As Democratic candidates battle it out in the primaries ahead of the 2020 presidential election that is expected to see a record amount spent on political advertising, a recent study has revealed how to reach crucial “GenZennial” voters.

Telaria, a video management platform whose clients include Hulu and Sling TV, found that two-thirds (66%) of GenZennials – defined as 18- to 29-year-olds, who will account for nearly one-fifth of US voters by 2020 – regard connected TV (CTV) ads as being relevant and informative.

They prefer CTV ads over those shown on traditional linear TV, which they find disruptive, and 80% of these young voters then go on to take two or more actions after seeing a video political ad, such as conducting more research or watching more candidate videos.

These are some of the key findings in Telaria’s report, entitled Connected GenZennials: The CTV-First Generation’s Impact on the 2020 Elections, which argues that a traditional focus on linear TV is an outdated strategy.

Jennifer Catto, Telaria’s chief marketing officer, summarised the main points from the research in an article for Advertising Age and asserted that “CTV offers the richness and premium environment of TV, backed by the targeting capabilities advertisers love about social media”.

Apart from an over-reliance on linear TV, the Telaria study contends that there are two other common myths about political advertising and how best to reach GenZennial audiences.

For example, far from being apathetic and less politically engaged than older generations, the report found that 88% intend to vote in the upcoming primary and 92% in the presidential election.

“For advertisers, the time to reach these voters is now – only half of GenZennials have already formed a party affiliation and 60% pay attention to political ads more than six months before an election,” wrote Catto.

“They rate digital sources equally as important as cable news channels and significantly more important than traditional news sources. And, to educate themselves, GenZennials want to hear directly from candidates through video,” she added.

“In fact, they list streamed live events as the single most important video or TV resource for obtaining information on candidates leading up to election. The second is hearing directly from the candidates in campaign ads.”

The Telaria research also advised political advertisers not to place too much emphasis on social media to connect with GenZennial voters.

That may seem surprising given how tech-savvy this generation is, but a succession of scandals about data-collection practices and headlines concerning “fake news” have dented trust, to the extent that 64% of GenZennials trust TV more for news than social media, while 80% think there is too much fake news on social platforms.

“Ad dollars dedicated to these platforms will find audiences that are less receptive of political messaging,” Catto warned. “Their mistrust of the platform feeds their mistrust of advertising.”

Sourced from Advertising Age, Telaria; additional content by WARC staff