Snap, Kantar Examine Gen Z’s Attention Span, Affinity for Brands

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Snapchat prides itself on its Generation Z-heavy user base, and parent Snap Inc. commissioned two separate studies from Kantar, on that demographic’s ad recall and its brand preferences.

For the first study, more than 2,000 participants 18 and older from Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. were instructed to use simulated social media environments as they would normally do on their phones for 75 seconds, which each participant seeing the same skippable video ad during those sessions.

Kantar found that Gen Z participants spent less time on content, both advertising and non-advertising, than their millennial, Generation X and baby boomer counterparts, yet they still recalled the content they saw, including the video ad, at high rates.

Specifically, 59% of Gen Z participants correctly recalled the advertiser, compared with 57% of millennials and 47% of Gen X.

When examining results for those who watched the skippable video ad for two seconds or less and comparing them with those who watched for more than two seconds, Kantar found that 55% of Gen Z participants who watched for less than two seconds still recalled the ad, more than double the 26% rate for those 40 and older.

Snap head of international measurement and insights Andy Pang said in an email, “Gen Zers represent a meaningful opportunity for brands, and we have all seen the speed at which this group rapidly tap, swipe and scroll through mobile content, raising the question as to whether what was viewed was actually read and absorbed. This study proves that Gen Z audiences are far faster at processing information than we might have given them credit for. This faster speed of cognitive processing means that brands that want to engage Gen Z need to tailor their video creative and focus on communicating brand and product messages as early as possible.”

Snap wrote in a blog post, “Advertisers may want to consider different creative strategies for digital video targeted at Gen Z, placing greater emphasis on communicating brand and product messages as early as possible. Advertisers may also want to take into account the age distribution of the viewing audience when using video view duration metrics as proxies for an ad’s effectiveness, especially skippable video. Younger people may require less time with a skippable video ad than older people in order to recall seeing it.”

For the second study, Kantar surveyed more than 12,000 people from Australia, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, the U.K. and the U.S., and it found that Gen Z respondents indicated a high rate of brand preference, as measured by their likelihood to prefer one to three brands above others in specific categories.

Participants were asked to assign attributes to brands they use and, while all age groups leaned toward having the best product features or enjoyment, Gen Z had more of a focus on the environment, caring about customers and product exclusivity.

In the U.S., 60% of Gen Z respondents said their favorite brand was recommended by friends and family, versus 52% of millennials and 39% of those in Gen X or older. “This suggests that there is an opportunity for brands to grow with Gen Z by making advocates of their friends and family,” Snap wrote.

When comparing Snapchatters and non-users, Snapchat users had higher affinity toward brands and were more likely to look at them as modes of self-expression. Kantar found that 60% of Gen Z respondents in the U.S. believe brands allow them to express themselves at higher rates than older generations, compared with 40% for Gen X and baby boomers.

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