Those born during the Gen Z generation like the freedom to explore their interests -- and avoid things that don't interest them. Becoming aware of this behavior is key for brands to connect with this generation.
A Millward Brown study titled AdReaction found the Gen Z generation (defined in this study as ages 16 to 19) the most skilled at avoiding ads. They will control or skip ads when possible. They don't need a software platform like an ad blocker to skip the ad. When ad blocking is not an option, they are more likely to physically avoid the ad by looking away or diverting their attention to something else.
A whopping 82% will take advantage of the control by skipping the ad as fast as they can, 69% said they will physically do something to distract themselves for 30 to 60 seconds until the ad runs its course, 51% will use some sort of technology to block the ad, and 40% will just stare at the ad until it goes away.
Gen Zers have no problem with letting the ad run its course. "I have many things I can do and I'll just wait you out," said Joline McGoldrick, VP of research at Millward Brown Digital. "They will just wait 30 and continue watching."
McGoldrick said Gen Z is more thoughtful and skillful because they have been doing this since they were five, six or seven years old. She said marketers get hung up on the technology, but it's really the content that either attracts users or turns them away.
While researchers analyzed three generations up to age 49, it focuses mostly on Gen Z in this study. The other two generations were Gen Y, ages 20 to 34, and Gen X, ages 35 to 49.
Gen Y takes a different approach. Some 65% takes advantage of control, 52% does something physically to skip the ad, 52% use ad-blocking technology, and 47% said they will stare at the ad until it goes away.
For Gen X, 67%,takes advantage of control, 55% will stare at the ad until it goes away, 43% use ad-blocking technology, and 43% do something physically to skip the ad.
This story seems completely at odds with the other two "don't worry, linear TV is just fine" articles making the rounds in the trades over the past two days. If young people avoid ads to this extent, what magic will occur to rescue traditional TV as they age?