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Screenagers Screenagers

A great deal has already been written about Generation Z. They are the multi-screen generation, growing up with an iPhone in the one hand, an iPad in the other and meanwhile checking their favorite show on TV. You could say media is one of the main aspects in young people’s lives today.

In 2010, the Kaiser Family Foundation published a report showing that the current GenZers spend more time on screens than they do in schools. From 2005 to 2009, youth aged 8 to 18 had even increased the amount of time spent plugged in on media (TV, music, computer, video games, print, movies) by 1 hour and 17 minutes a day – this is up from 6 hours 21 minutes to 7 hours 38 minutes a day.

Media Use Over Time

If you think about these numbers, you can conclude that youngsters spend more time on media than on any other activity, except perhaps sleeping ;-). The TV shows they watch, video games they play, songs they listen to, books they read and websites they visit are an enormous part of their lives, offering a constant stream of messages about families, friends, relationships, food, clothes etc.

These young consumers are living in an era of information overload and their most important skill is to filter in this abundance of information. So how can brands win this generation’s attention and benefit from their media-savviness?

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: How can brands win #genz attention and benefit from their media-saviness? insit.es/1qfmcj0 by @Anke_InSites via @CoolBrands #coolbrands

1. Nothing is taboo in the digital space

A great example of how this generation is different from older generations and how brands can benefit from that, is shared by Anna Banks, VP of Strategy at Organic (via Adweek). “Like generations before them, growing girls are still freaked out by their changing bodies. What is different for today’s 8-to-12-year olds is their willingness to discuss that fact with total strangers. Doing research for Kimberly-Clark’s U By Kotex youth-oriented sanitary napkins, digital agency Organic found that today’s tweens were excited to go online and share the experiences of their first period with peers, a far cry from the embarrassment felt by earlier generations. For this age group, there is virtually nothing taboo to have a conversation about in the digital space.”

2. They expect it to be interactive

And it goes even further than that. Did you see this YouTube movie of a child playing with an iPad and afterwards trying the swipe trick with a magazine?

For this generation, a magazine is an iPad that does not work. Or as Ann Mack, Director of trendspotting at JWT, puts it: “They treat traditional media in a way that they expect it to be interactive. Brands need to adjust to these new young consumer habits while walking the fine line of privacy rules.”

3. Keep it short and simple

This generation’s attention span is shorter because of the constant impulses and messages they receive. According to Claire Madden, a Gen Z expert at McCrindle, they are less likely to dig deep and find out all the reasons behind something; they’re also less likely to memorize it because it’s not about memorization, it’s about accessing quickly rather than learning. The publishing sector is already embracing this trend, with Amazon offering Kindle Singles for instance. The Kindle Single comes from the word ‘music single’, which is shorter and contains fewer tracks than the full album. So in short, it’s a mini-book!

But not only short formats work, make it visual. Our minds process images thousands of times more rapidly than text. So visuals, infographics, animations… offer opportunities to stand out in the current tsunami of information.

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: 3 tips for #marketing your brand to #genz: Keep it short, interactive & without taboos by @Anke_InSites via @CoolBrands insit.es/1qfmcj0

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One Response to “Screenagers”

  1. Kortjes: meest gebruikte scheldwoorden, Instagram als dagboek, taalkennis van Ziggo, en meer (week 38, 2014) - Trends in Kids- & Jongerenmarketing

    […] how can brands win the attention of Generation Z and benefit from their media-savviness? Keep it short, interactive and without taboos (Cool […]

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