Believe it or not, millennials are more inclined to focus on and believe advertisements that exist in an outdoor setting rather than online. Nielsen Media Research has outlined that people between the ages of 21 and 37 in 2018 are considered millennials, so essentially people born in 1980 to about 1996 fall under this category. A reported 56% of millennials trust out-of-home advertising and 58% are driven to take action after seeing an execution, compared to only 46% trusting video ads online and 48% believing paid online ads.
Independently, the millennial target market is the most influential audience for advertising because they make up the largest generation in Western history across the world. Their spending power is unmatched. Let’s go over the ways in which outdoor advertising can be used effectively to reach millennials through talking about how digital advertising isn’t enough, where exactly is the best place to reach them outdoors, and strategies that will guarantee their attentiveness in your brand.
Why Digital Advertising Can’t Hold Millennials Down
It’s estimated that about 63% of smart and in tune millennials block out branded advertisements online because they want to reduce the sight of spammy, unwarranted, and filler content that has nothing to do with the page they’re on. They use engines like Ad Blocker to filter out online advertisements meaning jack. This is not to say that social media influencer marketing on Instagram paid ads doesn’t work, because it does in a lot of ways. However, millennials are choosing to opt out of receiving digital ads because it impedes on their original activity and purpose on the website/app. This is worrisome for marketers because their messages are being made latent. Millennials like to curate their own social media content, so their habits wouldn’t necessarily be persuaded by another brand’s posts.
But, with an out-of-home ad presented in front of them, millennials are 17% more likely to engage with that company on their mobile device. According to Air Outdoor UK, outdoor advertising is estimated to drive a substantial 140% rise in smartphone brand interactions among millennials. OOH drives smartphone ad interaction.
Where to Reach Millennials Outdoors
Execution is highly important when targeting ads for millennials, so geographic location must be factored in to optimize the viewer’s experience. Air Outdoor UK has also reported that approx. 37% of millennials prefer going to shopping malls rather than buying online, so outdoor advertising that’s on route or circling around malls is an effective way to target those people already in the vicinity. Colleges and universities also make great areas to advertise to millennials in, because the majority of the students attending will fall under that demographic.
On top of college and university settings, bars, movie theatres, gyms, and restaurants are places that tend to attract the pockets of millennials. Anywhere that screams “date night” is ideally an effective place to advertise near. Plenty of millennials are commuters, using public transit, so the opportunities to advertise on subways, buses, etc. will generate response from this crowd. Brunch spots are known to serve a large millennial population, so outdoor advertising near those restaurants could be very useful. The social and active nature of the millennial audience can be brought to light when advertising near or in these spaces.
Strategies to Keep in Mind When Targeting Millennials Outdoors
Millennials respond well to creativity and nuanced advertisements. According to Bubble Outdoor, 74% of the millennial market enjoys a subtle, inspiring, or creative approach advertising message, while 39% don’t respond well to ads that are blatantly trying to sell them something without pushing a strong narrative. Millennials aren’t as interested in the advertised product as they are in the lifestyle category it fits under. A creative ad targeted at them should meet their consumer cultural trends. Outdoor advertising that alludes to pop culture references and political choices will get the attention of important millennials.
Millennials are vulnerable to the power of a discount or bargain, because most of them will likely be on a student budget or just beginning their careers. Offering a deal through an outdoor advertisement can be an effective way to speak to millennials and get on their level playing field. In London’s Westfield Shopping Centre, the retailer “Keds” advertised a 20% in-store discount voucher on a billboard and noticed a 28% increase in sales at a nearby Keds store, for example.
It’s no surprise that millennials are social media crazed, so why not incorporate those components and app qualities in an outdoor ad. A partnership between KFC and Snapchat enticed millennials to take a quick pic with the legendary Colonel Sanders’ face on the Snapchat ghost in bus stops. Snapchat, being the third most popular social media platform, found a way to design an ad that interacts with consumers outdoors and through their mobile device. This integration of the two channels made for an effective millennial targeted campaign.
As you can see, millennials can be picked up by outdoor advertising and swept away in its influence. After checking out the main reason why digital doesn’t have the same effect, well received places to advertise to millennials, and a few strategies to get them to pay attention, outdoor advertising is perceived in a favorable way among this demographic. Up next: baby boomer advertising- is it dead yet?