Millennials Are the Most Trusting (Gullible?) When It Comes to Advertising

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This analysis from Nielsen is amusing.

The global survey found that trust levels in advertising have remained consistent across earned, owned and paid formats over the past two years.

Self-reported action levels (Mmmm, a bit of a worry if that is the way the results were collected) as a result of advertising actually exceeded trust levels for 14 of 19 advertising formats reviewed, suggesting that trust is not always a prerequisite to purchase. 

You might think at this point that the research might not be of much consequence, and you might be right. However, it is the relative scores between the generations that are interesting.

You need to click on the image or look at the original article to see the details.

Millennials (age 21-34) have the highest levels of trust in online and mobile formats, followed by Generation X (age 35-49). OK, you think that is what you would expect because of these being the ‘wired generation’ and all that sort of nonsense. But, it is not just online and mobile advertising formats where Millennials exceed the average. They also show the highest levels of trust in 18 of 19 advertising formats/channels, including TV, newspapers and magazines, and they’re also the most willing to take action on 16 of 19 formats.

Another way of looking at this conclusion is that the advertising industry has to work even harder to establish trust with older people. Most of the time I think that is something that is far from their minds.

The report then goes on to look at the differences between regions and concludes that trust is the highest in developing areas of the globe. Why that is, I leave you to work out and to the dividing line between gullible and trusting comes.

Image via flickr

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