The Emergence of Generation Z and Its Impact in Advertising: Long-Term Implications for Media Planning and Creative Development

Duncan Southgate

Kantar Millward Brown, Frankfurt, Germany

Editors’ Note:

Kantar Millward Brown regularly analyzes attitudes and reactions toward advertising. Duncan Southgate, global brand director of media and digital, led the firm’s 2016 “AdReaction” generational focus on people ages 16 to 45 years, exploring their attitudes and behaviors toward traditional and digital advertising formats. The younger participants (16-19-year-olds) belong to the emerging Generation  Z cohort,1 for whom marketers increasingly will have to adapt short-term media-planning and creative-development tactics. But the implications and importance of Gen  Z go well beyond their own spending power (whether personal wealth or via pester power) and should be used to shape long-term strategic marketing decisions, Southgate believes. Marketers, therefore, should be careful not to underinvest in media spend and creative experimentation—as well as in research to understand what works and why—when targeting Gen Z consumers.