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Millennials : Same Same, But Different

Millennials : Same Same, But Different

Everyone seems obsessed with Millennials - and how they (we) are so different ... especially in terms of media consumption and advertising impact. But is there any evidence to support this?

Back when I was at Yahoo7, I had the pleasure of presenting at the Millennials Marketing Conference where I spent 20 minutes leveraging a range of proprietary and industry data sources to prove that, in many ways, Millennials are more similar than different to older generations in their media habits.

It was even picked up by WARC in both News and as a Full Report (subscribers only) - you know you're doing something right when you get "smashed avocado" and "selfie stick" into a serious publication!

The original press release about the work can be found below ...

Yahoo7 has re-written the rules on marketing to Millennials, revealing many of their digital habits are very similar to Generation X and Baby Boomers.

In a new report drawing from a range of studies, data and proprietary Yahoo7 research, it showcased seven key themes in which the 18 – 34 year old generation was more similar than different in their use and engagement with digital media.

Peter Hammer, head of insights and analytics at Yahoo7, urged marketers to re-consider everything they’d been told about targeting Millennials.

“The data clearly demonstrates Australian marketers shouldn’t be completely re-inventing their strategy for Millennials, as they’ve so often been told,” he said.

“Millennials are not the alien species they’ve been painted as – in fact, by leveraging broad data for all age groups, we have seen many similar behaviours in digital habits for generations older than them.

“When it comes to reaching Millennials, we encourage advertisers to use a bit more mobile, social and online video in line with increased usage, but this doesn’t mean you should completely abandon desktop devices or traditional channels such as TV.

“In terms of advertising impact, we saw similar levels of engagement for Millennials and Gen X, meaning that marketers should be more focused on developing good creative that works for all generations.”

When commenting on the role of data in marketing to Millennials, Hammer said relevance is key.

“Our data shows that there’s a greater uplift in ad effectiveness when we tested creative with category buyers. And so rather than targeting based on age, there’s more to be gained by reaching relevant category buyers through the increasingly sophisticated data tools now available to marketers,” he added.

The report addressed seven key research areas:

Digital Daily Habits

The report demonstrated Millennials have roughly the same average number of the Top 10 digital daily habits (3.1) when compared to Generation X (2.8) and Baby Boomers (2.6). While Millennials have slightly lower use of email and news formats, there was increased daily use of social media.

Social Media

When comparing social media users, Millennials spent a very similar amount of time on major social media channels across the entire month as compared to other generations, however, Millennials used it slightly more across the day.


While Millennials spent a larger share of online time using their smartphone (65 per cent) compared to Generation X (44 per cent) and Baby Boomers (31 per cent), other research suggests that Desktop still reigns supreme for email, search and news consumption.

Brand Reach

While it may seem unsurprising that bigger brands reach more Millennials, Nielsen DRM data demonstrates a surprising dominance of key digital publishers, over Millennial giants like Snapchat and Spotify. In Australia, Yahoo7 reached more than double the number of Millennials as Spotify, and 1.2 million more Millennials than Snapchat in the last six months (Jun – Nov 2016) according to the currency data.


Contrary to popular rhetoric, Millennials only watch slightly less TV (78 per cent), compared to Generation X (87 per cent) and Baby Boomers (94 per cent) on a typical day based on self-reported data. Furthermore, advertisers can still reach Millennials through video marketing, with 99 per cent of Millennials consuming any video content being exposed to ad-supported platforms.

Emotional Reaction to Creative

Computer vision and machine learning techniques revealed Millennials had similar engagement to ‘best’ and ‘worst’ creative, when compared to other generations. Millennials also exhibited very similar emotional reactions to creative, never straying more than two points further from any other generation on the Average Emotional Engagement Score across all creative that was tested.

Effectiveness of Advertising

The data demonstrates almost no difference in ad effectiveness between Millennials and Generation X, when measuring brand recall, likeability and purchase consideration. Marketers should instead target audiences in terms of category buyers, with Ad Effectiveness increasing recall (+29 per cent), likeability (+132 per cent) and purchase consideration (+162 per cent) compared to non-buyers.

SOURCE : Yahoo7 Press Release.

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