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There they go again. Vermonters bucking national trends.

At 25 years old, Alex’s world is an adventure. His is a life shaped by a desire for experiences, a sense of invincibility, and an aversion to the establishment. He speaks of his desire to do big, important things, on his terms.

Alex could be anyone, or everyone, in the ‘coveted’ young adult demographic. He falls squarely in the millennial generation, a group that marketers value as leaders of innovation and trend setters, but also view as difficult, almost impossible, to reach on a mass scale. Read most industry headlines and you’ll conclude that Americans ages 18-34—particularly males—are obsessed with viewing video but are also leading the charge on cord cutting, consuming digital media only, and avoiding marketing messages altogether. You’d assume that Alex and his friends are inaccessible, forever lost to marketers, and bringing everyone else along with them.

But Alex isn’t a hipster in Brooklyn, a techie in Silicon Valley, or a wannabe entrepreneur in Boston. He’s a high school graduate who lives in rural Northern Vermont. He earns about $400 a week. He likes to fish in the summer and snowmobile in the winter. He smokes cigarettes. A lot of cigarettes.

And we reached him with a tried and true approach—television.

It turns out Alex is not what national Big Data envisions when it reports on America’s consumption of video programming. A new study HMC Advertising conducted in September 2015 shows that when it comes to video, Vermonters go their own way. What else is new?

The vast majority of Vermonters (84%), regardless of generation, watch video programming on one medium or another, and television is the most commonly used vehicle. But what about young adults like Alex? Here’s where Vermont really starts to stand out. Alex and his 18-34 year-old cohorts are watching video, and they’re watching it online and on mobile more so than other age segments. However, they’re also watching video programming on television in numbers virtually equal to online. And they watch video programming on television at a higher rate than average.

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The research results show that the real power is in the combination of screens. The most potent combination in Vermont requires both television and online. This is particularly true for millennials.

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So what about mobile, the current hot topic across the marketing industry? Mobile is an important and appropriate medium in many situations. But the story in Vermont looks different when it comes to video. Only 24% of Vermonters consume video through mobile, and combining mobile video with television or online only results in about 8% incremental reach.

Mobile video is more widely used among the 18-34 set (39%) compared to older segments, but marketers take note. Combining mobile video with television only increases reach with 18-34 year olds by 10%. Likewise, combining mobile video with online video results in just 7% incremental reach.

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Alex—or more specifically, the segment he represents—is the priority group for the Vermont Department of Health’s adult smoking cessation program, 802Quits. HMC has driven this campaign with a combination of television and online for two years.

Since we launched the newly branded 802Quits in collaboration with the Health Department in early 2014, we’ve seen brand recognition grow from nothing to almost 40% across the state, with our key audience of 18-34 year olds showing the largest gains of any segment in key metrics, including awareness, familiarity, ad recall, and use of programs.[i] Broadcast channels have the highest recall for 802Quits of any medium among this age demographic.[ii]

The research proves that video consumption is a classic case of what Vermonters do best—buck trends.

 

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[i] Source: Marshall Marketing, “2015 Vermont Tobacco Research” sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health, June 1, 2015.
[ii] Source: Marshall Marketing, “2015 Vermont Tobacco Research” sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health, June 1, 2015.

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