Imagine you are sitting comfortably in the subway on the way to work and want to read a newspaper article on your smartphone or check your social media accounts and there it is again: advertising! It feels like hours of watching ad videos you can’t skip. Yeah, that can spoil my mood. A widespread opinion, by the way. What is annoying for us consumers, means a lot of work and investment for the creative people behind the ads in order to present us their products as attractively as possible.

We live in a fast and hectic world and consume information within a short time frame. This applies to the professional and private life. And this also makes it difficult to reach us, consumers. Companies make an incredible big effort every day to get a fraction of our attention and make their products attractive to us. Classic advertising alone is no longer enough. We don’t have time for it. We rush from one appointment to the next. Companies know this and are investing heavily in advertising innovations to hit the nerve of the target group. Will the new advertising formats reach the consumers, or should marketers stick to the classic advertising formats?

How target groups of different ages react to certain advertising formats was researched by Cantar Millward Brown in AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z. The global study investigated how in which way and when advertising resonates with the different generations. For example, the survey revealed that generation Z (16 to 19 years old) does not pay much attention to online advertising. A very surprising result when you consider that this generation consumes media almost exclusively online. Advertising videos on smartphones have performed particularly bad, especially after years of discussion about Story Showing is the new Story Telling. Admittedly, in my opinion, advertising videos on the PC, but especially on the smartphone, are extremely annoying! Especially, if you can’t skip them or just want to open another app or a new tab. This is also confirmed by the study. All three generations reject this type of advertising, especially the pre-roll formats, which cannot be skipped. Surprisingly, all of the generations are still open to classic advertising formats. Classic advertising, outdoor, print and television advertising, as well as newspaper advertisements, are more popular than the digital formats.

Apart from the format, the timing is important. The most attention paid to advertising by all generations is between 6 pm and 9 pm. At all other times, the attention varies between the different groups. Advertising is best received by the Generation Z between midnight and 6 pm. However, the generations X (35 to 49 years) and Y (20 to 34 years) differ: The best time for them is between 6 pm and midnight.

Last but not least, the right content is important. Unchanged, humour is very popular with all generations. And just as unsurprisingly, music plays an important role as well. If the creatives manage to produce a commercial with the right music that hits the nerve of the generation, the commercial resonates well and often even becomes a viral hit. This is how Immowelt’s advertisement made it to the first place of the best YouTube commercials in 2017. However, if the audience doesn’t like the music, a spot will be skipped immediately.

Although the digital world has changed the way we live, work and consume media, we still have the same requirement for advertising: It should entertain us. With the right content and entertaining background, advertising formats will resonate with the audience in the best possible way.

– This article was written by Maria Dudusova, Account Director at HBI

Marketing strategies

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