Just when you thought the Millennials were hard to get your head around, the next generation – the Zs (those born after 2000) – are starting to open their wallets and create a brand new set of headaches for agencies and advertisers. There are already two billion Zs on the planet!
A new report warns the Zs will be fickle, avoid advertising, use ad blockers and come with very short attention spans.
The report titled AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z was compiled by UK market research firm Kantar Millward Brown and was based on surveys of more than 23,000 consumers in 39 countries. You can download a copy of the report here.
According to the report, the Zs will want any advertising to be short (10 seconds, it suggests), funny, and they’ll want to co-create with brands or see what happens when they make a decision. Interestingly, the Zs aren’t overly bothered by celebrities in advertising, they love music (43 per cent like to have ‘always on’ access to music compared to 30 per cent for Gen Ys), and will be three times more receptive to an ad when it is humorous.
Other major AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z takeouts included:
• The Zs are still cool with traditional media and 51 per cent watch an hour or more of free to air TV a day.
• This is the mobile-first generation with 74 per cent spending more than an hour a day on their mobile device compared to 66 per cent for Gen Y and 55 per cent for Gen X.
• The Zs are more positive towards brands that let them vote for something to happen (31 per cent compared to 25 per cent for Gen Y,) choose an option (28 per cent compared to 25 per cent) or take decisions (27per cent compared to 22 per cent). However, these attributes alone are no guarantee of success.
• An extremely design-conscious consumer, Gen Z will take note of an ad’s aesthetic qualities and appreciate the use of new immersive formats like AR and VR.
• As you’d expect, the Zs are are significantly heavier users of social platforms, not just in terms of the time they spend on them but also the number of platforms they visit. These range well beyond Facebook and YouTube and include Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Thirty six per cent of Gen Z globally access Instagram several times a day and 24 per cent access Snapchat at the same frequency.
• The report also found that what worked in what country may not work in another. In China, for example, Gen Z want music in ads to be upbeat, playful and fun. By contrast in Germany, Gen Z seeks music that helps them to understand the message without listening to a voiceover.
On the downside, the report found the 69 per cent of the Zs are avoiding ads or using ad blocking software to do so. The average for the rest of the global population was reported at 50 per cent.
The Zs are also more likely to avoid online advertising and are less tolerant to it than previous generations. The study found the Zs skip ads three seconds earlier than Gen Xs (the 35-50 year olds) and 69 per cent of Gen Z respondents claim they like ads they can skip, compared to 56 per cent of Gen Xs.
Commenting on the study, Duncan Southgate, global brand director, media and digital at Kantar Millward Brown, said: “Gen Z have grown up in an on-demand world of infinite choice, and this flavours their expectations of advertising. They are much more attracted to ads that allow them to co-create or shape what happens, compared to Gens Y and X, who have a higher preference to link to more information about the brand.
“No generation is a monolith and Gen Z is no exception. Their upbringing, expectations and access to technology, however, has created a range of attitudes and behaviours that will challenge marketers. Only where brands take all this into consideration will they be successful in engaging this increasingly critical and fast-emerging group of consumers,” concluded Southgate.
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