Want to reach Gen Z with OOH ads? Social media can help

A survey shows young people engage with and share OOH ads when they are posted on social networks.

It’s tough to catch Gen Z’s attention with traditional media formats — unless the campaigns are shared on social media.

Out of home (OOH) advertising, for instance, grab’s Gen Z’s attention when images of billboards are reposted and shared online, according to a survey from the Harris Poll and the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA). 

According to the survey, which polled 1,000 adults in the U.S. in October, 67% of Gen Z and millennial consumers recall seeing OOH ads on social media, and most of them (91% of Gen Z, 82% of millennials) said they would reshare those images. 

But they’re doing more than just posting and sharing. According to the report, 85% of Gen Zers and 78% of millennials have engaged with OOH ads that they see and taken an action, including downloading an app (46% of Gen Z) and making an e-commerce purchase (27% of millennials).

Young audiences give Brownie points to the advertisers that create contextually relevant OOH campaigns ads and virtual experiences around OOH campaigns. 

For instance, nearly half of survey respondents said contextual OOH ads are more interesting than typical advertising. Additionally, 82% of both Gen Z and millennials say they are open to seeing ads within AR or VR formats. 

The results “should be a wake-up call to all digital marketers,” said Anna Bager, president and CEO of OAAA in a statement. “Although Americans, particularly young Americans, are wary of targeted online advertising, they have a growing appetite for advertising that speaks to their needs.” 

“It’s heartening that the growth of programmatic digital out of home will enable marketers to tap into a younger, tech-savvy demographic of consumers,” she continued. 

Still, marketers should be wary of coming off too strong when targeting young demographics with ads. According to the survey, most Gen Zers (72%) and millennials (77%) still worry that their data is being used to target them with ads across the internet.


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