Why Brands are Probably Wasting their Video Ad Budgets on Millennials

You know all those video ads brands are now obsessed with churning out to target the 18-34 age market? Turns out it might be a huge waste of time and money.

“Young TV consumers may be watching much more streaming video, but a large majority will skip online video advertising if allowed,” writes Wayne Friedman in Television News Daily.

Not surprisingly, ad blocking is big with this age group, on both their computers and their smartphones.  Given their massive video consumption – the report notes that 90% of them binge-watch;  40% of them do so weekly – it seemed natural for brands to target this medium with ads. But research data shows otherwise.

Friedman cites stats from a Deloitte survey that shows “80% will skip digital TV/video commercials — and over 70% of Millennials and younger Gen Z viewers find mobile ads to be ‘irrelevant.’”

This calls into question Facebook’s plan to test mid-roll video ads; those will likely be ignored too if other ad survey results hold true to form.

Still, there may be a silver lining, according to Friedman, who notes that “46% of consumers said they pay more attention to an ad they can skip versus an ad they cannot skip.”

Maybe it’s because they watch it while waiting for that welcome “skip ad” arrow? If so, advertisers need to get really good at creating compelling three-second spots.