You are here: Home > Insight > Audience Insight > Youth Marketing
Audience Insight - Youth Marketing

Market Summary - Youth Marketing

Audience Update:

Youth Marketing


QTR 3 2019


w00t! Media

At a Glance

Young adults - and the way they consume media - are often used as a predictor of how all audiences will eventually behave.

The sheer volume of digital media fragmentation and attention disruption today re-enforces the need to understand how to emotionally engage this audience in order to earn their attention.

The old advertising model of interruption no longer works when your audience can simply avoid or ignore you at will.

26% of the UK population is aged 15-34


They make up a third of the UK online audience



80% are economically active



16-34s visit a broader range of
 websites than typical adults  


Case Study:

Email Contact:

Case Study
Email Contact

Hot Topics

#1 Mobility of access:

Smartphone take up is highest amongst this audience, and they are used for digital connectivity both outside and inside the home in increasing amounts.

86% of 16-24s and 75% of
25-34s own a smartphone


Only 13% of 16-24s go online solely at home,
versus 28% of all adults               




83% of 16-24s and 73% of 25-34s access the 
   internet via a mobile phone when at home


#2 Multiplatform and multi screen usage:

Young adults are leading the way in multi screen media consumption – going online when watching TV, whilst also using a mobile or tablet.

Half of all "multi-screeners" in the UK
are 16-34s                   


#3 Social media usage

Despite reports that Facebook is falling out of favour with youth and young adult audiences, the use of social and community based sites, tools and applications are still vitally important to this audience.

Consequently, attitudes have changed towards sharing, privacy and expectations of brand interaction.

84% of 16-24s and 74% of 25-34s use 
            social network sites

Challenges when engaging young adults online

The challenges presented by the hot topics above mean that, even if young adults can be reached, they are more difficult to truly engage. 

  • Your audience could be in any environment – at home, or on the move…
  • Using a variety of devices …
  • With varying levels of engagement due to multi screening. 

What binds platforms together, however, is great content.

This is the key to reaching and engaging young adults effectively.

1. You can buy coverage and frequency easily online using display space but make sure you stand out, without interrupting the user’s experience. 

  • Users aren't visiting content rich sites to see the ads!
  • Interruptive ads (such as pop-ups and overlays) are some of the most disliked formats among youth audiences. While they may achieve (potentially) higher click rates compared to standard ad sizes, the downside to brand consideration can be massive.
  • Large formats that don’t interrupt are far more useful - such as the film ‘Billboard’ ad below. These are proven to generate over 16% more awareness than standard ads, according to the IAB’s “Rising Stars” study.
  • Mobile display space is yet to make it’s case for branding without using interruptive formats. 

2. Or you can buy engagement through branded content.

With limited space - and attention - to play with, it’s a hard task for any creative tasked with bringing display ads to life. And it’s a conundrum that isn't easily solved.

In fact, the shift to content marketing is indicative of the fact that advertisers looking to secure more minutes of consideration with potential customers have to look outside of display to meet their objectives.

To succeed at this, you need to be more entertaining than the incredible amount of content already being produced

Business intelligence experts Domo have shown that every minute there are over 48 hours of video uploaded to YouTube, 648,000 Facebook shares, 100,000 tweets; 47,000 iOS App downloads.

In our experience, the best & most cost effective results can often be achieved by partnering with a relevant media owner who not only understands the audience, but also what content they really want to consume.

We’ve delivered campaigns that have achieved 300%+ more effectiveness for advertisers than if they had produced the branded content themselves and promoted it separately, thanks to the built in audiences media-owners offer who are waiting to read & watch welcome content.

Examples of branded content   

Some of our case studies can be viewed at this link:    

Key insights for brands

Young adults as an audience are not one homogenous group.

Depending on lifestage, rather than age, 16-34s will be active online in very different ways, make decisions about completely separate types of brands and be influenced by a variety of sources and values.

For example, a married 21 year old parent will have different influences, values and brand decision-making responsibility than a 21 year old student living at home.

The “Generation Y and Brand Loyalty” research conducted by Dubit identifies 3 key segments that define the journey young adults take when making brand decisions.

All about me

Only need to consider brands for themselves, not having to buy for the home, partner or children. Snacks, fashion and digital brands dominate their preferences.

They are more open to advertising being entertainment led. 

All about us

May be moving into their own home for the first time, living with a partner, or taking their first rung on the career ladder. At this stage the most liked brands start to include more alcohol, department stores and household grocery brands. 

All about them

Potentially have a partner, children and mortgage payments. Trading off between brands starts to occur due to being open and accountable to other considerations and influences. 

Digital choices become more functional as personal time becomes more limited, so ads need to offer useful information rather than entertainment. 

Key Audience Strengths

Young adults are an important audience for all brands, the product choices they make now will inform their brand loyalty for years to come.

They are an audience that expects a brand to advertise, and they want brands to appeal to their emotional needs in environments they enjoy and trust. 

Brands can attract advocates early by considering their needs at each lifestage -connect with them emotionally and advertise to them intelligently:

  • Be impactful but don’t interrupt
  • Be professional, don’t trick, patronize or stereotype
  • Be useful and / or entertaining.

Brands then have the opportunity to take life’s journey with their customers and remain in their brand consideration set.

Sources – Office of National Statistics, Mediascope Europe 2012, Comscore May 2013, NM Incite 2013, Ofcom 2013, Generation Y and Brand Loyalty, w00t!Media and Dubit 2013

Back to Market Insight