Gen X – those born in the 60’s and 70’s – account for over 1.5 billion views on Youtube every day (according to a study by Pixability). 64% of which purchased a product that they saw in a video – making Youtube the perfect place for advertisers to connect with a target audience of this age. Google, alongside Ipsos Connect and Flamingo, has conducted qualitative and survey-based research to better understand how Gen Xers interact with Youtube.
The results of the research threw up some pointers that are very interesting for marketers, so we list a few of these below, along with thoughts from Justine Bloome, Head of Strategy and Innovation at media agency, Carat.
Youtube is the first port of call when looking back at tv, films and songs, and as Bloome notes, it’s not that Gen Xers are more nostalgic, it’s that,
“their ability to tangibly access their nostalgia—and our ability to observe that behavior through data—has changed.” Bloome carries on to say that the, “number of entertainment and celebrity icons from the ’80s and ’90s passing on in 2016, I am sure YouTube saw huge spikes in Gen X searches for Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, and others.”
Youtube is also used to keep an eye on what is current in the world, which Bloome thinks is down to the Gen Xers,
“staying relevant and not feeling left out [which] is important to their identity, so it makes sense that they turn to YouTube to keep a pulse on current events.”
It has been shown that Gen Xers are making the most of Youtube’s pause and replay buttons whilst trying to master a new skill – such as cooking, repairs, arts & crafts, beauty and DIY. Bloome sees this pattern as in keeping with Gen Xers upbringing where,
“both parents worked, so they found themselves home alone more so than previous generations. They took a lot of responsibility for themselves and their siblings, and subsequently developed a sense of independence and willingness to self-start.”
As a comparison, Gen Xers are much less likely than millennials to ask others for their opinions, so Bloome is unsurprised that,
“Gen Xers use YouTube to figure something out on their own.”