The Ad Formats That Win With Millennial Moms (And The Ones That Lose)

This February, Ovia Insights surveyed more than 9,000 Ovia Pregnancy users to learn more about millennial moms’ buying decisions, ad preferences, and product recommendations. We’re excited to share the full report soon, but for now, we’re going to highlight the results of one interesting question: How do millennial moms feel about different types of ads?

We asked Ovia Pregnancy users to select whether they had positive, neutral, or negative feelings about a variety of ad types. Here’s what they said:


Not included in the above results are the rates at which users replied that they “don’t see these ads.” For each format, about 4% of users responded that they didn’t see the ads, except for one — 8% of those surveyed said that they don’t see television commercials. So, while the moms who are who are seeing commercials view them positively, cord cutters are taking a meaningful slice out of commercial view rates.

The reason television commercials are viewed so favorably by consumers might be that they’re expected. Watching television is an experience that has always been predicated on receiving content in exchange for time and attention during commercials.

This could help explain why pre-roll and mid-roll video ads are viewed extremely negatively, which brings us to our first key takeaway:

Don’t be annoying

Pre-roll and mid-roll most often appear in digital content that viewers still think of as on demand. It’s an active experience, where you search for and choose what you want to consume. These kinds of ads serve as barriers to the instant gratification that people expect.

When you get between someone and their content, they get annoyed, and they’ll go out of their way to avoid receiving your ad. It’s important that advertisers carefully consider the quality of the formats they’re buying.

The same sentiment applies to the negative feelings around pop-up ads. We specifically asked about “pop-up ads that I have to close/scroll past before reading an article.” Again, what millennials feel negative about is arbitrary barriers between them and the content they’ve elected to consume.

Be the content

The near-even split on sentiment regarding timeline display is an interesting result. It’s possible this is a reflection of the quality of ads respondents have received and the nature of the platform they use. Beautiful Pinterest ads that reflect a browser’s interest are a very different experience from generic banner ads simply shoved into the middle of a scroll.

The data also shows that millennial moms feel positively about sponsored content and product mentions from content creators. That’s because these types of ad formats come from trusted resources and are part of “opt-in” ad experiences, rather than barrier-based ones.

At Ovia Insights, we create custom native ads that marry content with brand messages. There’s nothing to skip, avoid, or ignore. There’s no intrusive brand voice “shouting” at our users and disrupting their experience. This positive ad experience contributes to better engagement and increased brand awareness.

When the content is quality, integrated ad experiences beat out traditional advertising.

Be helpful

Another finding from this study showed that 40% of respondents most appreciate an ad that is helpful or informative. That’s more than twice the 18% that wanted skippable or hideable ads.

Millennial moms are interested in learning about the myriad new products and services that they need as they enter parenthood. This is a population that actually wants to receive ads, and one that actually feels positively about some of them. Don’t miss your chance to reach them!

When it comes to millennial moms-to-be, advertisers have a nine-month window to engage this influential group and gain lifetime loyalty. Learn about how Ovia Insights can help, and stay tuned for the full report on millennial mom ad preferences!