Boomers, Generation Z, Millennials: what ads and creatives convert for each generation
Different generations perceive the world in their own way, and this should be reflected in advertising. Make creatives according to the requirements of age segments to improve the performance of the strategy.
And to make personalization easier, today we will talk about different generations and their values – boomers, Generation Z, millennials, and even Generation Alpha – those who are just trying to use the Internet and make their first purchases.
Okay, we’re starting!
The oldest of the presented generations are people born between 1945 and 1965.
According to research, this is not only the oldest but also the richest generation – their youth fell on a quiet time, without wars and the Great Depression, which opened up development opportunities.
This age group has several distinctive features:
- Collectivism. Boomers like to think of themselves as part of a group, which will be helpful in building their USP. Just tell them that other people have already tried the product and are happy with the result. It will raise their confidence;
- Conservatism. Boomers do not trust innovations, preferring traditional methods;
- Job. Boomers are workaholics, which creates a severe imbalance between personal life and work;
- Family. Representatives of the generation often get divorced and remain single towards the end of their lives;
- Media. Boomers are the primary consumers of traditional media – television, and newspapers;
- Content. It is important to use nostalgia for the old days. This is one of the favorite formats of this segment;
- Triggers. Bring discounts to the fore. Yes, this is a wealthy generation, but they had to endure the Great Depression and many other bad times. Boomers know what poverty is, and therefore save money.
The main requirement of this age segment is trust and reliability. Incorporate these ideas into content, and attach statistics, reviews, and research results. Back up your opinion with facts, and boomers will trust you.
Now let’s look at different aspects of promotion for the segment.
Boomers are selective in their purchases and do not spend money just like that. Here is what we can say about their reactions to different verticals:
- Nutra. Older people always experience health problems, so promoting nutra for boomers is one of the best options;
- Finance. As a rule, the audience is not interested in loans and credits. The exception is investment instruments to save capital from inflation;
- E-commerce. Most often, boomers do not use marketplaces and prefer to pay for an order on the spot. Taxi, food delivery, and other e-commerce offers are also rarely used by boomers;
- Gambling/betting. Except for geos where gambling is part of the culture, boomers show little interest in betting and gambling;
- Dating. This generation has already formed and almost does not spend time on such applications.
Give preference to nutra, goods, and investments – these are the best offers for the older generation.
Boomers are typical consumers of traditional mass media: television, newspapers, and radio. However, the audience is learning to use the Internet and spending time on social media.
Approximately 80% of boomers have Facebook accounts. In the CIS space, the boomers’ favorite platform is Odnoklassniki, where you can advance through MyTarget.
Also, representatives of the segment spend time on forums and information portals. On these sites, you can promote with the help of teaser advertising – this is one of the best sources of traffic for the older age category.
And it would be best if you refused to use native networks – the ad format is too soft, and the audience simply does not notice it. The same can be said about push notifications. Boomers often scroll through them without reading them.
Now let’s figure out what to focus on in ads.
It is necessary to demonstrate those values that are important for the segment. There are four positions:
- Naturalness. Boomers are conservative and do not trust technology. Therefore, in creatives talk about the natural composition and the “homemade” history of the product’s origin;
- Collectivism. Boomers love to feel like they’re part of a group. Take advantage of that. Tell them about how other members of the segment have already used the product and got a positive effect;
- Discounts. Boomers love to save money, so bring information about discounts to the fore. Also, indicate that the promotion is limited in time to provoke impulsive purchases;
- Nostalgia. Tell the story of the product and refer users back to their youth. For example, you can say that in the past, the food was more natural and contained. Those substances are not now in the diet, and your remedy compensates for the lack of this vitamin.
Attract the boomer’s attention by any means – bright, animated creatives with a spoon of soda, food, and “cocktails,” doctors, and home remedies.
The best format is teasers and clickbaits. Users are interested in and go to landing pages. And here is what the creatives for this segment look like:
Naturalness, lightness, and personalization for an older audience
It is important to keep the user on the landing page and build trust. Avoid complex texts, give them discounts and nostalgia, and use diagrams and other easy-to-read formats.
Generation X and Y
Intermediate generations which are between boomers and zoomers. “Gen X” are users born between 1965 and 1980. Generation Y or Millennials – from 1980 to 2000.
These generations are called lost. “Gen X” and millennials in their youth endured competition from the boomers and the crisis, which did not allow them to develop in politics and careers.
Nevertheless, this is the broadest segment of a mature and solvent audience at the moment. According to the study, more than half of all online purchases are made by representatives of the Y and Z generations.
