Canadian Baby Boomers Testing the Waters of New Technology

Not Early Adopters, Boomers (16%) Are Keeping the Pace With Younger Canadians (18%) When It Comes to Tablet Ownership

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vancouver, BC – Increasingly connected, Canada’s Baby Boomers are finding their footing in the digital age. According to a recent issue of the Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, Canadian Boomers (89%) rival younger Canadians (99%) in their levels of Internet access and are slowly beginning to take up new media and devices.

Boomers are beginning to make up ground in adopting emergent technology, but there is a definite lag behind younger Canadians. The study, which delved into the Internet and technology-related behaviours and attitudes of Canadians aged 46 to 65 (those born in 1947 – 1966), found that online Baby Boomers have not yet embraced smartphones (29%) and the constant connectedness they provide to the same degree as that of younger Canadians (49%).

"It's clear that Canada’s Baby Boomer generation is not taking to new media and technologies at the same rate or with the same commitment as the younger generation of Digital Natives," says Dave Pierzchala, Senior Vice President with Ipsos Reid. "However, we are seeing online Boomers becoming more comfortable as their adoption of new devices is trending upwards. Smartphone ownership among online Boomers has increased 11 percentage points since 2011 (was 18%), and they are now just as likely to own a tablet as younger Canadians (16% vs. 18%).”

Online Baby Boomers are not necessarily replacing familiar traditional technology, but they are certainly starting to supplement it by incorporating new channels and devices into the mix. So while television still rules the roost with 86% of online Boomers turning to TV for video consumption, including shows, movies, sports, news, etc., a surprising four-in-ten (43%) report that they watch video content via a computer on a weekly basis.

"Boomers are connected, but you have to know where to find them," adds Pierzchala. “They are slowly starting to embrace new innovations although they trail significantly behind early adopting younger Canadians. Advertisers and retailers can reach Baby Boomers through digital campaigns but they shouldn’t expect it to resonate to the same degree as with the younger generation. For now traditional media channels continue to play a key role for this segment.”

This release is based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid syndicated study, The Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, fielded August 3rd to 9th, 2012 and released in 2012- Issue4. This online survey of 814 Canadian adults was conducted via the Ipsos Online Panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

For more information on the Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, please visit

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Dave Pierzchala
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey- based market research group.

To learn more, please visit

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

Visit to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

Canadian Baby Boomers Testing the Waters of New Technology


Karen Beck
Associate Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Marketing