Video Target Audience: Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers
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Video Target Audiences You Should Optimize For: Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers

In the current video advertising landscape, reaching various types of audiences has become an uttermost priority for advertisers. Publishers are now shaping their business models and digital marketing strategies strictly according to the needs of massive audiences. But therein lies the problem.

In order to gain traction via video advertising, it’s no longer enough to simply aim the product or ad at a wider audience. Success or profit is now measured by audience reach and user engagement. It makes sense and you certainly don’t have to think twice about it.
However, we are living in an age when audiences have become extremely huge and incredibly diverse.

When it comes to video ads, the challenge is to reach viewers, as well as narrow it down to the right kind of viewers. Classifying audiences according to generation isn’t exactly a new thing. Publishers, ad agencies, and other diverse businesses have always been working according to the needs and desires of their demographic. Mind you, in today’s vibrant market it’s getting harder and harder to zero in on specific types of viewers.

Audiences – Sorted by Generation

It’s a huge auditorium out there, and advertisers are facing a greater challenge than ever. But before we go into detail about how specific audiences respond to the online video, let’s take the time to define the generations. Of course, these are definitions of the Western Cultural Generations (Asia, Japan, and few European cultures have different definitions):

  • The Lost Generation, The Generation of 1914: 1890 – 1915
  • The Interbellum Generation: 1901 – 1913
  • The Greatest Generation: 1910 – 1924
  • The Silent Generation: 1925 – 1945
  • Baby Boomer Generation: 1946 – 1964
  • Generation X (Baby Bust): 1965 – 1979
  • Xennials: 1975 – 1985
  • Millennials, Generation Y, Gen Next: 1980 – 1994
  • iGen / Gen Z: 1995 – 2012
  • Gen Alpha: 2013 – 2025

Reach Your Audience, But Know Your Buyer

When structuring a video ad campaign it’s imperative to focus on both the advertising content and the format of the ad. The thing to remember is not to aim ads (or products for that matter) at a general audience, but rather at a niche audience. Not only that but you have to know if this audience would be keen on seeing your product, and then if they’d be willing to make the purchase.

Here’s what you need to do:

Task 1: When looking for an audience it’s essential to narrow down buyers or marketing personas (i.e. the average individual in your audience that helps with nailing your marketing strategy).

Task 2: Digging up demographic info regarding these individuals. All of the relevant info in question can be acquired easily via online reports or surveys (which you can organize on your own). You can also use a variety of online tools. The relevant info should include:

  • Age (or generation)
  • Location (possible via Geo-targeting option for example)
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Vocation

Task 3: If you’re organizing an online survey for buyers, potential clients etc., you should focus on personal interests that will perhaps help you determine just what your audience is after. Hopefully, that way you’ll get closer to actual buyers, not just spectators.

Connecting With Generations

Generation Z

It’s more or less clear that this is not a generation that grew up with TV dinners. This is the digital generation. Bear in mind, that this particular generation is getting their content via the Web, primarily on services such as YouTube, Twitch, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Okay, not Facebook as much, because most of the Gen Z’s consider Facebook to be outdated and “not cool.” At any rate, online video and mobile video are your ticket in.

The primary thing to remember about Generation Z is that you need to grab their attention right away. In fact, it has been established that advertisers and video creators have a little over five seconds to get their attention. More importantly, it also takes just over 30 seconds to get the message across with video. The video ad/video content has to be fun, creative and has to appeal to its audience straight away (as far as Gen Z is concerned anyway). Also, it needs to tell an interesting story because that’s where that special ‘hook’ happens where the viewer’s interest peaks.


It’s interesting that out of all age groups, Millennials are still being targeted the most when it comes to video. Why is that? Well, research has shown that 40% of millennials visit YouTube to get the kind of content they trust. In addition, 60% of millennials have made it clear that the videos they see have changed their worldview. As far as this particular age group is concerned, social media is extremely powerful and it’s a great way to reach them.

So, apart from using video as a means of staying informed and entertained, millennials also devote a great deal of time to social channels where they share ideas, opinions, and experiences. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the like are the keys to the hearts of millennials.

Generation X

According to research data, Generation X was brought up and lived during the time of the Great Recession. This is a generation that learned to save up and kick off their own business. In other words, they will keep a particularly close eye on pricing, discounts, and so on. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Because they were such a financially aware generation, Gen Xers usually have college degrees; 35 percent, to be exact, which is more than Millennials (19%).

What’s more, 81 percent of Gen Xers use Facebook to follow various news publications and to keep an eye out for their kids, rather than using it for self-promotion.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are usually a generation that’s associated with brand loyalty. They have specific and focused shopping habits, which means they might also easily cling to a brand they see in a video ad. It’s therefore advisable to hark back to some of the old TV and radio commercials in terms of setting up an advertising pattern if this particular generation is your target audience.

If you are a publisher or advertiser, the essential thing to remember about this generation is that they require proof about the quality of the product and that will require some time. However, once you have their attention they will stay loyal more than any other generation out there.

Speak the Right Language and The Audience Comes to You

Speaking the language of your target audience is by far the most important building block in your digital marketing strategy. This doesn’t just go for video content creators, but for advertisers and publishers, or more specifically, the makers of video ads. Whether your audience consists of Baby Boomers who believe in old-school values and such (they respond to honest and direct marketing messages), or if your product is aimed at gadget-obsessed Millennials (they respond better to social media messages), it’s essential to narrow your options down and know what appeals to them and you must frame your strategy around a message they’ll understand.

To cut a long story short, no matter which crowd you have to please, you have to focus on carrying off your message in a way that will not seem fake or forced to them. It has to be professional and it has to feel natural to the audience. Tell it like it is, and know what they love and what they buy. Simple as that.

Anyone who’s seen the famous YouTube video “A Conference Call in Real Life” has seen a perfect example of the power of language. Tripp & Tyler used business buzzwords and cliches to create one of the most-shared videos among businesspeople, with more than 15 million views.