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Recently-released research from OpenX, a programmatic advertising technology company, appears to quantify the ad avoidance habits of Millennials, compared to the general population. According to the survey, conducted by the Harris Poll, compared to the general population, Millennials were 44% more likely to avoid ads completely using subscription-based services and 14% more likely to leave the room to skip ads. Interestingly, they were 27% less likely to use a DVR to skip ads, but this is probably due to the fact that Millennials are less likely to have cable in the first place. None of these findings are a surprise, per se, but seeing this in a quantifiable manner provides a useful demonstration of what most of us already know; Millennials are not bound to traditional TV in the same way as previous generations and enjoy the freedom to pick and choose what programming they want to watch, when they want to watch it.
The report, however, did stretch the bounds of credibility in some of its more hyperbolic claims. The big headline was that 73% of Millennials did not watch any ads at all, but this was simply a net of the avoidance options outlined in the table below. One would assume that there is overlap among Millennials who use these methods to avoid ads, and furthermore, it’s unlikely that they perform these avoidance techniques on every occasion that they watch TV. A second claim, that 40% of Millennials watch no live TV at all, could easily have been expressed as “60% of Millennials still watch live TV,” had the study not been intended to show digital ads in a positive light. In fact, when it came to digital advertising, 56% of those surveyed claimed that “they are not bothered by ads when they’re relevant” and “have learned about new products through online ads.” What this suggests to us is that, even though traditional TV advertising faces a significant struggle to reach the population in general, and Millennials in particular, consumers are still interested in ads that are relevant to them and give them useful information about the products being sold to them. It’s up to TV advertisers to find ways to break through to these consumers and speak to them in ways they find appealing.
As more and more brick and mortar stores close due to inroads by online shopping, some news from the RAB shows that radio can play a part in reaching consumers and inspiring them to shop “IRL.” A recent release, Radio Drives Store Traffic, presented by Dial Report and the Radio Advertising Bureau, reports on findings between April 1-June 30th, where store traffic data was matched to listeners on stations where ads for 10 brands ran. Their average retail visits were calculated and compared to a control group of persons not exposed to the ads, and the percentage difference between the two was presented as the “Store Traffic Lift.”
On average, the study found that radio gave a store traffic lift of 22% for all brands measured, and that PM drive and weekend day and overnight produced even higher overall lifts of 27%, 28% and 26% respectively. And by radio format, Adult Hits and Top 40 stations scored the highest lifts, at 27% and 29%.
There was also quite a bit of variation by brand as shown below. The numbers indicate where more than one brand in a product category was measured.