Here's Why Millennials and Gen Z Prefer Outdoor Advertising

Out-of-home advertising is a favourite of Gen Y and Gen Z audiences. Surprised? We don't blame you. You'd expect this tech-savvy generation to ignore traditional advertising mediums, seeing as the digital world takes up most of their time. However, as a recent Kantar Study points out, their ad preferences do not reflect their habits.

"Gen Z Use Online But Prefer OOH (Out-of-Home)." This statement headlines Kantar Millward Brown's advertising habits study. This is a generation of people who've basically had Facebook and Instagram profiles all their life. They consider their smartphones a lifeline and an extension of themselves. 

Yet, they prefer to consume traditional media over digital media. In fact, they are most favourable towards outdoor advertising

So why do these smartphone-wielding youngins prefer traditional media channels over online advertising? The answer is obvious when you examine their relationship with the online world. They consider their online activity personal and like to be in control of what they see and who they interact with. 

The Streamers and On-Demand Consumers

Advertising  has never been something that they have always been exposed to. They are able to choose the content they consume across different channels. They don't need a newspaper to get the news. They don't wait for their favourite song to come on the radio. And they certainly don't wait one week to watch the next episode of a TV show.

Today, the most popular TV shows and podcasts are available on demand. These audiences are not used to the commercial-breaks that dominate prime-time TV. 

The Ad-Blockers

Channels that do push advertising with their content - YouTube, Facebook, and major websites -  are commonly accessed using ad-blocking software. Gen Z are the heaviest users. 70% of them skip ads - vs 66% of Gen Y and 62% of Gen X.

These stats alone show that users do not feel brands belong in their online activities. This is a major reason for the increasing popularity of influencer marketing. Influencers allow brands to cut through the advertising clutter. They are less pushy and don't seem forced onto the audience.


Gen Z to Millennial: Oh, you think the ad-blocker is your ally? But you merely adopted the ad-blocker; I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn't see an advert until I was already a man.

On the Plus Side, This Group is More Connected and Always On the Move

The Kantar study shows that Out-of-Home advertising holds a unique position with this younger audience. Importantly, the study noted that billboards are not "perceived as being invasive in people’s lives, their activities or the content that they are exploring."

It is interesting how famous tech brands and budding tech start-ups alike now consider outdoor advertising core to their marketing plans. They understand that, while Gen Y and Gen Z audiences are heavy users of their online services, they don't want to have to go through a slew of ads to get to that stage.

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