Opportunities to engage with Millennials might abound, but captivating their attention is a more challenging feat. Nielsen’s latest report, “Millennials on Millennials,” revealed that while the tech-friendly generation is plugged in, they recall advertising less frequently than older generations — posing a unique conundrum for marketers: how to confirm that content is resonating with the demographic despite what alluring traffic might suggest.

In order to collate the data, Nielsen tapped its many sources to devise a custom survey to investigate the behavior of the generation. In addition to analyzing eight TV show premieres, Nielsen also reviewed numerous of its studies such as Nielsen TV Brand Effect, Nielsen National TV Toolbox, and its first-quarter comparable metrics report.

According to the report, Millennials hold connected TV devices in higher regard than generations that precede them. “TV-connected devices — DVD players, VCRs, game consoles and digital streaming devices — compose four times the percentage of Millennials’ total video minutes than adults 35 and older. TV-connected devices account for 23 percent of Millennials’ total time with video, compared with just 6 percent for consumers 35 and older,” the report said.

Channel-flippers, Millennials are not. The study found that less than two percent of 18- to 34-year-olds changed the channel during a commercial, while more than five percent of Generation X channel surfed during commercials — eight percent of those 55 and older skipped commercials.

Though Millennials remained on a certain channel the longest, their attention was far lower due to multiscreen viewing. “Millennials had the lowest program engagement and lowest ad memorability scores during the studied shows,” said the report. This is largely due to their reference to social media during said breaks — think about strategic ad timing here — while keeping TVs tuned in the background. “Nielsen’s recent Millennial Media Advisors Report notes that TV ads have an average memorability of 38 percent among Millennials, 10 percentage points lower than among Gen Xers 35 and over [48 percent],” the report said.

More on Consumer Behavior from WWD:

Categorizing the Consumer: Four Classifications Necessary for Success

Cloud Curiosity: Uncertain About Security, Shoppers Hesitate

Knowing Generation Z Behavior is Essential in Fashion Apparel Product Development

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