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Upfronts 2016: Study by Unruly Finds Millennials Both Love and Fear Ads

Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2016

A new study by ad-tech company Unruly finds millennial viewers are both passionately engaged with and wary of ads, depending on the relevance of the pitch and their "creepy" factor.

Millennials are 112% more likely to share ads they like online than any other demographic and they are 23% more likely to enjoy ads they find relevant, per the study.

With global spending powers of $2.45 trillion, 18-34-year-old digital natives are one of the most highly sought-after advertising demos.

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The data derives from Unruly’s "Future Video Survey," which quizzed 3,200 people around the world, and Unruly Pulse, which uses the company’s first-party data on emotional response. The combined data helps brands to learn how millennial audiences differ in behavior and preference from Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers.

The study surveyed 3,200 internet users from the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, Sweden, France, Indonesia and Japan. The Unruly ShareRank algorithm stems from more than 395,000 viewer reactions to videos and sharing data relating to 2 trillion video views.

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While they love and share some ads, millennials are turned off by poor quality advertising, with 93% considering ad blocking software. The key reasons millennials give for considering using ad blockers are: too many ads (58.9%); the same ads playing over and over again (49.4%); and feeling "creeped out" by ads appearing to follow them around the web (43.1%).

Four out of every five millennials will mute a brand’s video ads, and 74% say they lose trust in a brand if an ad feels fake.

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“This is a high-risk, high-reward demographic," said Unruly coCEO Sarah Wood. "Get it right with this uber-connected audience and you have the potential to unlock widespread reach and powerful advocacy. Get it wrong and they are unforgiving: if you appear inauthentic or interrupt them with ads, they will actively avoid your brand."