Gen Z Favors Humor In Ads, Big On Cinema Ads

Some 72% of those within the Gen Z age group category in the United States said humor boosts their receptivity to an advertisement, and 58% admit good music keeps their interest. While 56% said the ad must tell a good story and 26% want special effects in the ad, seeing celebrities in the advertisement is far less important.

The U.S.-based AdReaction Gen X, Y and Z study explores attitudes to ad formats, focusing on the Gen Z age group that Millward Brown Digital defines as between 16 to 19. This group, which remains difficult to gain global feedback from, starts at about age 7.

Those born during the Gen Z generation like the freedom to dive into what interests them and have the option of moving past things that don't. Such behavior is key to connecting brands with this generation. The trend emerged with millennials and became critical with the Gen Z generation. 

Advertisers struggle with this challenge, said Joline McGoldrick, ‎VP of research at Millward Brown Digital.



"I grew up in an age where you had three radio stations and you pick the best song from the available stations," McGoldrick said. "If you didn't like it ,you just sat through the song until the next one came along."

Now consumers skip through content on Pandora, Spotify, iTunes or Google Play to find music that fits their mood.

Ad receptivity varies by format. Some 62% of Gen Zs participating in the study say they favor cinema ads, compared with 43%, billboards and outdoor ads; 42% magazine ads; 40%, TV; 38%, newspaper ads; 39%, product placement; 27%, radio; 29%, direct mail.

And while this group turns mostly to Google to conduct online searches, only 25% favor online search ads, 22% like mobile display ads; 23%, video on laptops or PCs; and 21%, mobile video ads.

Will this group grow into search ads as they mature? McGoldrick said it's difficult to determine whether this age group will "mellow and gain acceptance." As they mature,which could temper their feelings, the templates for search ads will change. 

This age group is more receptive to sponsored and branded content. Some 55% tend to like tutorials, 53% like shopping content, and 52% like user reviews. Some 29% prefer branded content in the video format vs. 15% like the branded content in media they can read. 

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