Marketing Video Marketing

Ads in Online Videos Go Unnoticed by Millennials


Individuals between the ages of 18 to 34 don’t view online videos the same as older generations, says a new study conducted by YuMe and IPG Media Lab that measured the online viewing habits of different age brackets.

Millennials, or Generation Y as they are often referred, viewed more videos in every major category than Generation X (those between 35 and 54) and Baby Boomers (those who are 55 and older), with the exception of news. While this looks to be good news for online advertisers targeting the youth market, it’s not quite the whole picture. 

The study found that millennials were much more likely to multitask while viewing videos with 49 percent admitting to web browsing or completing other online related tasks while viewing videos, regardless of whether they were presented on computers, TVs, tablets or smartphones. This multitasking “seems[s] to result in digital video advertisements leaving less of an impact on millennials,” according to eMarketer, with people in this age group having a decreased ability to recall ads.

Consistently, regardless of what device is used, millennials displayed poorer ad recall than their Gen X counterparts. Watching videos on a PC netted the worst results, with just 42 percent of millennial respondents able to remember the brand displayed in an ad. Fifty-four percent of Gen Xers recalled the brand information. 

For content marketers, this requires a change in the traditional approach for online videos. If you create video content for your brand, know that you’ll need to work much harder to hold onto the younger set’s attention. Blatant sales pitches and dull information might have worked in the pre- and early Internet days, but not anymore. A robust content marketing plan will feature videos that entertain, inform, and — if appropriate — sell. It’s a delicate combination, but the very best brands have a handle on it. 

Take TOMS, for instance. This shoe brand doesn’t just insert ads into videos on the Web. They create compelling videos on the Stories section of their site that show the brand participating in global health initiatives to improve the quality of life of those around the world. That is the kind of approach that works with millennials — real content that is engaging and compelling, not the “buy, buy, buy” advertising tricks of yesteryear. 

While millennials are definitely a primary target for marketers across numerous industries, a refined approach is needed if there is any hope of an online video marketing plan succeeding. 

Photo credit: Flickr 

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