Dentsu Explores the Evolution of Friendship for Gen Z Across Asia

By next year Gen Z is expected to make up 25% of APAC’s population – leading brands to invest millions in advertising to generate brand loyalty.

Image by Polina Tankilevitch

Dentsu has released a comprehensive study on the evolving concept of friendship from the perspective of Gen Z across seven Asian markets – Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines, and Malaysia.

The 150-page report, ‘Exploring Future Insights’, published by Dentsu Youth Research Unit, Wakamon, found that by next year, Gen Z is expected to represent 25% of APAC’s population, and this growing demographic has significant decision power which has seen brands funneling millions of advertising dollars to generate brand loyalty.

“It is a generation that has grown up in the digital world, is more conscious of social and environmental justice than any generation before, leans greatly into technology and its evolution, and constantly finds ways to improve their experiences,” Dentsu said.


 

It added that since the pandemic, individualistic and liberal values, as well as what was previously viewed as “different” by the older generation, are now considered the new norm.

While these create new community and marketing opportunities, it is clear – that be it through screens or face-to-face encounters, friendship remains a vital part of the human experience.

Key Takeaways from ‘Exploring Future Insights’

Dentsu provided the following highlights from the report

1. Digital transformation and social interaction


 

– Generation Z, growing up in the era of technology, smartphones, and social media, has redefined the landscape of friendship. Unlike a couple of decades ago, where phone calls and letters were the primary modes of communication, today’s kids seamlessly navigate virtual friendships.
– The prevalence of screens doesn’t necessarily imply disconnection; rather, it reflects a new form of socializing.

2. Premise of relationships dissolve due to “Internet×COVID-19 Pandemic”

– With the usage of social media, online games, and messaging tools, Gen Zs have been exposed to diverse values, beyond the restrictions of geographics, time, religion, etc.
– This view of friendship that differs from the previous generation’s norm of “this is how it must be”, was further amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now considered mainstream.

3. Friendship goes from a “solid” to a “liquid” form

– Solid friendships refer to relationships based on real connections – such as region of residence, religion, and group affiliation; fluid friendships refer to those that develop flexibly according to the purpose at the time, such as “having the same hobbies” or “having the same dreams and goals”.
– This shift from solid to fluid friendships is seen to be accelerating across all markets.

4. New ways of marketing and providing support towards new-age relationship challenges

– The study reveals increasing challenges of having to make connections voluntarily, of not being understood by the older generation, and difficulty in finding “one’s identity”.
– Experiential consumption that leads to the formation of identity, community marketing that supports connections, and co-creation marketing with user participation can be utilized in marketing.

In summary, the report highlights both the evolution of friendship in the digital age and the enduring principles that underpin meaningful connections.

Since the pandemic, individualistic and liberal values, as well as what was previously viewed as “different” by the older generation, are now considered the new norm. While these create new community and marketing opportunities, it is clear – that be it through screens or face-to-face encounters, friendship remains a vital part of the human experience.

 

Read More

Creative Work

latest news

subscribe & get more brand in your diet

newsletter

get more brand in your diet

We never share your info,
we only share ours