According to a recent Nielsen survey with a global reach, the population sector known as the millennials (those between ages 21 to 34) have the highest levels of trust in online and mobile marketing and advertising formats. Nielsen asserts that this finding makes sense, since it’s the millennials who came of age with the Internet and therefore have a great deal of comfort with this particular format. Here are some other key findings that came out of the survey.

Cross-Channel Engagement Strategies Are Critical

Nielsen found that millennials don’t just exceed the average in online and mobile formats but also in other marketing channels, including TV, newspaper, and magazine advertising. This is why a cross-channel marketing strategy is going to be critical when targeting this particular demographic. Consider these statistics:

  • Millennials show the highest level of trust in 18 out of 19 advertising formats and channels.
  • Millennials are also the most willing to take action of 16 out of 19 formats.

Part of this broad reach has to do with the fact that millennials consume a wide range of media on their devices, where they are able to watch, listen, and read content at will. Nielsen found that even those in this demographic who rely less heavily on traditional channels like TV and newspapers still have a high level of trust in these advertising formats and that their willingness to act in response to them remains high.

European Audiences Are the Most Skeptical

Among all global regions surveyed, European respondents have the lowest amount of trust for advertising, no matter the format.

  • In fact, Europeans were rated with the lowest reported levels of trust for all 19 formats included in this survey.
  • Europeans also reported being the least likely to take action on 18 out of the 19 formats that were queried.

Different Ads Resonate More Strongly in Different Regions and Among Different Audiences

  • Nielsen found that humorous ads will resonate most strongly in Western markets, while health themes ads are most effective in Latin America. In contrast, audiences in the Asia-Pacific and Africa/Middle East regions looked to ads that depicted real-life situations.
  • Older respondents were most likely to act on animal-centered advertising themes (such as those involving family pets), whereas action advertising themes (with a high level of energy) were most engaging for younger audiences.

The Nielsen survey found that trust levels in advertising have remained fairly consistent over the past two years.


Essany, Michael. “The Most Trusting Advertising Audience? Millennials by a Mile, Says Nielsen Research.” Mobile Marketing Watch. 10/22/15.