The Generation Gap in Advertising: What Brands Should Know

Brand loyalty is more likely among Gen Z if the brand’s mission aligns with their values and if the brand is purpose-driven.

The Generation Gap in Advertising: What Brands Should Know

Brand loyalty is more likely among Gen Z if the brand’s mission aligns with their values and if the brand is purpose-driven.

Highlighting the differences in advertising consumption preferences between zoomers and boomers, new data from a consumer sentiment survey commissioned by NCSolutions nearly six in 10 members (58%) of Gen Z don’t like advertising that interrupts the content they’re enjoying, compared to 38% of baby boomers.

At the same time, the survey found that more than half of Gen Zers (52%) say they’ll engage with creative and entertaining ads, which contrasts with 42% of boomers.

Members of Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012, are now flowing into the workforce and represent significant spending power in the CPG marketplace notes the study, adding that NCS purchase data shows Gen Z households spending an average of 12% more on consumer packaged goods than all other households – making these households and important demographic for brands to effectively engage with.


 

A social and sustainable mindset drives brand loyalty

According to the report, Gen Z prefers brands “whose missions align with their values and are more willing to support and be loyal to purpose-driven brands.”

The survey found that thirty percent of Gen Zers value brands that prioritize the environment, compared with 15% of baby boomers. Twenty-seven percent of Gen Z will stay with brands that use sustainable packaging compared with 18% of baby boomers.

“Although zoomers have a different set of expectations than previous generations, the fundamentals of effective advertising remain the same.”

As a result, Gen Z is less concerned than other generations about being loyal to brands that provide the best quality or value for their budgets. For instance, fewer Gen Zers (59%) find the quality of a brand important, compared to 75% of boomers. Although 79% of boomers believe value is important, just 68% of Gen Zers say it’s important to them.


 

“Gen Z undoubtedly will raise the bar for CPG brands, as they differ from older generations in some meaningful ways,” said Alan Miles, CEO, NCSolutions.

“Having grown up with – not alongside – the internet, they are used to having instant access to information, products and services. They bring to the marketplace a fully informed and defined point of view about advertising and brands.”

Miles adds that engaging with Gen Z “presents both an opportunity and a risk for brands.”

Keep it funny and social

More than other generations, Gen Z is most engaged when advertising is humorous or entertaining says the survy. Almost six in 10 (58%) dislike ads interrupting their content. More than half (52%) prefer creative and entertaining advertising, while only 42% of baby boomers, 44% of millennials and 40% of Generation X agree.

“Having grown up with – not alongside – the internet, they are used to having instant access to information, products and services. They bring to the marketplace a fully informed and defined point of view about advertising and brands.”

Brands that tickle the funny bone are more likely to capture Gen Z’s attention, with forty-three percent saying they prefer ads to be humorous. Ads with a social message also resonate well with Gen Z with 17% liking ads when they are aligned with the social messaging of the ad. This compares with 6% of baby boomers.

The Social Sway

Unlike boomers, zoomers are most receptive to advertising that appears in social media feeds, much more so than ads that appear on either cable TV or broadcast television. Nearly three in four Gen Zers (72%) say they’re open to seeing ads in their newsfeeds, compared to 28% who say they’re receptive to ads on cable TV and 20% who say they’re open to broadcast TV advertising.

In contrast, just 19% of baby boomers are more receptive to ads on social media, compared to 58% who say they’re receptive to broadcast TV advertising and 45% to cable TV ads.

“The economic impact Gen Z will have in the coming years makes understanding what makes this generation tick particularly significant for brands’ long-term marketing strategies,” said Miles.

“The purpose-driven mindset and significance of social media in the lives of zoomers are notable differences.”

A love of convenience

The analysis also found the youngest generation values convenience in several different ways. Fifty-five percent of Gen Z keep frozen meals on hand compared to 49% of older generations.

Twenty-two percent of Gen Z shop for food items at convenience stores, and 18% look for food products in drug stores. At the same time, only 8% of Gen X shop for food at a convenience store and 6% seek food products at a drugstore.

The convenience factor also applies to eating patterns for Gen Z. Over half (51%) are frequent snackers compared with 42% of baby boomers. One-fifth are meal planners, while 34% of baby boomers plan weekly meals.

“Creative executions and advertising platforms that worked for previous generations may not drive the same sales impact for Gen Z consumers,” said Miles.

“Marketers will need to test, measure and learn to understand what messages, platforms and creative work best for their brand. Although zoomers have a different set of expectations than previous generations, the fundamentals of effective advertising remain the same.”


For more insights, you can download the survey report here.

Image by Good Faces

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