GEN Z is so over “these difficult times”

This week’s Community Uninterrupted discussion put the spotlight on Gen Z and their changing attitudes towards brands during the Covid-19 crisis. Chris Stefanyk, Head of Brand Partnerships at Wattpad, a Canadian creative studio platform that discovers untapped, unsigned and talented writers and connects them to global multi-media entertainment companies and brand marketers brought us an extremely insightful presentation.

Highlights from the study included surprising insights like the segment’s whopping 49% preference for long form content as they look to engaging online as a form of escapism. 

32% of this generation was feeling less trust in brands as they felt that there was some lack of transparency on how the crisis was affecting them. This is also marked by a general fatigue around “in these difficult times” ads. Gen Z is clearly looking for more positive messaging during this “difficult” time as opposed to reminders. 

Interestingly, the survey revealed that over half of respondents plan to save money post-crisis and plan on leaning in to the new normal that emerges in the coming months. We felt that this was an interesting insight for brands to consider as they look at pricing strategies and also for financial institutions to develop innovative messaging and products around this young consumer trend. 

On a positive note, the study showed that 43% felt optimistic that this experience will create a better world. We also noted that this generation is placing a higher value on IRL communication and connection contrary to the belief that this group was stuck in the digital realm. 

A great blue ribbon panel discussion followed that was moderated by  Georgia McCarthy, National Sales Director, Strategic Partnerships, Rouge Media and featured Mathieu Gamache, Senior Marketing Manager Reese, OH Henry!, MIX & Crunchers, Hersheys, Amanda Lee, Manager, Performance Marketing, adidas Canada, Daniel Mekinda, Managing Director, Canada, The Story Lab and Chris Stefanyk, Head of Brand Partnerships, Wattpad. 

To see this lively discussion, we would encourage our members to listen to the recording and review the powerful study that was presented which can be found in the IAB Canada Knowledge Centre.