A funny thing is happening with “Gen Z,” the generation growing up in the wake of millennials. Whereas millennials are often thought to shun advertising, Gen Z appears willing to embrace it.
That is one takeaway from a discussion between Hulu CMO Kelly Campbell and Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc, held during Advertising Week New York Thursday.
Campbell revealed research that Hulu conducted, specifically looking at Gen Z, which the company defines as around 15-25 years old.
"We offer choice, we offer different versions of our products, including our ad-supported model, which is our lowest price point,” Campbell said. “What we find with Gen Z is that they understand the value trade-off — and are actually more receptive to advertising.”
“We did research recently that showed Gen Z-ers are 39% more likely than the base population to watch an ad, and 29% more likely to actually pay attention to it,” she added.
Of course, that doesn’t mean evolution isn’t needed in the advertising space. Consumption habits for younger viewers are quite different than older viewers, with a heavier emphasis on mobile, and according to Campbell a desire to stream order shows from start to finish.
“They don’t think of television as channels or networks; they think of it as shows, galleries of shows,” Campbell said. “They are also more likely to want to binge. They want to watch an entire library, from the pilot to the final episode of the final season. We see more and more interest in slightly older content, slightly less interest in newer content.”
When it comes to advertising, that also means rethinking what an ad is, and what it looks like.
“Brands need to figure out how to tell stories about their products. Especially in a world where the premium version of Hulu and the premium version of Netflix are only going to grow. Ad avoidance is only going to become more of an issue,” Dubuc said. “The traditional 30- second, or 15- second or 60- second spot is going to evolve.
"Brands need new ways to get their message and their product and their worthiness across.”
Content and storytelling is going to be the way that happens, whether it is integrated into other stories or stands on its own.”
Young people have less money and welcome the ad-supported version of Hulu to accommodate their budget, not because of any love for unwanted interruptions.