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Gen Z and Advertising


Most ad agency execs will tell you that of all the generations, Gen Z is ad averse. They may be the first true digital natives, but that doesn’t mean they’re into everything they see online.

A recent study found more than half (52%) of Gen Z respondents avoid ads more than other generations. Instead, they respond to content-led advertising.

It’s no surprise that Gen Z mistrusts more traditional methods employed by advertising agencies in London and elsewhere. Let’s take a look at why:

  • They are pragmatic and inquisitive
  • They’ll mobilise for causes they believe in, such as the environment, BLM, #metoo and LGBTQ+ rights
  • They avoid brand labels, preferring the individual expression

Because they’ve grown up in a world where social media, the internet and smartphones are a given, they’re used to being bombarded with marketing and advertising. So while it’s true that some will make purchases based on what they see, how does an ad agency reach Gen Z without them scrolling right past what brands are trying to promote?

Use influencers: Almost half (44%) have made a purchase decision based on recommendations made by a social influencer, compared with 26% of the overall population.

Create engaging and personalised content: that promotes body positivity and inclusivity that’s also engaging and entertaining enough to attract your audience’s short attention span (within less than 10 seconds). Content must feel like it speaks to this audience and is shareable and real.

Know where to target via social media: The most popular social media apps used by Gen Z are Instagram (62%), YouTube and TikTok (60%), with 65% using social media daily.

Be authentic: Gen Z is looking for genuine brands with values they share that don’t pay lip service to causes and make promises they can’t and won’t keep. Do that, and you’ll lose them. So instead, demonstrate a willingness to make the world a better place and show how your brand values reflect that.

Overall, this means less slick, anonymous, and overproduced content instead of focusing on a more informal, personality-led, and unceremonial approach to your advertising. It’s not rocket science, but it is a skill.

We are not just one of the many advertising agencies in London; Zak specialises in creating personalised digital ad content for the Gen Z and Millennial market. Want to know more? Get in touch and say hello.