Millennials are more plugged into devices, yet have shorter attention spans for traditional advertising.


As spending habits shift more to mobile, marketers are tasked with a new challenge: how to present captivating ad campaigns that won’t get skipped. This is especially true when appealing to Generation Z, a new study confirmed. Research conducted by Kantar Millward Brown, an advertising and branding agency revealed that the preferences of online marketing of individuals belonging to Generation Z, Millennials and Generation X.

The survey was conducted in a series of stages — Kantar Millward Brown held online forums in the U.S., China and Germany; tested 31 ads in 10 countries, and interviewed nearly 24 thousand participants in 39 countries that ranged from Japan, France, Brazil and the U.S.

Given that Generation Z has cultivated a personal virtual venue through constant digital engagement since birth, the demographic is the least tolerant of online advertising — only 27 percent of Generation Z participants reacted favorably to mobile video.

This changes dramatically when rewards are offered in exchange for viewing a mobile ad. Fifty-eight percent of Generation Z respondents said they prefer video ads in mobile formats that offer rewards, however 43 percent said they opt for skippable pre-roll video ads that are common in YouTube and Vimeo platforms.

“The real problem for marketers is that Gen Z not only want to have this skipping option — they are also more likely to use it,” said the report. “Not only are they more likely to claim they skip ads whenever they can (both on desktop and mobile), our behavioral measurement from ad testing also shows that among those people that do skip, Gen Z skip faster: on average three seconds faster per ad than Gen X.”

Not all hope is lost. Though Generation Z-ers are wise to mobile marketing tactics, they’re much more forgiving of native advertising and celebrity endorsements, the report said. The research surprisingly revealed that Generation Z — and its older cohorts — prefers traditional forms of advertising due to the perceived amount of effort that is dedicated to executing commercials and print ads.

When finalizing marketing strategies for this younger consumer set, a comprehensive approach is best that errs away from invasive ads and opts for seemingly organic alternatives.

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