A major new study into what Australia’s Gen Z are really like reveals that this group of 14-to-24 year-olds are probably the least radical young people for generations.

The study, commissioned by Bauer Media, finds this group, which includes 3.4 million Australians, values ordinariness more than individualism and ambition, and members place community ties and lasting relationships above all else.

The study used artificial intelligence (AI) to help unravel the thoughts, feelings and social media habits of Gen Z. AI was used to examine more than 2,000 Instagram posts to show themes and patterns that connect members of the age category.

The study revealed four distinct “scripts” brands can use to reach out to the Gen Z audience.

The “primary script” was a “celebration of the average; a representation of the real values and vulnerabilities that drive deep connections”. Gen Z also like to push boundaries by provoking, but in a playful and more gentle manner than other, more strident, generations. Creativity is used as one way of coping with uncertainty, the study found, with Gen Zs finding purpose in creating communities via witty and often political content or experimental design.

This generation also appears to relish moments and places that are “natural and untainted, getting away from the urban grind and the pressure of everyday life to feel free through travel and outdoors”.

Anna Preston, head of strategy at Bauer Media said: “We have never seen a generation like this one before. They are less rebellious than those which preceded them. They are also more thoughtful about how they chose to live and the choices they make.

“For advertisers, Gen Z is an opportunity, but also a challenge as it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach will not work,” she added.

“Communication needs to be tailored, authentic and engaging in order to connect with them and through this study we now have a clearer understanding of the best way to achieve that.”

Meanwhile, Snap Inc, the company behind Snapchat, has revealed that the platform now reaches 85% of Gen Zs in Australia, reports B&T. Data from Snap Ads Manager shows Snapchat achieves even greater penetration with those aged between 18 and 24, reaching 90% of that demographic.

“The Snapchat Generation has never been larger or more active,” said Snap’s general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Kathryn Carter.

“We’re witnessing a digital transformation being led by Australia’s Millennial and Gen Z cohort, which we believe will contribute to a sustained uplift in the digital economy over time.”

Sourced from Bauer Media, B&T; additional content by WARC staff