Generation Z: Devoid of Emotions (I)
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
This generation corresponds to those who were born in the 1990s. They used to be called the 'Technological Generation' because their communications revolve around these digital technologies and because they have very little capacity for verbal communication. Therefore their future cannot be assessed because they are a generation whose evolution is in full swing.
Generation Z represents one third of the world's population and it is the generation that comes at the end of postmodernity. This generation has a different way of learning; they don’t read and for them everything is visual. They are technologically dependent and are focused on virtual and digital information technologies (Internet).
They have no geographical boundaries or time limits and they do not distinguish between the real world and the 'online' world. All their communications are through these technologies so they have no verbal communication. Nor can they be observers because the role they play is passive. They want to engage and interact with everything and are skeptical about real relationships, in addition to lacking interpersonal skills because their basic character is individualistic.
They also believe they do not have to have formal academic training and they see their future in technology. They want immediate results because they are used to having all the information they need in seconds and their focus on social networks makes them live in a virtual world.
A very recent study by Kantar Millward Brown on his AdReaction website points out that Generation Z reacts to advertising very differently from previous generations and he developed a global study of this Generation Z. This study analyzes consumption patterns in key media, attitudes towards advertising and responses to specific creative strategies based on surveys of more than 23,000 consumers in 39 countries.
It’s the first study of the opinions of the first base population of Generation Z who are between ages 16 and 19 and who have become most important for brand marketing experts faced with a wide variety of categories and products. The global population of Generation Z is close to two billion people.
AdReaction points out that Generation Z is much more passionate about music than millennials (52% as against 39%), and they have greater digital knowledge than previous generations. Besides, it’s hard to include Generation Z among those who skip ads since they skip ads 3 seconds faster than Generation X.
They are also very attracted to ads, and this allows them to create or shape what is happening, and compared with Generations X and Y, they tend to connect to more ad information, according to the CEO of Brands, Media and Digital, Kantar Millward Brown.
AdReaction also points out several opportunities for brands to connect with Generation Z, because despite their high consumption of digital media, Generation Z still tunes into traditional media and 67% watch television one hour or more per day in comparison with 75% of Generation X.
Generation Z has a more positive attitude than previous generations to mobile rewards videos and advertising videos that appear before a requested video and can be skipped in less than 5 seconds. They are particularly annoyed by video ads that cannot be skipped and 'pop ups'. They are also attracted to ads that allow them to create something or see what happens when they make a decision. They have a more positive attitude towards brands that allow them to vote for something to happen and that allow them to choose an option or see additional content, even if these features do not lead to success.
For Generation Z, design counts a lot and their members always pay attention to the aesthetic qualities of a commercial and they value the use of new immersion formats, such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Format innovation, native advertising, sponsored lenses and filters have higher approval ratings among Generation Z compared with previous generations.
Generation Z still uses social networks, not so much in terms of the time they spend on them but in terms of the number of platforms they visit. They used to use Facebook and YouTube a lot but are replacing them with Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Presently, 30% of Generation Z in Mexico access Instagram several times a day and 23% access Snapchat with the same frequency compared with 26% and 14% of Generation Y (aged 20 to 34) and 10% and 5% of Generation X (aged between 35 and 49).
However, Generation Z is not homogeneous the world over, and a global study reveals great differences. For example in China they want ads with cheerful, playful and fun music, while in Germany they look for music that helps them understand the message without have to listen to a voice-over.
Addendum: I will finish this topic in Part Two by pointing out other findings emerging from the study of Generation Z.