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US Millennials: TV is the Most Influential Advertising Medium

by MarketingCharts staff
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Social media, to be fair, is closing the gap.

Here are the numbers:

  • 70% said TV influences the way they perceive and value a brand;
  • 60% said the same about social (66% for women);
  • 42% pointed to online display;
  • 39% indicated online video; and
  • 33% cited mobile.

Traditional media such as magazines (31%), billboards (21%) and radio (21%) are less likely to be influential. Newspapers weren’t included as part of the survey, but it’s unlikely they would have appeared towards the top of the list.

Asked through which advertising medium they or other people their age are most likely to be introduced to or find out about a new brand they’ll consider for a trial, respondents pointed to TV (29%) first, closely followed by social (26%; 31% among women), and trailed by mobile (15%) and online display (12%). Once again, online video (9%) paled in comparison to TV.

Finally, when asked to choose which of 6 advertising media they felt gives a brand the most credibility in influencing their brand decisions, Millennials put TV (35%) and social (32%) atop the list, with online display (14%) relatively far behind as their closest competitor.

The results are even more interesting because the survey sample consisted of Millennials who own smartphones in addition to PCs. So, theoretically, these respondents would be somewhat digitally savvy.

Adroit’s report is the latest piece of research to serve as a reminder that TV remains an influential advertising medium, even among young digital audiences. A Millward Brown study of multi-screeners aged 16-44, for example, found them more favorable to TV advertising than a host of digital advertising media, and also more likely to pay attention to TV ads. (A comprehensive overview of TV ad spending and influence in the US can be found here.)

Even so, in general, Millennials surveyed by Adroit feel that digital ads are more effective than traditional advertising, a somewhat contradictory finding that might relate to respondents lumping in other traditional media such as radio and magazines into their assessment of traditional advertising. Nevertheless, some 36% feel that digital ads are more effective, with another 28% saying they are equally as effective. Just 19% found traditional advertising to be more effective than digital, with the remaining 17% feeling that they’re most effective when used together.

About the Data: The study was fielded from January 21 through January 27, 2014. The survey targeted a random sample of US consumers who self-identified as 18–33 years of age and who own both a smartphone and a personal computer. The study garnered 2,000 completes. 54% of respondents are male and 60% are aged 26-33.