Study: Digital ads are least preferred by Gen Z

Dive Brief:

  • Research from Kantar Millward Brown on Gens X,Y and Z found that 72% of Gen Z said humor increases their receptivity to ads, 58% said good music keeps their interest, and 56% said ads should tell a good story, per an article from MediaPost Communications. Ad attributes that didn’t matter much include celebrities in advertisements and only 26% of Gen Z wanted special effects in ads.
  • What might be most telling for marketers is the ad formats preferred by Gen Z, led by cinema ads at 62% followed by billboards and outdoor advertising (43%), magazine ads (42%), TV ads (40%), product placement (39%), newspaper (38%), direct mail (29%) and radio (27%).
  • To a great extent, Gen Z isn’t receptive to digital advertising, with only 25% expressing a preference for online search ads, 23% video on laptops or PCs, 22% mobile display ads and 21% mobile video ads.

Dive Insight:

Not unlike millennials who are considered digital natives because of how they have experienced home computing and the internet their entire lives, Gen Z is a demographic growing up with a wide array of media options from video on broadcast and cable TV, streaming services and a plethora of online video while music can be found on streaming apps, digital radio and even traditional terrestrial radio. All of this content can be accessed from a number of different screens. 

The sheer number of options presents a challenge for marketers hoping to reach Gen Z, with Kantar Millward Brown's findings suggesting that cinema ads could be one way to make a connection with these consumers. The impact of cinema ads could be due to the fact that there is a captive audience and the ads, appearing on a big screen, typically have a high production value. The findings also suggest that brands should focus on humor and storytelling over gimmicks like including celebrities or special effects. 

The fact that Gen Z's preference for digital ads is low could be due to the fact that because these consumers spend so much time on their smartphones and consider them a personal device that is an extension of themselves, they don't want this space cluttered with ads. 

One interesting finding from the report is that Gen Z appears receptive to sponsored and branded content with 55% liking tutorials, 53% shopping content and 52% user reviews. As for format for branded content, 29% preferred video compared to 15% for text. 

Filed Under: Trends Video Mobile
Top image credit: Chevanon Photography