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Gen X’s Attitudes Towards Advertising and Digital Device Usage

There’s a lot of focus on both the older audience – Baby Boomers – and the younger audience – Millennials and Gen Z. But what about those in the middle? Generation X (Gen X) is the group born between 1965-1980 (between Boomers and Millennials). It’s easy to reach them, but they can be picky about where and how they want to interact with ads.
An estimated 88.5% of the Xer population use a smartphone, and 62.7% use tablets at least once a month. Xers look to their phones for convenience and ease of use and are particularly attuned to ads on those devices while multitasking or on the go. A 2018 survey showed that users 39-53 are most receptive to smartphone ads either in bed before sleeping or while watching TV (as is true of all other age groups). However, Xers specifically are receptive of ads while shopping in-store, exercising, or running errands.

Gen Xers also still watch a good amount of TV (nondigital) at an average of 3 hours, 28 minutes per day. The usage volume means they’re available to see your advertising, but they can be particular about their ad experiences. They feel like there are too many ads, and they don’t like ad repetition. This has driven an increase in streaming subscriptions – a February 2019 survey by Deloitte showed 77% of Xers subscribe to video-on-demand services (up from 64% in 2017).
Generation Xers are open to interacting with media in new ways, so it’s crucial to meet this generation where they are (smartphones, streaming, etc.), and to come equipped with appropriate and timely messaging that mirrors their unique stage in life.


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