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Millennials love and hate video ads

News, 16 May 2016

NEW YORK: Millennials are more than twice as likely to share video ads they like than any other demographic, but they are also the generation most likely to install ad blockers and put video ads on mute, a new global study has found.

According to video ad tech company Unruly, these 18-34-year-old digital natives are 112% more inclined to share online ads and they are also 23% more likely to enjoy ads they find relevant.

Considering these young consumers have a collective spending power of an estimated $2.45 trillion, these latest insights could help marketers to engage more effectively with this highly sought-after demographic.

Unruly based its findings on a survey of 3,200 people in eight countries – the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Sweden, France, Indonesia and Japan – and combined the results with data from the Unruly Pulse platform, which is powered by first-party data on emotional advertising.

On top of their willingness to share video ads, the report found millennials respond best to happiness and inspiration – they are 27% more likely to feel happy and 25% more likely to feel inspired when watching video ads than the average.

However, while this generation loves to share ads, they are also unforgiving about poor quality advertising and a full 93% say they would consider installing ad blocking software in the future.

The main reasons why millennials consider ad blockers are because they get served too many ads (58.9%), are shown the same ad repeatedly (49.4%), or they feel "creeped out" by ads that follow them around the web (43.1%).

Also of note for marketers, the survey revealed that millennials demand authenticity from brands, with three-quarters (74%) saying they lose trust in a brand if an ad feels fake. In addition, four-in-five are prepared to mute a brand's video ad.

Commenting on the findings, Sarah Wood, co-CEO at Unruly, observed that millennials are a high risk, but also high reward, demographic for advertisers.

"They're overexposed to ads, and looking to clean up their online experiences by installing ad blockers," she said. "This presents a great opportunity for the advertisers who take the time to create content that cuts through to engage and inspire millennials."

Data sourced from Unruly; additional content by Warc staff