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NEWS24 July 2018

Purpose in advertising valued most by younger consumers, finds C4 research

Media News Trends UK

UK – Advertising that deals with important issues resonates more with young people aged 16 to 34 than other age groups, according to a study from Channel 4 and Hook Research.

Over half of 16- to 34-year-olds ( 60%) surveyed for the research claimed to notice advertising more if it deals with important issues, compared to 55% of 35- to 44-year-olds and 37% of those aged 45 and over.

Respondents in the younger age group are 56% more likely to equate ethical products with better quality than respondents aged 35 and over, according to the research commissioned by Channel 4’s 4 Sales division.

The survey of 1,000 people, half of whom were aged 16 to 34 and the other half aged 35 to 65, found that the majority ( 55%) agreed brands should be ‘a force for good in the world’.

Additionally, 57% of young people believe brands should use advertising to raise awareness of social or ethical issues, and 41% claimed they had boycotted a brand because of a perceived lack of ethics, compared to a third of those aged 35+.

Young people also place more value on diversity, with respondents in the 16 to 34 age group 39% more likely to think it’s important that a brand features diversity in its advertising than older consumers (aged 35 and over).

Jonathan Lewis, head of digital and partnership innovation at Channel 4, said: "This research shows that the market for purpose-driven ads is far from saturated. But people have very clear expectations about what they want from brands operating in this space: they need to be genuine in their messaging, stay relevant to their industries and create resonant ads that cut through."

Hook Research ran four focus groups each with 24 16- to 34-year-olds in London and Manchester and collated survey responses from 1,000 people – half aged 16 to 34 and half 35 to 65, and analysed social media engagement around purpose-driven campaigns. Sixty-one individuals working in UK agencies were surveyed about the role of purpose-driven campaigns in advertising and what they think consumers consider important when making purchases.

Pictured: McCain’s ‘We Are Family’ advert