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Advertising to Generation X as They Enter the Fall & Winter of Life

Generation X is comprised of 51 million people, born between the years of 1965 and 1980. As more of this population is turning 50 years old, we need to start shifting our focus on how to advertise to Gen X. We can begin by understanding some of their attitudes towards advertising.

Overall, the Gen X audience can be selective about where and how they want to interact with ads, so knowing how to reach them with timely, appropriate and relevant messaging and communications is important. Keep reading for some trends on where and how to advertise to this audience.

Mobile Advertising

Smartphone Users by Generation

Smartphone ownership is high for this population, at about 89% (according to eMarketer). Based on screen time and usage, they use their smartphones a great deal due to convenience and ease of use. Generation X is more receptive to ads while multitasking or on the go – specifically when they are out shopping or running errands and exercising. They are especially using them to shop online, so being able to effectively target and influence them through mobile devices is key.

The Gen X audience is also using new technology, such as smart speakers like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. They are using them for daily tasks, listening to music, setting reminders and asking about the weather – activities they typically did on their smartphones. The shift shows that this generation might also be open to interacting with advertising in new ways as well, as they are looking for an improved advertising experience. 

Television: Streaming and Traditional

Not surprisingly, they still watch traditional TV. But those in the Gen X group are becoming frustrated with ad repetition and seeing too many lengthy ads. This is driving them to subscribe to streaming options in order to avoid ads and control the content that they are consuming and have access to certain shows and movies. They are not completely cutting the cord on traditional TV, but they are quickly adopting other services to view content.


Engaging this generation quickly, and making the message short and to the point, is key. Busy with children and careers, they value convenience and time. Like Baby Boomers, the Gen X audience wants more out of life and they are looking for relationships that are more authentic, meaningful and enduring. Connecting with things that they care about, like family and independence, is essential to keep in mind when advertising to them.

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