Marketing Toward Generation Z


When it comes to marketing a product/service many people take the approach of creating a universal appeal thinking that it will maximize reach. In some cases it can work (depending on what the item being marketed is and who the item is predominantly being made for). As time continues to progress it becomes more apparent that the markets that deserve the most attention are the niche ones; when you provide attention to an underserved group/community, sometimes the attention garnered about that group being marketed to creates buzz that translates in a universal fashion.

A demographic that has proven challenging to reach is that of Generation Z (individuals aged from 16-19). “They demand humorous commercials, like to co-create with brands and want to watch videos that are less than 10 seconds long, according to Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction. Most challenging of all, they are most likely to physically avoid ads, with 69 percent doing so, versus a global figure of 50 percent.”

So this begs the question: how do you reach the seemingly unreachable?

“To reach them, brands would do best to use humor, rather than celebrities, in their advertising. Gen Z is three times more likely to be receptive to funny advertising, and they also want music and a good story to feature. These teenagers are also more likely to avoid online advertising, and are less tolerant of it than older generations, as they skip ads three seconds earlier than Gen X (aged 35 to 49). Sixty-nine percent of Gen Z respondents claim they like ads they can skip, compared to 56 percent of Gen X.

The report suggests that better creativity may help to avoid this. “Buying ‘non-skippable’ content is not a recommended option. It’s likely to result in a backlash, both to the individual advertiser and ultimately to the entire industry when this frustration results in more people installing ad blocking software. Given this, the only real way forward is for brands to create content that will stop Gen Z in their tracks.”

Being adaptable is an important trait for businesses (and people in general as well). The more flexible you are when it comes to advertising options and methods to build your brand, the greater the likelihood of having success in a cross-generational and multi demographical way.