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Half Of Young Consumers Ignore This Kind Of Ad

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Young consumers are known for their ad avoidance, so we wanted to know what types of ads they are most likely to ignore or avoid…

Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat–oh my! The avenues for advertising to young consumers today are as varied as the colors in a Unicorn Frappuccino–but that doesn’t make reaching them any easier. As we told you yesterday, the ways in which Millennials and Gen Z allocate their attention to different digital platforms is leading to a fragmentation in advertising that is causing brands to take on numerous strategies to reach 13-35-year-olds, and keep up with trends that are out as fast they’re in. To make matters worse, Millennials and Gen Z are notoriously ad-skipping: According to a recent study from the McCarthy Group, 84% of millennials stated they did not like traditional marketing. As one 22-year-old female told us, “Ads do not make me want to purchase things, they do the opposite.”

That said, most young consumers don’t always mind seeing ads online—as long as their “space” is respected. Defy Media and TMI Strategy found that 13-25-year-olds were open to seeing ads that are contextually relevant and informative, and that don’t interrupt their experience. Anything that “clogs their feed” is off the table, but they’re not averse to all ad placements: 78% don’t consider product placement offensive, 62% follow at least one branded account, and 44% are subscribed to a branded newsletter. Additionally, 15% of 13-35-year-olds tell Ypulse they don’t actively avoid ads at all.

The other 75%, however, is not a lost cause. The key for brands is knowing what platforms Millennials and Gen Z don’t mind seeing ads on and–just as importantly–the types of ads they dislike the most. To get a sense of what’s not working, we asked 1000 13-35-year-olds, “Which of the following types of advertising do you usually ignore or try to avoid?” Here’s what they had to say:

Space is limited on a smartphone screen, so when an ad pops up in their favorite mobile apps, 13-35-year-olds aren’t happy about it—half of them say they actively ignore or avoid this type of advertising. However, Millennials spend an average of 75 hours on apps per month and are more likely than any other generation to make mobile purchases, according to MobCo Media, so it’s hard to ignore the potential for reaching young consumers this way. The key is to keep the ads relevant and intriguing, which, according to Adweek, is best achieved via video.

However, success with video is all about context–the second most-ignored ad is pre-roll video, which play before streaming content on platforms like Hulu and YouTube. But there’s a catch to these, as well: When the ad utilizes The Influencer Effect, young consumers are much more likely to tolerate it. A study from Defy found that 58% of young viewers don’t mind watching ads to support their favorite online celebrities. Additionally, it’s all about timing. The vast majority of Millennials (89%) tell Defy that 5-second intros featuring a sponsor are mostly fine with them while 80% say a 15-second pre-roll is acceptable. Just 53% will tolerate a one-minute spot. The takeaway? Keep it short and preferably feature an influencer to keep their attention.

Banner ads come in at number three on the list: 44% of Millennials and Gen Z say they ignore them. This isn’t surprising considering banner ads are the easiest to turn off—by downloading a simple ad blocker, scrolling the web can become an ad-free experience, and 43% of 13-35-year-olds tell Ypulse they utilize this method of ad avoidance.

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here