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Younger Audiences Hate Ads Even More Than You Do

According to a new global media habits study from Kantar Millward Brown, if you think your audience hates advertising now, just wait. It is about to get a lot worse.

The study spanned 39 countries and 23,907 interviews, including populations representing Gen X (35–49), Gen Y (20–34) and Gen Z (16–19).

According to the report:

It’s particularly tricky to get Gen Z to engage, because they are highly discriminating and more averse to advertising in general. In the online space Gen Z are significantly more likely to skip ads, suggesting they have a lower threshold for boredom. They are also more turned off by invasive, interruptive online and mobile formats.

But what about their positive attitudes towards advertising on traditional media platforms?


As you can see, teens (so-called Gen Z) have a particularly poor opinion about radio ads (27% positive) compared to their older siblings (44%) and their parents (44%).

They are more favorably inclined towards ads on TV, in print, in outdoor, and in movie theaters, among others.

Notably, they like radio ads more than online search ads or online display or video ads.

So what are the characteristics that make them feel more positive towards those ads?


The big three for teens are also the big three overall: 

  1. Make them funny

  2. Have good music

  3. Tell an interesting story

It’s worth reminding ourselves that very few radio ads hit any of these notes let alone all three.

It’s a constant puzzle to me that audiences again and again complain about advertising and again and again tell us how to make that advertising better. Yet the quality of the messages seem to matter much more to the intended recipients than to the architects of those messages and the folks paying for them in the first place.

Wake up and smell the future, advertising industry.

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