Who Are Millennials?
Millennials, the largest living generation in the United States, were born 1981 - 1996. They are also one of the most disliked generations of our time. An enormous amount of negative articles, Saturday Night Live skits, and late night fodder exist about Millennials. They’re entitled. They’re lazy. They grew up with participation ribbons. They love avocado toast, yada, yada, yada.
What Is “Traditional” Advertising?
Traditional advertising is what most people think of when they hear the word “advertising.” It consists of media placement in newspapers, radio, cable television, and billboards. As an agency, actively finding ways to disperse engaging content - whether that’s traditional advertising, non-traditional advertising, or a combination of both - that will resonate with relevant parties is what GWL Advertising does.
How Do Millennials Consume Media?
There’s been a lot of chatter in recent years about the viability of traditional advertising, mostly due to the rising number of print publications making the switch to digital, and streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and Amazon Prime offering consumers an ad free viewing experience. 61% of young adults in the United States use the aforementioned streaming services to watch television. 85% of Millennials use social media. Social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are where Millennials consume what they consider to be the most relevant content. And among all Internet users aged 16-64, 92% watch video clips online each month.
What Does It All Mean?
Remember the good ole days when a commercial would come on and every set of eyes in the room would be glued to the screen? Those days are gone. With 92% of Millennials owning a smartphone, they are a distracted audience. And with streaming services allowing users to opt for an ad-free experience, how do advertisers break through? One easy solution is to advertise where target audiences are sure to see it: social media. Companies can market on virtually every social media platform, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
But it’s not enough to just advertise on social media platforms. Millennials are inundated with content on a daily basis. Advertisers must make their brands stand out. Video content is a great way to cut through the clutter. It needs to grab the viewer’s attention and communicate the message quickly. With increasing frequency, individuals are asking, “Why change the way we advertise just because of Millennials?” Here’s the thing - it’s not just benefitting Millennials. Generation Xers, born 1965-1980, are right behind Millennials when it comes to media consumption. And when it comes to Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964, Pew Research Center found that their Internet use increased by 150% between 2009 and 2011. In addition, their study in 2012 found that of adults 65 and older that go online, 71% use the internet daily and 34% use social media.
“Traditional” advertising is only considered traditional because newspaper, cable, and radio ads were the norm back when advertising began to soar. And while these formats are still getting the job done, the new norm for advertising, social media, is poised to eclipse them. In 5-10 years, social media will be the new “traditional” advertising - not because Millennials are killing original forms of traditional advertising, but because there is a paradigm shift in how we are all consuming information and using technology.