, Millennials over index in their response to ads when :

  •  The brand is clearly differentiated
  • The brand is compared to competitors
  • The ad contains a child/​infant/​animated character

Millennials also want information on the product benefits and what they can expect as a result of using the brand. In all of these cases, the younger generation is exhibiting ‘a pragmatic streak’. Researchers again compared these findings to an older study and noted that younger consumers, especially women have more skepticism.

To reach this group, marketers will focus on creativity, but ads – whether on TV or online – should also differentiate brands from the competition and list out product benefits.

[Source: Next-​Generation Strategies for Advertising to Millennials. comScore​.com. January 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2012]


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.