Advertisers struggling with Gen Z age group who ‘don’t like ad content in its current state’

adGeneration Z is the hardest age group for advertisers to reach in Southeast Asia with almost a quarter of them using  software to block ads, a study has found.

The are also impatient, demand to be in control and loathe “invasive ads” such as non-skippable ads.

The study by Kantar Millward Brown – AdCreation: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z – spoke to 23,000 16-49-year-olds across 30 countries, including several in Asia.

It found the daily mobile usage of Gen Z was less than older generations, with 74% spending more than an hour on their device. That compared to 83% for Gen Y and 77% for Gen X.

They are also consume less TV, radio, print.

The younger market in Indonesia and Vietnam in particular find pop-up ads an irritation and are less tolerant of ads longer than 10 seconds.


Preferred ad formats in Indonesia. Click image to enlarge

“This means brands need to work hard to capture the attention of Gen Z when they are consuming media, either traditional or digital, or risk being missed altogether,” the report said. “Finding the right creative approach is crucial to fostering a positive response to advertising.”

The study found humor is the best weapon for advertisers, with 58% of Gen Z respondents agreeing. Predictably, interesting stories resonate while 50% said good music can capture their attention.

But special effects and augmented reality only struck a chord with 38% and 29% respectively. Celebrities also cut no ice with Gen Z with only 22% saying they would be swayed by a well known brand ambassador, falling to 17% for ads featuring social media celebrities.

Kantar Millward Brown senior director of media and digital solutions, Kamal Oberoi, said: “It is clear that Gen Z are not great fans of advertising content in its current state. They don’t want brands forcing themselves into their space, nor are they keen on out of context ads that don’t connect with their needs and wants.

“The single largest opportunity for marketers in our region is to engage with ads that feel real and honest, that invite the audience to join in if they choose.”


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