We combined these two audience segments into one block because they have a lot in common. Let’s take a look at the distinguishing features:
- Education. The youth of the millennials fell into the era of innovation. They are technically savvy and fluent in digital technologies;
Income. The average earnings of the representatives of the segment are lower than those of the boomers. Due to competition, the effect of crises, and the necessity to support parents;
- Family. Millennials disregard family values and start families based on opportunity. They marry later and are less willing to have children, primarily assessing whether they can provide them with a comfortable future;
- Job. They take longer to find a job and go to work later compared to boomers. Together with the need to support parents and children, this leads to financial problems;
- Social networks. Often spend time on the Internet, and use social networks and e-mail. Habitats – Facebook, Instagram, instant messengers;
- Media. Millennials do not abandon traditional media such as TV and radio, but they learn most of the information from the Internet;
- Content. Representatives of the generation are used to the fact that most of the innovations come from the West. Therefore, putting pressure on foreign origins and new technologies is a good option.
The main request of millennials is user experience, so instead of promotions, offer them a service. Convenient delivery, quick calls from the call center, and availability of reviews are the main aspects of advertising.
Now let’s figure out how to develop a funnel focused on millennials.
Millennials enjoy almost the entire spectrum of affiliate offers:
- Nutra. The oldest representatives of generation X are now about 55 years old, so you can also promote funds for this age category. Young segments can be offered adult products or medicines for relatives who need them;
- Finance. Millennials are educated and fluent in banking tools. You can promote almost any offer – the segment is predisposed to loans or investments;
- Products. When choosing a product, pay attention to age. For the older category – household goods, for young people – gadgets or car accessories;
- E-commerce. Millennials often buy from marketplaces that are focused on the best customer experience, have reviews, and convenient delivery. Promoting e-commerce is one of the best options;
- Gambling/betting. Millennials often splurge on gambling and similar entertainment while being solvent enough to become regular customers;
- Dating. Millennials are not mainly in a hurry to create families. They focus on a career. Many of them remain single, so dating is a good vertical for this generation.
This is one of the broadest segments, covering all verticals. But to promote effectively, it is not enough just to choose a good offer – millennials have enough requirements for creatives and traffic sources.
The childhood and youth of millennials fell on computerization. As a result, they hardly follow traditional media and do not part with a smartphone. Here are some conclusions that can be drawn from this:
- The main source of promotion is Facebook, TikTok, and other social networks;
- Secondary sources – native advertising and push notifications;
- Not relevant – teaser advertising and social networks for boomers.
When promoting, focus on formats that do not annoy the user. Pop-ups, bright colors, and animations are something that definitely won’t work.
Instead, choose light illustrations that immediately make it clear what you are promoting:
When developing, start from the following theses:
Ease of perception. Use simple formats – diagrams and simple drawings. Millennials scroll through most of the content, devoting time only to the most important, and therefore it is necessary to present information conveniently, correctly distributing accents;
Structure and connectivity. Your creatives should be part of a single story that is easy for the user to navigate. If your landing pages tell a story about a middle-aged man. It should be exactly him who is depicted in ads, and the text should refer to the story;
Here are the creatives for this segment:
Ease of perception, custom photos, and light format. Front text is easy to read.
Personalize ads, keep in touch even with users who have left the landing page, and talk about the benefits of the service – all this will help make friends with generations X and Y.
The younger generation who have the most unusual approach when choosing brands. They are distinguished by their life position, freedom, and rejection of traditional values. The years of birth – from 2000 to 2012.
It is the first generation that grew up after digitalization. Generation Z has been using smartphones since childhood and cannot imagine life without the Internet.
And here is what we can say about their position and values:
- Job. Despite being young, Gen Z is already making its own money. Most prefer freelancing and remote employment;
- Attitude towards things. Gen Z is not ready to spend money on real estate or transport, preferring to rent goods. Gen Z does not burden themselves with unnecessary items and large expenses;
- Family and traditional values fade into the background. Representatives of the segment rarely marry and have children, preferring easy relationships without obligations;
- Social networks. They have been using smartphones since childhood. They understand advertising and quickly develop banner blindness. Almost do not use traditional media but freely navigate the Internet;
- Content. The segment loves boldness and non-standard presentation. Treat your audience like a friend, create interactive experiences and use gamification elements. Be on the same wavelength with Gen Z, do not hesitate to stand out and touch on sensitive topics;
- Values. Gen Z does not value physical goods but is open to impressions. For this reason, storytelling works well. Segment representatives are always ready to be inspired;
- Freedom. Gen Z tries not to tie themselves to a place, time, or state. These are “citizens of the world” who do not burden themselves with property, family, or a stable income for the sake of freedom.
