Online Video Ads Work With Boomers

Photo of Baby Boomers watching TV

Online Video Ads Work With Boomers


Burst Media

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19.1% of Boomer women and 26.3% of Boomer men aged 55 or older took some action after viewing online video ads such as visiting an advertiser’s website or making a purchase.
22.1% of women aged 35-54 and 24.1% of men that age took action.
14.5% of Millennial women aged 18-34 and 9.2% of Millennial men acted after viewing an online video ad.

THOUGHT: The older you are, the more receptive you’re likely to be to online video advertising.  The obvious conclusion is that video, albeit in the form of television, is a communications format Boomers completely familiar with and have spent a lifetime responding to. It’s a habit.

The younger you are, conversely, the more likely you are to have developed a habit of skipping video advertising, whether it’s through paused TV, on your DVR or at YouTube. 

So those are the technographics of Boomer video advertising but what of the psychographics? What of the lifestyle considerations? What of the cultural context?

Knowing what medium to use is not enough; you have to understand what content will work best through that medium and for your audience.

The mistake marketers and media often make when considering talking about or trying to communicate with generations  is that they tend to apply what they know about the previous generation to the one that follows. Thus you have Generation X originally being called the Baby Bust generation. You have Millennials named Generation Y. The implication is that they are just a younger version of the previous generation. 

As a result, you see every 20 years the same story about the laziness of the younger generation and the demands they’re making in the workplace. 

If you want to really be effective communicating with a given generation, first, abandon your preconceptions about that generation. Then take a look at how they grew up. 

I like to pinpoint the birth date of the target audience I’m trying to reach and then compile a generational profile of that person. Take each year (or every three years, if you want to be a Slacker about it) and research the significant developments during those years.

What were the highest profile current events? For a Gen Xer such as yours truly, it was the moon landing in early childhood, it was energy crisis of the seventies, the Reagan Revolution of the eighties, the end of the Cold War and American military supremacy during the nineties, etc.

What were the popular songs and movies for those years? What technological innovations occurred?  

Understanding the events and environment and social factors that shape a person helps you to understand what messages will best work with your audience and what they might evoke. 

The phrase “Read my lips” will likely be lost on most Millennials but Gen Xers might immediately think of Dana Carvey while Boomers might think of President George H. W. Bush.

Building a generational profile of your audience will help you to identify what cultural references you can use and how best to use them. 

Of course, now that marketers know that Boomers respond to online video ads, I do hope we’re not going to be bombarded with Viagra ads at YouTube with the frequency we’ve seen on TV.

MINNESOTA MONDAY: A University of Minnesota professor is turning to crowdfunding to support his photographic research of lions in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. 

Thank you for rivalries.


The e-Strategy Academy covers all aspects of digital marketing including search optimization & marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, mobile marketing & public relations.