Gen Z Ads Length

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Gen Z Video Ad Preferences

Gen Zers have a short attention span, which makes short formats best-suited to them. They prefer online video ads compared to traditional TV ones, especially those that are posted on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. Additionally, they are most likely to enjoy ads that are relatable, socially conscious, funny, or personal. Overall, most of them enjoy watching video ads.

The Shortest Formats Possible

  • Gen Zers skip on ads they don't like after 9.6 seconds. In comparison, Gen Xers do it after 12.6 seconds.
  • Also, members of Generation Z have an attention span of eight seconds, which is four seconds less compared to millennials.
  • Keeping this in mind, a content marketer from Oberlo recommends short formats such as YouTube bumper ads that cannot be longer than six seconds.
  • E-Clincher, a social media management company, also emphasizes that short formats are best for this generation, advising brands to stay in the range of 6-25 seconds.
  • As Gen Zers frequently experience social media content overload and negative emotional states because of it, it is easier to make them interested in short ads with uplifting messages.
  • However, when it comes to TV ads, as well as ads in live TV streaming services, Generation Z is considered to have a surprisingly high tolerance. In traditional TV, they consider 8.62 minutes of advertisements per hour acceptable. As for the streaming services, they accept 10.61 minutes of ads each hour.

Gen Zers Prefer Online Video Ads

  • Compared to other generations, Gen Zers are more likely to pay attention to digital ads, because they grew up with smartphones and other connected devices. They are also more tech-savvy than older groups.
  • Online video ads are among the most effective ways to reach Generation Z. 45% say that it is their preferred ad format.
  • Out of 56% Gen Zers who have seen a digital video ad, 19% bought a product that they saw advertised.
  • Additionally, 71% of the U.S. smartphone users aged 13-17 spend more than three hours a day watching online videos.
  • According to researchers, Generation Z and its passion for digital and social media is the main reason why advertisers started spending more on online ads compared to TV ones.
  • In 2018, it was estimated that digital ad spending would be $40 billion more than TV ad spending. The main growth drivers were social and video display ads.

Social Media Platforms Are the Best Place to Reach Gen Zers

  • According to Bannerflow, video ads posted on social media platforms are the most likely to reach millennials and Gen Zers. They mention Snapchat and Instagram among the preferred platforms.
  • Additionally, the research by Wibbitz, a video creation company, discovered that Gen Zers mostly watch videos on YouTube and Instagram.
  • In another survey, 9 out of 10 members of Generation Z admitted that they are watching YouTube daily.
  • It is worth noting that compared to other age groups, Generation Z is less likely to use Facebook, which they may consider "outdated."
  • Overall, 59% of millennials and Gen Zers surveyed by Wibbitz enjoy watching social media ads.

Gen Zers Prefer Ads That Are Personal, Socially Conscious and Relevant to Their Interests

  • According to Taptica, Generation Z is interested in ads that provide added value, such as the story of the brand and its employees or education. Types of the branded content they enjoy include behind-the-scenes, day-in-the-life, and how-to videos.
  • Wibbitz emphasizes that brands should research the generation's interests, such as pop culture trends, and find ways to make them feel understood and create a sense of community. The company believes that combining those factors often results in video ads that are Gen Zers' favorites.
  • Both Wibbitz and Taptica stress that compared to other generations, Gen Zers are more socially conscious. Therefore, ads that target them should tackle a social problem or spread the culture of diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Another way to grab Generation Z's attention is to offer video content that is funny or bizarre. It is difficult to surprise them due to the amounts of videos they consume. However, if a brand manages to do it, they are likely to remember it and share the ad with friends.

Generation Z's Overall Attitude Toward Ads is Positive

  • As noted above, 59% of surveyed millennials and Gen Zers like social media ads. Wibbitz mentions that Generation Z has a particularly positive attitude toward them.
  • In addition, they found that when Gen Zers' reaction is not positive, it is 15% more likely to be neutral compared to millennials. Conversely, the latter are "16% more likely to hate" social media ads.
  • Contrasted with millennials, Gen Zers are more affected by social video ads in the areas of connection, understanding, and interest.
  • When it comes to traditional TV ads, Generation Z is among the most tolerant groups. They are content with more ads per hour than Baby Boomers and older generations. Out of all age groups, they are the only ones that accept over 10 minutes of advertising time per hour in live TV streaming services.
  • Over 50% of Gen Zers say that they either don't mind or enjoy watching TV ads.

Research Strategy

During our research, we used the personal website of Derek E. Baird. We verified that the owner is an expert in the field with numerous publications on youth marketing, as well as experience in companies like The Walt Disney Company and Yahoo.

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Successful Gen Z Video Ads

Some of the most successful video ads targeted at Gen Z audiences include "AerieREAL is the Freedom to Feel Like You" and Anti-Ad: 60.

1) AerieREAL is the Freedom to Feel Like You

  • In 2014, Aerie ceased to use supermodels and also refrained from digital retouching.
  • "AerieREAL is the freedom to feel like you" is a July 2019 campaign that is part of "Aerie 'Real' Campaign". The campaign has included women with curves, small chests, large chests, stretch marks, and more.
  • "AerieREAL is the freedom to feel like you" is a YouTube ad by Aerie that promotes the company's "Real Free collection". The collection is about clothes that feel comfortable than wearing nothing.
  • The ad is a 15 seconds video that "encourages people to feel positive, confident, and comfortable in their own bodies".
  • This ad was selected to be among the most successful video ads because, according to Target Marketing, the campaign was a "big success and it has built a positive reputation with Gen Z". The company has also earned authenticity and credibility.
  • The "AerieREAL is the freedom to feel like you" is also successful because the video ad has more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.

2) Anti-Ad: 60

  • Anti-Ad: 60 is part of the 'Another Level' campaign and is a YouTube ad by Doritos. Doritos is a popular chip brand.
  • In an effort to appeal to Generation Z, Doritos got rid of its tagline and logo and launched 'Another Level' to ignite consumers to take the things they love to ‘Another Level’.
  • The ad is 60 seconds long and includes plain bags of chips and a triangular snack.
  • This ad was selected to be among the most successful video ads because, according to The Drum, the ad was among the "20 most viewed ads of 2019".
  • The YouTube ad has more than 177, 000 views.