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Don’t Interrupt: Gen Z Rejects New Media For Cinema And Out-Of-Home

Advertising exists—ultimately—to make an impression.

Whether it be an ad on television, your phone, or on a billboard, the aim is that your advert will have an impact on your chosen audience and lead to an action. But there’s really little point in advertising without insight guiding the content you are putting out there. In particular, the importance of how a message reaches the desired audience and the tone in which it’s delivered is sometimes overlooked in the pursuit of creating content.

For advertisers, understanding an audience is key to choosing the right medium in which to reach them. Recently, Kantar Millward Brown published research which, surprisingly, shows the oldest media are the ones that appeal to the youngest generations. The attitudinal research showed the most popular media for Generation Z, by some way, were cinema and out-of-home (OOH).

Avoiding Intrusion
It should come as no surprise that when you are sitting in a cinema or when you are out and about, you seek entertainment and stimulation. But while you are online at home or on your mobile, ads are considered much more intrusive as they haven’t always sought your permission and, in a worst-case scenario, are getting in the way of what you really want to do.

Compare that with the all-encompassing appeal of the cinema, where advertising content is part of the experience, or OOH, where you can be entertained, informed, reminded, or even amused at your own discretion and choosing. It’s polite. It’s considerate. It isn’t pushy. And it seems the younger generations like that. Gen Z may constantly be eyeballing digital screens, but they prefer a great, shared experience they can enjoy on their own terms, so it’s no wonder that they favour less-intrusive media.

Share And Enjoy
Both cinema and OOH tend to be media which are shared with others and, therefore, have the associated benefits. As Julian Douglas, the founder of karaoke bar company Lucky Voice, highlighted in Posterscope’s “Are You Experienced” session at this year’s AdWeek Europe, research has proved that the best experiences are the ones you share with others. This rings true for all the audiences in Kantar’s research.

How your message is delivered also extends to digital OOH, which is helping to increase engagement with all generations as the creative ads become more relevant to the time, place, or environment in which they are served. Recent On Device research shows that those seeing digital OOH were 23% more likely to consider buying than those just seeing classic OOH. If advertisers can create a campaign that uses OOH opportunities while integrating digital assets such as beacons, they will have a strong chance of winning over the younger audience.

This delivery of message clearly matters to customers in the same way that good service affects the way that people favour a brand. Is it any wonder that John Lewis, the store that prides itself on unparalleled customer service levels, showed a sales increase of 36% against a backdrop of a grim Christmas for retailers generally? Or that our CEO was waxing lyrical the other day about how the service he received at Pret put a spring in his step?

Competing For “Share Of Life”
Generation Z is a particularly difficult audience to reach, but understanding that they prefer a less intrusive advertising experience which they can share with others can help brands and agencies with successful advertising. It also demonstrates exactly why the medium you choose shouldn’t be underestimated. In a world where everyone’s time is now protected fiercely and brands must compete for their consumers’ “share of life,” it is those brands that deploy a message carrier that is considerate, respectful, and has manners that will prevail in the long run.

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