Skip to main

Gen Z is Skeptical of Advertising

How can marketers get through to a generation who is used to skipping ads?

With shorter attention spans and a higher likelihood of avoiding advertising, Gen Z might be one of the hardest ever generations to market to.


According to a recent CNBC article, Gen Z, the generation after Millennials, looks for humorous commercials, likes to “co-create” with brands, and only wants to watch videos that are less than 10 seconds long. Most of all, they physically skip ads when they pop up.

Unlike all generations before them, Gen Z sees most of their advertising content on their mobile phones. Gone are the days where kids had to sit through several minutes of commercial time while watching their favorite shows on TV. They expect to be presented with an option to “skip” an ad before watching a YouTube video, and if they have to watch 15 seconds of it, it’s a nuisance.

Citing the recent AdReaction study by Kantar Millward Brown, CNBC noted that 69 percent of Gen Z skips ads, versus 50 percent of all respondents.

Gen Z doesn’t care for a flashy celebrity endorsement, either. The study found that Gen Z is three times more likely to be receptive to funny advertising, and they also want music and a good story to feature.

But it’s not just about skipping an ad before a video. Gen Z is more adept and more likely to download ad-blocking software, a scourge for brands and advertising efforts.

So what can brands do to get their message through to this no-nonsense generation? The study warned against buying “non-skippable” content since this could easily result in Gen Z completely alienating a site or brand altogether. The only real way to engage Gen Z is to use creativity and create content that will “stop Gen Z in their tracks.”

How exactly brands will do this is up to them, but it’s clear that Millennials are no longer the hardest generation to market to. Marketers need to step their game up now, or they risk losing an entire generation of consumers.

Do you frequently skip online ads? Join the conversation on Twitter at @WhatTheGen and @JasonDorsey and don’t forget to add your #generation!

Blog Category

Recent posts