Generation Z wants to interact with digital ads

Kantar Millward Brown has released what it claims is the first global research into how Generation Z – people aged between 16 and 19 – respond to advertising.

The AdReaction study also compares and contrasts this group with Generations X and Y.

While the study does not talk about specific verticals, it offers some insight for travel firms who are targetting this group, or who want to start getting their brand into the orbit of these potential travellers.

The topline takeaway is that Gen Z, despite being “born with a mobile phone in their hand” are quite responsive to “traditional advertising” – in fact, the study says that “Gen Z are generally more open to outdoor and TV ads than to digital ads, even though they spend more time online.”

The seeming disconnect between how Gen Z lives its life and where it likes to be marketed to is explained by the fact that many Gen Z in the survey felt “overwhelmed” by how much advertising they see, particularly online. Cinema, TV or outdoor ads get a more positive response, as the ads are not directly related to what has been searched for online.

But that is not to say that digital does not get a look-in. Gen Z “express real positivity when they are given control to play or not play an ad, and if they are likely to receive rewards for viewing the content… and are less forgiving when an invasive ad format does not offer user controls, such as non-skippable pre-rolls and pop-ups.”

Another way to win the attention of Gen Z is for digital and traditional campaigns to feature either music or celebrities. But the key driver is that Gen Z likes ads to be interactive or to offer some sort of reward for engagement.

The study covered 39 different countries and is based on nearly 24,000 online interviews. Click here to access a summary page from where the full report can be downloaded and individual country data accessed.

NB: Image by Dolgachov/BigStock

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Martin Cowen

About the Writer :: Martin Cowen

Martin Cowen is contributing editor for tnooz and is based in the UK. Besides reporting and editing, he also oversees our sponsored content initiative and works directly with clients to produce articles and reports. For the past several years he has worked as a freelance writer, specialising in B2B distribution and technology. Before freelancing, from 2000-2008, he was launch editor for, the first online-only B2B daily news service for the UK travel sector.



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