Millennials are early technology adopters, who consume media via multiple channels and spend copious amounts of time on social media. 

This is the stereotypical view of the highly sought-after 18-34 demographic. It is also assumed they watch more video content than older age groups, and that they prefer streaming and downloading to watching traditional TV. 
These generalisations may be broadly accurate, but by lumping together an entire generation into a single category and targeting solely on age-related expectations, marketers are wasting money and missing opportunities to focus their efforts more specifically.         

With that in mind, YuMe looked beyond age and obvious generational differences to find out what millennials really care about, how they consume media, what their advertising preferences are, and how we can influence their choices. After surveying over 5,000 consumers, we created five targeted audiences, each with distinct characteristics. 

So what are the different types of consumers and how can these segments be used to target millennials with video advertising? 

Category 1: Mobile Mavens 

The youngest of the groups, Mobile Mavens have an active social life when they aren’t busy climbing the career ladder. They combine old-fashioned values such as the importance of family and friendship with a love of technology – specifically mobile. They buy luxury brands, frequently checking reviews before making a purchase, and Pinterest is one of their top used apps. This group shares relevant video content and in order to influence them, advertising should be humorous and thought provoking, balancing their strong values with their sense of fashion. 

Category 2: Tech-Savvy Savants 

This group owns the latest tech but prefers to use it for entertainment and research rather than to connect socially, although they still retain strong social networks with Google Plus being one of their most used websites or apps. They are avid TV fans, with 30% binge-watching more than twice a week. Tech-Savvy Savants are distrustful of authority but loyal to brands that are frank with data. They are influenced by the values of the companies they buy from and are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products. This segment spends time researching products before buying, so information is important to them and they enjoy factual video ads free from sentiment. 

Category 3: Cross-Training Cord Cutters

Careers are very important to this competitive group and they are better paid than other segments. They want to look good – eating well, using fitness trackers, and going the gym – and is one of their top used websites. This is the most likely group to shun linear TV, preferring shorter videos played on smart TVs. They enjoy video ads and will click on links or post ads they like to social media. Cross-Training Cord Cutters are influenced by celebrity endorsements, fashion trendsetters, and brands using social media, so video ads should communicate an ability to outpace the crowd or feature a well-known celebrity. 

Category 4: Thrifty Traditionalists 

Thrifty traditionalists are highly value driven – caring about their families, their country, the planet and their finances. They want a career doing something worthwhile while still spending time with family. The oldest millennial segment, this group doesn’t watch much TV and isn’t as attached to technology or social media – only 62% own a smartphone compared with 82% of Mobile Mavens. Thrifty Traditionalists like coupons and usually only shop for the basics, with Amazon being their most used website or app. They rarely pay attention to video ads with 76% blocking or skipping them, but they like thought-provoking content and useful product information as well as messaging that deals with environmental, social and financial issues. 

Category 5: Casually Connected 

Another young category but with a relatively low income, Casually Connected, like to be on their own, but have many online friends via social media with Facebook being one of their top used websites or apps. This group likes to shop online but has little brand loyalty, preferring to ask friends’ opinions rather than to follow trends. They actively block or skip video ads and pay little attention to them; 68% are annoyed by irrelevant ads. They want to be entertained so video ads should include cute characters or humour. 

It’s clear to see Millennials are far more diverse and difficult to categorise than previously assumed. Rather than targeting solely by age – which misses vital differences – marketers should segment audiences into consumer models allowing them to understand where their marketing efforts will make the biggest impact. They can then make best use of their budgets by targeting video ads to specific individuals who show an interest in their products or services rather than a whole generation of disparate consumers.