Fullscreen’s Research Finds Gen Z Enjoys Branded Content More than Millennials

Study shows teenagers prefer influencers

Gen Z, comprised of people ages 13-17, tends to accept and engage with both branded and influencer content more than millennials.
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In lieu of presenting at this year’s NewFronts, Fullscreen opted to provide its clients with multiple rounds of insights and research throughout the year.

With research conducted by Leflein Associates, the entire report shows that members of Gen Z “expect to be able to have direct access to friends, celebrities and brands,” said Pete Stein, Fullscreen’s general manager.

What Fullscreen wants marketers and brands to remember is the generational gap between Gen Z (aged 13-17) and millennials (aged 18-34), who are more likely to consume content on traditional TV, publisher sites and blogs, where members of Gen Z are early adopters on things like short digital videos, social media sites/apps and watching full-length shows/movies online.

Branded content and influencers

If brands are interested in connecting with young teens, Gen Z is receptive generations to branded content. Consistently, they’re more likely than millennials to view brand photos, like/share brand content, read product reviews and tag friends in branded content.

“In an era of increased media fragmentation, brands are finding that the best way to market their products is to create entertainment that consumers actively seek out,” said Maude Standish, vp of programming strategy of Fullscreen. “This is particularly true when marketing to Gen Z, who grew up with the internet and are not only demanding that all brands entertain them, but also that entertainment shifts to behave like a friend. It’s also why influencers are so effective in selling to this generation.”

The report also found that over half of teens would prefer to see a brand advertise via social influencers rather than produce TV commercials, pre-roll video ads, sponsored articles/posts or banner ads.

Fullscreen, Leflein Associates

Video content

The study also asked members of Gen Z and millennials for their thoughts on video content; it breaks down between long form, digital clips for social media or traditional digital publishers and blogs. Gen Z, according to the report, prefers to watch rather than read, and they view digital video/short-form clips almost six times as much as traditional publishers/blogs.

When it comes to traditional entertainment genres like sports, comedy and film, Gen Z prefers long-form formats; for beauty, fashion and how-to videos, Gen Z prefers short-form clips.

Social media

For social media apps and sites, Fullscreen asked its survey responders to choose their favorites in three categories: entertainment, socializing and utility. Gen Z uses Facebook and YouTube for entertainment; Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram for socializing; and Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest for utility.

Fullscreen, Leflein Associates

“Gen Z, the first generation born into a post-Google and social media world, is not only the most diverse generation yet, but also the generation with the greatest global perspective,” said Stein. “Their continued inclination towards social content on their mobile phones, first seen in millennials, is changing the way that content is consumed, shared, and even the way it’s created.”