Mobile is the No. 1 Medium for Advertising to Gen Z & Young Millennial College Students, According to New Research from IAB & Qriously

College Students Are More Likely Than the Average Smartphone User
to Say Mobile Is Where They See Relevant Ads & Cite Smartphones as Their
Favorite Device Over Others, Including TV

Nearly Three-Quarters Make Purchases Via Smartphones

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
and its Mobile
Marketing Center of Excellence
today released “Generation
Z & Young Millennials: Mobile First on Campus,
” a study
conducted with Qriously that shows that smartphone screens should be the
primary medium for reaching today’s college students – the first of
Generation Z and last of the Millennial generation to enter young
adulthood on campus. These students are more likely than the average
smartphone user to cite their mobile phone as the place where they see
relevant ads (28% vs. 22%). Tailoring plays a role, with respondents
stating they are more apt to notice mobile ads adapted to them based on
social media and web browsing.

Male college students were particularly prone to cite mobile as the
medium with the most relevant ads they saw (32.5%), with only 19 percent
feeling that way about TV. Females were more balanced, with equal number
saying mobile and TV were the source of relevant ads. Furthermore, both
college men and women unequivocally say that their smartphone is their
favorite device, preferring it over any other, including television.

More than half (55%) of those polled indicated that they have acted
based on seeing a relevant ad on their mobile phone, a higher rate than
among typical smartphone owners (49%). Their reactions to ads may be
harder for marketers to quantify, though: they are significantly more
likely to search for information based on seeing ads (13% vs. 9.5%) and
to take screenshots of ads (13% vs. 7%) on their mobile device in
comparison to all other smartphone users, but are somewhat less prone to
tap on mobile ads (12% vs. 16%).

In addition, college students interact with mobile ads more frequently
than the typical smartphone user, an average of 3.9 interactions per
week versus 3.1. Females surveyed were even more liable to interact with
mobile ads than males, at rates of 4.5 interactions per week versus 3.2.

“Today’s college students are leading mobile first lives – and will
surely take their mobile-first mindset with them into the world after
graduation,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager,
Mobile and Video, IAB. “Gen Z and the young Millennials on campus now
are tomorrow’s next set of primary consumers and it is apparent that
marketers and agencies need to reach this coveted audience on mobile

Mobile shopping is a mainstay with those surveyed; almost three out of
four (73%) say they make purchases via their smartphone – much more than
the average smartphone user (66%). Nearly a quarter (23%) of college
students say they “often” make purchases using their smartphones, as
compared to 18 percent of average smartphone users.

College is a time when young people try different brands, including
those for basic household needs. Often this period sees consumers forge
brand relationships that can shape purchasing behaviors for years, and
the IAB/Qriously research examined influences on college students
accordingly. The study shows that they are more liable to choose a brand
based on social media presence/chatter (16% vs. 10%) and friends’
opinions (13% vs. 9%) compared to the typical smartphone user. Social
media is particularly important as a brand selection criterion for
female college students (19% vs 12%).

“Mobile is at the center of every college student’s life,” said
Alexandre Sagakian, Vice President, Research and Data, Qriously. “These
young people don’t even remember the days before mobile phones were in
everyone’s hands. So, it comes as no surprise that they use their
smartphones for shopping and that their mobile devices inevitably wield
an influence over what brands they choose.”

“Generation Z & Young Millennials: Mobile First on Campus” was released
at that IAB
MIXX Conference
in New York City. To download the full report,
please visit


The “Generation Z & Young Millennials: Mobile First on Campus” survey
was conducted from August 19 – September 11, 2015 in the U.S. using the
Qriously mobile survey platform. Two samples were interviewed: 1,018
smartphone users who identified themselves college students aged 17-25
years old with a focus on 17-19 year olds (incoming freshmen and
sophomores in Generation Z); and 1,096 smartphone users who were
representative of the general smartphone-user population in the U.S.

About Qriously

Qriously is a data and advertising platform. It accesses the mindset of
billions of people all over the world by asking questions on mobile
devices. Answers to those questions are used to engage relevant
audiences and unearth valuable insights.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and
marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. It is comprised
of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are
responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising
or marketing campaigns. Together, they account for 86 percent of online
advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the
IAB develops technical standards and best practices and fields critical
research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands,
agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital
marketing. The organization is committed to professional development and
elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the
workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy
office in Washington, D.C., the IAB advocates for its members and
promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to
legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered
in New York City and has a West Coast office in San Francisco.


IAB Media
Laura Goldberg, 347-683-1859