Why Millennials Reject Traditional Advertising

Posted on March 8, 2017

When it comes to effective marketing, billboards, newspaper ads, and radio promos just won’t cut it anymore. While these methods can be effective in some circumstances and for certain target audiences, they can no longer be relied upon as a strong marketing crutch- especially when the target audience consists largely of millennials.

As far as millennial consumers are concerned, many methods of traditional advertising are essentially obsolete. Seeing ads on billboards, hearing about “sales” on the radio- all of these things are old news, and quite frankly, millennials don’t trust them. Many millennials view traditional, “in your face”-type advertising as untrustworthy because these advertisements give off the impression that companies are trying to sell products to consumers who really don’t want or need them. To millennials, these types of advertisements are not convincing. Instead, they want to go where the value is, and the value of a product, service, or organization cannot be genuinely conveyed through means of traditional advertising.

Moreover, the means by which most of these ads are broadcasted are becoming irrelevant in the eyes of most millennial age consumers. The majority of millennials don’t listen to the radio as their primary source for music- they use music apps like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, or Pandora. The vast majority of millennials don’t read the newspaper- they get their news from social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat. So long as companies stay loyal to traditional, non-exploratory means of advertising, they will not effectively reach out to the millennial consumer base that they so desperately need to appeal to in today’s market.


While traditional advertising methods are not considerably effective when targeting millennials, they do still play an important role when targeting consumers from previous generations. For any company, developing a comprehensive marketing strategy must include a variety of tactics that reach out to all of the company’s consumer base. Today, however, a large and growing percentage of the consumer base consists of millennials, so businesses should focus on investing in alternative marketing practices geared toward this illusive generation if they wish to persevere well into the future.