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Branded content has a better chance of appealing to teens ages 16 to 19 than to older internet users in both Germany and the UK, according to a recent survey by Kantar Millward Brown. But in France, Italy and Spain, teens weren’t noticeably more favorable toward branded content than were older respondents.
Looking at the media and advertising preferences of three cohorts—Gen Z (ages 16 to 19), Gen Y (ages 20 to 34) and Gen X (ages 35 to 49)—in multiple countries in October 2016, Kantar Millward Brown found several types of branded content scoring greater favorability among the teen group in the UK and Germany than in the rest of the EU-5.
Social newsfeeds were the branded content type about which the largest proportion of UK teens had a “very” or “somewhat positive” attitude, followed by branded events and social celebrity content. Overall, more teen respondents in the UK were positive about every branded content option than were those ages 20 to 34 or 35 to 49.
The study found that teen internet users in Germany expressed similar sentiments. Among those respondents, branded events were the most favorable branded content type, followed by celebrity content and native articles. Here again teens were more positive about all of the branded content options listed than were their older counterparts.
The disparity in positivity toward branded content between teens and other respondents was less noticeable in France, Italy or Spain. What’s more, in some cases, teens were less positive than older internet users.
In Spain, branded events were held in high regard by 52% of teens—the highest rate for any content option among all age groups. But for all other options, internet users ages 20 to 34 gave higher favorability ratings than teens. The most distinct difference in sentiment was for social celebrity content, which was rated positively by 48% of 20- to 34-year-olds, compared with only 30% of those 16 to 19.
Branded events were also the content type most favorable to teen respondents in France. But for all other branded content types except social celebrity content, respondents 20 to 34 indicated higher favorability. In particular, Gen Y respondents were more predisposed to native articles than were teens, rated positively by 42% and 32%, respectively.
In Italy, teens showed just slightly higher favorability toward most types of branded content than older internet users. The most popular options among the youngest respondents were branded events—rated positively by 58%—followed by brand information (56%) and social newsfeeds (55%).
—Karin von Abrams
Forget the notion that Gen X is a small market: It isn't. The real problem for marketers is that Xers—though now earning and spending more per household than other generations—are financially stressed. The good news? Their digital usage, along with their TV viewing, makes them eminently reachable.
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