Monday, May 2, 2011

Media Ad Buys: What Audience Has the Money?

"Put Millennials First," a PR piece, is NDN's push to get young people to engage politically. That's a good thing. Doing this by hammering supposedly anti-young media outlets about broadcast ad buys is not. Hais and Winograd lead with the statistic that Millennials have 11% more buying power than Boomers did in the 1960s and 70s. So what? my millennial familials would ask. The writers cite research/consulting firms; one whose initiative brought Millennials to the attention of broadcast media, estimates people born between 1982 and 2003 make up 27% of the population. Table 7 U.S. Census shows 307,007 (in thousands) total population. 88,880 are between 8 and 29, so it's actually 28.95%. The authors save their damning comments for a CNN survey that had a questionable 10% of respondents under 34. I need to see CNN's viewer statistics, but I'm betting 8-29 year olds aren't watching CNN period, and would it matter if they were? OurTime president swings another balloon hammer at CNN. A little book "How to Lie with Statistics" by Darrell Huff, written in 1954 still applies now. More than is a great advertising gimmick. More than/less than is meaningless. Americans 18-34 years are not Americans born between 1982-2003, and therefore not Millennials as defined by the reporters. Americans 18-34 representing more than 30% of people over 18 is statistically insignificant in their argument, and a lie. The number is 21%. The other naked emperor in the room is that chances are outstanding that Millennials are not spending their own money. They are spending mom and dad and grandpa and grandma's money. Statistically, and with real buying power, this is the group to write ads for, to attract, to jump up and down on statistics about.

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