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By Laurie Sullivan
Published Jan 24, 2012

Digital ads will become more creative in 2012 to motivate a generation often characterized as “stimulation junkies,” as marketers focus on capturing 79 million U.S. consumers born between 1981 and 2000.

Millennials can multitask better than other generations, combining social media with online entertainment, video chatting, homework, and television. But they don’t pay much attention to the content on the TV. Millennials are more difficult to persuade through television advertising when compared with older viewers.

The average 4.6 share of choice (SOC) lift, comScore’s measurement identifying the ad’s ability to influence brand preferences and purchases, remains significantly lower when compared with Generation X at 5.3 SOC, baby boomers at 6.4, or seniors at 6.6. SOC identifies the ad’s ability to influence brand preferences and purchases.

When it comes to digital advertising, SOC measurement reflects a slightly different story.

Millennials sit at 6.0, Generation X at 6.4, baby boomers at 6.8, and seniors at 6.4. Marketers must find a reason — brand differentiation — for millennials to favor their brand over another. This generation responds when given a compelling reason to choose the brand.

Overall, influencing millennial-generation consumers through an ad remains far more difficult compared with other generations because of the low immediate and delayed recall rate. The study indicates that millennials have 43% immediate recall and 24% delayed recall of an ad, compared with 50% and 23% for Generation X, 54% and 21% for baby boomers, and 54% and 18% for seniors, respectively. The study suggests that it is important to show the product longer, make the brand name more visible, and have more mentions throughout the campaign.

The report, conducted in 2011 and released in January 2012, addresses whether there are broad commonalities between millennials and other generations.

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Good Decisions Require Good Data.