- Generation Z consumers want to see fun and exciting advertising to help fill the hours spent in social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. About 50% of younger consumers said they feel bored, compared with 30% of adults ages 25 or older, per survey results that market researcher Magid shared with Marketing Dive.
- Almost half (42%) of Gen Zers are seeking content described as fun, making the characteristic more popular than romantic (29%), exciting (27%) and scary (24%). The group is more likely than older adults to enjoy content that is relatable (18%), sad (15%), deep (14%) or disturbing (11%).
- Humor was ranked No. 6 by Gen Z among the qualities of ads that are "good to see," but was ranked last among ads they saw as "most common." However, generic themes like "things are different now" rank ninth in preference but third in commonality.
Marketers seeking to engage Gen Z consumers may want to consider creating campaigns that are fun and exciting as the younger group looks for distractions while being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, Magid's study suggests. As much as Gen Z seeks authenticity and relatability, they also wanted to be entertained with humorous content. Instead, they're more likely to see ads with themes like "things are different now" during the COVID-19 crisis, a characteristic that ranked near the bottom of what they want to see.
The low commonality ranking for humor may indicate an opportunity for marketers to add more whimsy to their marketing campaigns to appeal to bored and lonely Gen Zers that are getting weary from weeks in isolation. That contrasts with sentiment in mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic led many cities and states to order lockdowns that urged people to stay home.
A survey taken seven weeks ago indicated that younger consumers were more likely than older adults to say they wanted to see purpose-driven advertising that showed how companies were helping others. For example, about 63% of people ages 18 to 24 said it was important for companies to offer paid time off to employees coping with forced business closures, compared with 56% of people ages 35 to 49, per a March 18 study by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and real-time market research platform Suzy.
Since then, there are signs that people are getting tired of hearing about the pandemic. News articles about the coronavirus surged in mid-March and subsequently dropped, per data from content recommendation platform Taboola. Those signs of "coronavirus fatigue" may indicate that marketers can change the tone of their advertising to more traditional content that's still mindful of public health concerns as more cities and states ease lockdowns.