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Gen Y's Notice Social Network Ads, Claim Indifference

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In a recent episode of the TNT show "Trust Me" about an advertising agency in Chicago, the Creative Director's teenage daughter claimed she wasn't affected by advertising. He asked her why she chose to purchase Nike athletic shoes. She said "I don't know, I just did it." The clever dad retorted, "Just Do It. Where have I heard that before?"

The scene, whether it tried to or not, depicted the reality of how people feel about advertising: the notice it but claim to be unaffected by it.

The latest data released by PMN shows just how real this sentiment is among the Gen Y demographic:

  • 62 percent of Gen Y's have visited a brand or fan page on a social network, but only 48 percent have joined
  • 84 percent noticed ads on social networks, 74 percent say they click infrequently/never (36 percent saying they don't click on ads at all).
  • Only 19 percent say they find ads on social networks relevant.
  • 51 percent say they'd prefer a separate social network to manage their brand interactions.

But does that mean social network ads (which are primarily display ads) completely worthless? Many online marketers know that display ads can play an important role in the marketing funnel. This means that people may not click on display ads, but it can drive them to search. In other words, display ads are good for branding.

This brings us back to the Gen Y-ers. They may find display ads "irrelevant" when they're just surfing their social network, but when they go to make a purchase, they'll likely "Just Do It" without even realizing why.

Related Reading:
93% of Americans Expect Companies to Have Social Media Presence
Avoiding Online Missteps with Generation Y and Millenniums
18-34 Year Old Responds to Email Marketing Over Social Network Marketing

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