The Financial Times published this nugget today. Millennials’ watch half the amount of TV as Baby Boomers and spend nearly as much time on using social media as watching TV.
Half of me sees this as a radical shift in behaviour, the other half thinks younger audiences have always been light TV viewers, so what! Nothing new here.
What are the implications for the advertising and influencing younger audiences? Someone will say it’s a wake-up call, the inevitable reaction will be for the industry to hit the snooze button and carry on as before. It’s an inconvenient truth.
So what’s going on…
Screens are more important than ever
Younger audiences have always watched less TV, however, they spend considerably more time in front of screens than previous generations. The issues for the industry is how to influence them.
Content (including advertising) is increasingly distrusted.
Research by Trinity Mirror shows 42% of people distrust brands, 69% distrust advertising. Worryingly, 37% of consumers trust brands less than they used to and 43% of respondents trust advertising less than they used to. Not pretty!
This is a long-term trend exacerbated by the rise of fake news and poor corporate behaviour, Brands need a different type of dialogue with consumers, unfortunately many brands aren’t engaging in this and maintain ‘traditional’ ways of communicating.
70% of people associate ads with fake news. A lot of this is about content and context, we conducted research through YouGov on trust in local news by media channel. It’s evident local media and TV is far more trusted as a local news than digital media and national press, which are heavily distrusted.
Authenticity is vital
Trinity Mirror research showed 58% of adults don’t trust a brand until they have seen ‘real world proof’ that it has kept its promises, this is probably far greater for millennials.
We are entering an anti-corporate world where there is little forgiveness, information (and fake information) is easier to access and consumers want a different kind of dialogue and interaction, most brands avoid this. Most communication strategies are still centralised, lack authenticity and have a corporate (or London-centric) tone of voice.
Millennials are half as proud to be English as Baby Boomers (and this is before the World Cup!)
The nation is divided. YouGov surveyed 20,081 people and found 72% of over-65s are proud to be English, compared with 45% of 18-24s. Half of those surveyed think England was better in the past, with one in six believing its best days lie ahead. This is also highly regionalised.
The Trinity Mirror research showed 32% of U.K. adults said that brands are out of touch with what it’s like for people living in Britain currently, whereas 24% of Londoners said brands were out of touch.
Talking to consumers with a national, London based tone is likely to be less and less effective the further from London any brand tries to communicate.
Facebook seems to be peaking and losing appeal to younger audiences
eMarketer predicted that two million people under the age of 25 will stop using Facebook this year. This is certainly backed up by personal experience, my daughter charmingly put it that ‘ Facebook is for old people,’ backed up by the fact that my 89 year old Mother is actively posting away in the Home Counties.
““They want novelty and exclusivity too; the search for the latest buzz in social media will continue to lead them away from Facebook.”
They’re not moving away from social media but starting to avoid Facebook.
Radio is growing up
Radio used to be a medium for purely young audiences. It’s evident that this audiences have grown up with this behaviour and continued to listen to traditional radio stations as they age, whilst younger audiences are streaming other forms of audio.
Location, location, location
Research from the US suggests that consumers are bombarded by more than 4,000 ads a day, something like 4 a minute! Eye tracking specialists Lumen Research shows appalling levels of effect of digital display advertising.
“Over all the ad impressions we have recorded among our panellists, 66% of them were “viewable”. But among these, only 18% were noticed at all; 82% were completely missed, not recording a single moment when the user’s eyes were fixated on them. Overall, that means only 12% of all impressions are actually seen.” David Bassett, Lumen Research
The only solution is context. People will enagage less with remote broadcast advertising, effective communications needs a purpose, the correct tone and needs to be near where people make purchase decisions.
On a positive note
Consumers are always changing; the communications industry needs to move with them. Advertising models that worked ten, twenty or even thirty years ago aren’t really fit for purpose for a cynical, divided nation.
However, there is substantial consumer demand and we need to talk to consumers in different, more relevant ways. It needs to be local, both tonally and where the communication is distributed.
Background to Pintarget
Pintarget is a new hyper-local media agency that integrates complex locational data and local media to allow clients to accurately access multiple local media channels quickly and efficiently. This is unique in the UK
- Effective hyper-local execution requires multiple channels to effectively operate together, combining digital and traditional channels. Pintarget delivers this.
- Linking instore (POS) media with proximity media drives significant sales uplift. This is deliverable by Pintarget; but ignored by media agencies.
- There is significant cap-ex by media owners in ‘localising’ and automating media channels; Sky Adsmart, for example,
- We’ve a unique and powerful data product that includes YouGov Profiles, CACI Acorn, Huq. We are Nielsen Spectra’s first connected partner in the UK, which is immensely powerful locational data tool for FMCG and grocery retail brands.
- We’re building a comprehensive hyperlocal media database that will be an immensely valuable asset.
We’ve worked for Tesco, Tetley Tea and Coca-Cola and we’ve spoken to over 100 clients, all who have expressed some interest and we now have ten active briefs from FMCG/CPG brands, retailers (grocery & non-grocery,) brewers, coffee shops, online clothing retailers.