As it stands today, Millennials and Gen Zers make up almost half of the population in the US and are amongst the most influential of today’s consumers. However, on the downside, they are also the hardest audiences to engage, due to the ride of cord-cutting, ad-blocking and radio-streaming. Basically, they are leading the charge away from traditional media, and thus, the traditional advertising approach. More than half of millennials actively block ads and Gen Z is even more likely to use some form of ad blocking… YIKES!!

This shift in overall media consumption habits has led to a rising investment in out-of-home (OOH) ad spend. OOH ads, compared to other media channels, cannot be blocked, fast-forwarded, or skipped (bummer). You also cant pay more to avoid these types of ads. But, don’t fret! According to a recent global study by Kantar Millward Brown, billboards and other forms of OOH ads are the #1 form of ads amongst Millennials and Gen Zers.

ooh advertising

According to another recent study, this time done by Nielsen, “one out of every four consumers will post an image of an outdoor ad to Instagram.” These younger generations are also nearly 50% more likely to click on a mobile ad after being exposed to the same ad on an OOH advertisement first. While Gen Y and Z consumers love taking in content (way more so than other, previous generations), they don’t have a lot of tolerance for interruptive ads (See: ad blockers, cord cutting, etc.) – which makes outdoor ads and different experiential types of media a more important advertising medium for brands and agencies as they look to influence these younger consumers.

Attention spans are continuing to get shorter and shorter. While these younger generations love consuming content, their attention spans are growing shorter by the day, thanks to the rise of the internet and smartphones. Gen Zers, who grew up in a world with smartphones, have only an 8-second attention span.  This is even shorter than Millennials, (believe it or not) who have an attention span of about 12 seconds on average.

To overcome these challenges, brands and agencies are increasing their spend on OOH advertising, banking on direct-to-consumer engagement in local markets with authentic content that is relevant to their (Millennials and Gen Z) daily lives.

OOH advertising provides a last-touch opportunity. Location, frequency, and context each play an important role in successfully influencing these younger consumers’ behaviors with OOH. This approach is also forcing brands and agencies to think creatively about context, time, location, and messaging in order to win over Gen Y and Z audiences.

These days, consumers spend roughly 70% of their time outside, while having a lower tolerance for digital ads than ever before. Brands and agencies that are able to cut through the noise, think creatively, remove the barriers that get in the way of reaching Millennials and Gen Zers, and start focusing more on ads in real-world formats like billboards and other OOH, will begin seeing a much better return on investment for years to come.

All of these above reasons make OOH ads the most effective way to market towards Millennials and Gen Z these days. If you’re a brand, and you’re not starting to focus more on OOH ad spend… what are you waiting for?? Contact Blue Ridge Creative Marketing today to see how we can help you.