A Gen Z Marketer’s Playbook for Engaging Advertising

Gen Z consumers are notoriously ad-averse, with 99% hitting “skip” on ads and 63% using ad blockers to avoid advertising. So how can brands grab their attention in 2024?

As a Gen Zer who works in advertising, I want to share insights into how we view ads. It’s not as simple as Gen Z being turned off by ads. We’ve just lost interest due to the lack of innovation around how we see ads today. Marketers need to evolve their strategies, frameworks and creativity to keep up with a constantly changing generation.

Turn-off signals in ad copy are disruptive

Brands often sell intangible assets through advertising. Gen Z consumers want to know what tangible things you are selling and why they should choose your product over other brands.

We as marketers have created this world of advertising that only we understand, but our work is created for people outside our bubble. There is a disconnect between marketing and audiences.

When the ad starts with “You should buy this!” or “Are you looking for the next…,” these are immediate turn-off signals: phrases used in ads that tell the viewer this is an interruption and should be skipped. Evolving the way marketing speaks to audiences is key.

Some of the best ads don’t have monologues and instead grab attention with visual creativity, while keeping the product or service the focus. Say goodbye to persuasive monologues and hello to innovative ways to communicate.

Customer experiences are key for brand credibility

It’s hard to trust corporations, knowing that their main objective is to generate revenue. Gen Zers tend to believe an ad based on what their peers say about it.

Three words come to mind when deciding what products to buy: convenience, culture and cost. Is the product convenient? Is it going to give social capital? Is it affordable?

Often what secures the purchase is seeing what others are saying about it. Brands have an opportunity to leverage this tendency by building a strong community that advocates on their behalf.

Gen Z communities are eager to know about the latest products, discovering them through viral videos that pique interest and invite participation. Gen Z is curious to know if the product works but is also excited to participate in something that their peers are doing on social media.

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