Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction Study found that although digital formats continue to be the least popular among all consumers, younger generations are more receptive to seeing ads in that type of environment.

Interestingly, for all the talk about how millennials (Gen Y) are so used to avoiding ads, they’re also the age group that has the most positive attitude towards mobile and laptop ad environments. While not as high, Gen Z consumers also appear to be more receptive to ads on a digital media platform. In fact, mobile video receptivity has improved among Gen Z since last year.

As you can see, while Generation X and Baby Boomers have very similar ad tastes, the gulf in receptivity between Gen Y and Gen Z is much wider, possibly due how the digital boom has affected their lives at different stages.

For marketers, this further shows the need to reach these consumers on mobile platforms. Mobile was cited as the most-used platform for media consumption among Gen Z, with Gen Y (Millennials) also indexing highly.

Gen Z

  • How many use a mobile device for at least one hour per day: 80%
  • How many use a laptop for at least one hour per day: 78%

Gen Y

  • How many use a mobile device for at least one hour per day: 72%
  • How many use a laptop for at least one hour per day: 68%
Aaron Peterson – Director, Marketing & Insights at Kantar Millward Brown answered the following questions regarding the study’s findings.

Q: Why it matters to marketers?

A: Consumer ad receptivity is not improving, especially within popular digital content formats like video where receptivity is either flat or down year-on-year. Gen Y (Millennials) are the most receptive generation, while Gen X and Gen Z (Centennials) are less receptive and Baby Boomers show little acceptance of digital advertising in any way. Also from AdReaction, we see consumers feel ads are both appearing in more places (79%, compared to 3 years ago) and that they are more intrusive (71%).

Q: What does this mean for the industry?

A: While 89% of marketers think they are creating integrated, customized campaigns (per Kantar Millward Brown’s Getting Media Right (2017), consumers see things differently; only 58% feel marketers are hitting the mark in terms of cohesive, tailored campaigns. When we compare perception with reality by looking at hundreds of campaigns from our Kantar Millward Brown global CrossMedia studies, we found that only 46% of them were integrated AND customized to the channel, indicating there’s still a lot of room for improvement in the industry.

Q: What steps should marketers take in response to these findings?

A: We recommend five principles for multichannel campaign success:

  1. Integrate more campaign cues, comprehensively; normative data reveals characters differentiate, visual cues are crucial, and audio helps. People aren’t going to notice all of your brand integration cues, so make sure you’re using a lot of them and testing your campaigns to make sure they actually fit together
  2. Start with a strong campaign idea, then develop tightly-integrated executions that bring that to life
  3. Make each piece of content amazing; individual creative quality will absolutely define overall campaign success, so make sure you’re taking the idea you’ve developed and doing it justice by testing all of those executions in major media
  4. Invest only in channels that have a clear role; there’s little benefit to using more channels unless they have a clear role in the campaign and/or reach your potential audience. Target judiciously, don’t intrude or annoy.
  5. Customize content for each channel; develop content for channels you can adapt effectively, finding a balance between building familiarity with audiences (i.e. making the connection of integration) while also keeping them engaged.

By applying these principles to multichannel campaigns, marketers will be on track for more successful, effective campaigns that drive greater impact on both short-term objectives and long-term brand.

About Kantar Millward Brown 
Kantar Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specializing in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and digital, and brand equity research. The company helps clients grow great brands through comprehensive research-based qualitative and quantitative solutions. Kantar Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of WPP’s Kantar group, one of the world’s leading data, insights and consultancy companies.