There may be more than 50 years separating them in age, but Generation Z (born 1996 and onwards) and the Greatest Generation (born prior to 1946) share at least one similar characteristic: their top reason for taking action on a smartphone ad. Indeed, recent Nielsen data shows that the generations bookending the adult age groups are both motivated most by ads targeted to what they’re searching for.
Some 16% of Gen Z respondents cited this as their main reason for taking action on a mobile ad on a smartphone, topping the 14% who would click on an ad with a familiar brand and the 13% who would click on an ad that has a coupon/promotion. (It seems that a known brand offering a coupon would find some success with this demographic…)
For the Greatest Generation, an ad targeted to search (in other words, a relevant ad) is the leading motivator, cited by 1 in 10 respondents, followed by an ad that has a coupon/promotion, cited by 7%.
It’s worth noting that despite sharing a similar leading motivation for clicking on an ad, Gen Z respondents were far less likely than those from the Greatest Generation to say that nothing would motivate them to take action (45% and 76%, respectively).
Indeed, there was a clear age-related trend in smartphone ad actions, with the progressive age of the respondent linked to a decline in motivation to take action on an ad.
That aligns with MarketingCharts’ own primary research into advertising media. Our study found about 1 in 8 Millennials (12.1%) reporting that a display ad on a smartphone had influenced them to make a purchase in the prior 6 months. That figure declined to 8.6% among Gen Xers, 7.2% among Baby Boomers, and just 1.6% among the Silent Generation. (Purchase the study – including an accompanying Excel workbook detailing the full survey results by gender, generation and household income – here.)
Meanwhile, the other generations covered in the Nielsen data all point to ads with a coupon/promotion as being the ones most likely to motivate them to take action.
Previous research from xAd and Telmetrics has similarly found coupons and promotions to be the type of smartphone ad most likely to drive adults ages 18-54 to take action, with ads targeted to searches taking precedence among respondents aged 55 and older.
In other results from the Nielsen survey:
- More than 4 in 10 Gen Z and Millennials smartphone users say they’re OK with advertising if the content they’re engaging with is free and the ads don’t affect their mobile data consumption; and
- About one-third of Gen Z and Millennial smartphone users are more likely to click on an ad that doesn’t take them outside of the application or redirect them to another website.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 8,444 respondents aged 13 and older who own a tablet, smartphone, or streaming-capable device.