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A survey by Adobe has found that American Gen Yers are not watching as many political campaigns compared to older generations. With many political campaigns being aired on television, it's likely that Yers are missing these ads as they are watching less TV than before. We explore the insights behind why Gen Yers didn’t see any political campaigns in the run up to this year’s mid-terms, and understand how politicians could better target their messages.

A survey by software company Adobe has found that up to 40% of Gen Yers reported not seeing any form of political advertising in the run up to 2018's mid-term elections. This contrasts with older generations, who largely reported seeing political advertising at some point – only 5% of Senior respondents said they hadn’t watched any, with this number rising to 10% for Boomers and 15% for Gen Xers. For respondents who said they had seen political advertisements, TV was the most common medium to view it on – 25% of Gen Yers said TV and 16% said online, while 35% of Gen Xers said it was on TV.

Politicians would do well to get right in front of Yers who live on their phones Politicians would do well to get right in front of Yers who live on their phones
Ambar Simpang (2018) ©

Traditionally, American Gen Y have not been the most engaged with the mid-term elections – only a fifth of them voted in 2014's mid-terms. Data suggests that Gen Yers are not watching TV as much as their older counterparts – 25% consume all their content through streaming platforms – despite political campaign spending for TV reaching $4.6 billion in 2018, compared to $1.8 billion for online campaigns. Maybe it's time for political campaign groups to rethink their marketing strategies for the future, especially as reports (correctly) predicted that young voters would see a surge in numbers in this year's mid-terms.

Lucia Seoane-Pampin is a behavioral analyst at Canvas8, which specializes in behavioral insights and consumer research. Born and raised in Spain, she loves experiencing different cultures and emotional expressions. She studied psychology and communications in Boston and has a master’s in digital & visual media.


14 Nov 18
2 min read

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