The main requirement of Generation Z is deep contact with the brand. They are not very interested in the product or promotions, but the relationship with the company is essential for the segment. IBM conducted research that helped to understand the picture of the world of Gen Z. According to the data, 53% of the segment buy from those companies that value them as a person.
Based on this, we can put forward two theses that you need to focus on when developing campaigns. First, spend more time on analytics. To promote effectively, you need to think like a representative of the audience.
Second – keep in touch with the user. Respond to comments, create activities and form a community around the offer. Don’t forget about user-generated content. It’s important when making a buying decision.
Now let’s move on to different aspects of the funnel.
Generation Z has an unusual attitude to the world, and this affects the choice of offers:
- Nutra. The vertical is aimed at the older generation. You can promote antidepressants or nootropics as zoomers are more likely to suffer from stress and depression. For the rest – it is better to choose another vertical;
- Finance. Generation Z rarely takes on debt – this is not necessary, as representatives of the generation avoid large purchases and, for the most part, live on their parents’ money. The best choice in the vertical is cryptocurrencies;
- Products. You can promote gadgets or wow goods, but their relevance is falling. Generation Z is more likely to choose a marketplace and a well-known brand than a one-page product;
- E-commerce. Like millennials, Gen Z often uses marketplaces and other e-commerce offerings. Promoting them is a good choice;
- Gambling/betting. Gen Z prefers to spend money in such a way that they return, and therefore gambling or betting is a good solution for the segment;
- Dating. One of the best options. Gen Z prefers to get acquainted online and is ready to invest in finding a couple.
The main thing when developing a funnel is not a vertical but the right content and placement on trusted sites.
We pass to them, and we understand the sources of traffic.
The traffic source also affects trust. Even if a representative of Generation Z clicks on a teaser ad, he is unlikely to buy something because he knows that big brands are promoted in other ways.
Therefore, when choosing a traffic source, pay attention to social networks and instant messengers. Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, TikTok, and YouTube are the best traffic sources for this segment.
In fact, the entire life of generation Z was spent on social networks, and therefore choose them – this is how you will build trust even at the stage of acquaintance.
You have to work hard to keep their attention. The main thesis in the development of creatives is originality. Use unusual and high-quality images and simple fonts, focus on minimalism and communicate in simple language.
A simple illustration for the Vans sneakers store
Do not neglect user videos and photos – the generation is used to traditional banners, and therefore low-quality content will attract more attention.
Also, use on the creatives of media personalities – bloggers and musicians. Generation Z trusts them, and therefore they are more likely to show interest in the offer if there are celebrities on the creatives.
Make time for comprehension and typography. Fonts should be smooth and readable, large, and responsive for all devices. Pictures – simple and clear, no frills. For example, like this:
Otherwise, just be honest and write in simple language. Explain why the user needs the product, attach reviews and evidence, and then the representative of generation Z will take the targeted action.
The youngest generation in the selection because not all of the Alpha generation even saw this world. Alfa’s birth time is between 2012 and 2025.
It is the generation that grows up surrounded by technology. They can no longer be surprised by smartphones because they master the interaction with artificial intelligence, neural networks, and robots from an early age.
There is no point in advancing this generation yet. The first representatives have not even finished school yet. But, sooner or later, their time will come, and therefore we analyzed the generation and talked about the bright features that have already been identified:
- They develop faster than other generations, master the possibilities of the network, and start earning their first money on the Internet. Most likely, Generation Alpha will become more solvent than Gen Z;
- Technology. Generation Alpha grew up surrounded by innovation and showed interest in it. To advance on them, you will have to follow technological trends and integrate innovations into strategies;
- Content requirements are higher than for Gen Z. Generation Alpha easily feel falseness and the fact that the content maker is not on the same wavelength with them. To advance in this segment, you need to immerse yourself in trends.
As this generation grows, there will be new traffic sources, creative approaches, and offers that will be relevant to this generation. In the meantime, Generation Alpha cannot fully earn and form an opinion about brands – affiliates have no choice but to observe and collect data.
Not only solvency and the category of offers, but also the attitude to life depends on the generation. People change, and it is important to consider this when developing strategies. Use data about the values of each of the segments to adapt promotional materials, and it will be easier to achieve user trust.