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SEA Insights

8 ways to engage Gen Z consumers

Kamal Oberoi

Senior Director, Media and Digital

Brands 28.03.2017 / 00:00

Indonesian teenage girls selfie 2 col

Key opportunities for brands to connect with today’s teenagers in Southeast Asia

With approximately 2 billion Gen Z consumers worldwide, this group of consumers aged 16-19 are becoming increasingly relevant to brand marketers across a wide variety of categories and products.

It is apparent Gen Z has its own distinct behaviours, attitudes and responses to advertising. Despite growing up in a digital age, they are the hardest age group to reach with advertising. Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z study, which is the first-ever comprehensive global study of Gen Z and provides guidance on how marketers can engage more effectively with this increasingly important group.

Kantar Millward Brown has identified a number of key opportunities for brands to connect with Gen Z:

1. Respect their online space: Gen Z consumers are impatient and want brands to respect their online space. They do not like invasive ad formats such as non-skippable pre-rolls, with some countries less tolerant than others. Gen Z in Indonesia and Vietnam are more damning of pop-ups compared to those in the Philippines or Thailand. Gen Z consumers across Southeast Asia are also less tolerant of ads longer than 10 seconds compared to older generations. However, they are more positive towards mobile rewards video and skippable pre-rolls (which achieve net positive scores of 48% and 30% respectively). 
 



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2. Avoid relying excessively on mobile: Despite living in a digital age, Gen Z consumers spend less time on mobile. Their daily mobile usage is lower than that of older generations, with 74% spending more than an hour a day on their mobile device compared to 83% for Gen Y and 77% for Gen X.

3. Tone down the star power: Only 22% of Gen Z consumers in Southeast Asia agree that the use of celebrities made them feel more positive about an ad, and even lower (17%) for ads that feature social media celebrities.

4. Design matters: 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 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Innovation in formats like native ads, sponsored lenses and sponsored filters all attract much stronger approval with Gen Z than other age groups. 

5. Don’t neglect traditional creative approaches: The characteristic most likely to make Gen Z positive towards an ad is humour, followed by the ability to tell an interesting story, and the inclusion of good music. Newer characteristics such as the use of special effects and augmented reality are less popular.
 



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6. Be even more social: Gen Z consumers 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.

7. Appeal to short attention spans: All generations prefer short videos, but Gen Z consumers like ads less than 10 seconds even more than previous generations. Contrastingly, Gen X consumers are more tolerant of videos up to 20 seconds.

8. Accept you may be blocked online: Brands have to factor in the possibility of not being seen at all by Southeast Asian Gen Z consumers online, as one in four (23%) use ad blocking software on their desktop computers and 18% have now installed it on their phones.

Source : Kantar Millward Brown

Editor's Notes

The AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z study uses both qualitative and quantitative research techniques combined with ad testing to analyse key media consumption patterns, attitudes toward advertising and responses to specific creative approaches. It is based on surveys of more than 23,000 consumers in 39 countries.

For more SEA-specific insights on Gen Z or to speak to Kamal, please contact us.

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