Younger Folks Like Ads More

Surprise, surprise. As an advertiser, you probably believe that Gen X/Yers are too savvy to be swayed by the singing Alka Seltzer tablet of days gone by. You think twice about going into unbridled territory, such as user-generated content (UGC) sites, with a purely corporate agenda. Well, don’t worry so much about advertising on MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and others anymore.

It turns out that 18-34 year olds are not as opposed to being sold to as we all thought. According to ComScore, younger consumers are noticeably more receptive than their counterparts to all kinds of advertising on UGC sites.

Here’s how much more than other age groups:

I am Receptive: 41% (18-34) versus 30% (35-54) and 23% (55+)
Advertising is Trustworthy: 28% (18-34) versus 22% (35-54) and 17% (55+)
Advertising is Useful: 40% (18-34) versus 33% (35-54) and 28% (55+)

These younger consumers trust advertising in certain categories more than others. Not surprisingly, some 66% polled are receptive to entertainment ads. Other categories like apparel, food, electronics, travel, telecom and autos do well too. However “higher trust” areas like financial services and drugs are not well-received here.

This is just the beginning, since UGC sites are far from the chief attention-grabbing medium. That award still goes to TV, where 85% notice commercials. Over half notice ads on news/media or corporate sites, while only 28% pay any attention on UGC sites. Yet these findings amaze me – we are seeing a big shift in attitudes.

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