That’s Lit: Marketing to Gen Z

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As generation-Z continues to take over the next wave of social interactions, brands must learn to provide advertisements that cater to the generations interests if they want to survive. It is crucial that they adapt to the times, and ultimately, show the next generation authentic ads that connect with them. This panel, first headed by author of Gen Z @ Work: How the Next Generation Is Transforming the Workplace Jonah Stillman, addresses why brands need to shift their focus on marketing initiatives and their overall values, and how corporations can produce stories to attract gen-Z to their message.

The panel includes CEO of Vertical Networks Jesus Chavez, Senior Vice President of McCann Truth Central India Wooldridge, Vice President of Content at UNiDAYS Liz McDonnell, and Senior Vice President of Brand Partnerships at Vatsana Technologies Dean Chandler. The panel was moderated by Senior Reporter-Creative at The Drum Katie Deighton.

Stillman asked whether there was a difference in the digital world or the physical world to gen-Z. According to him, there is no difference and instead, the two worlds merge to create the “phigital world.” This is crucial for brands because gen-Z looks at the world differently. This phigital world is equally important because they are native to technology, and so there it is more second nature to be used to it while also interacting with the physical world. If brands want to be successful with gen-Z, they also need to tap into the phigital world.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that gen-Z gravitates to realistic, authentic and inclusive messages, Wooldridge said. Brands can and should stand for diversity without being divisive. Younger people expect brands to stand for what they believe in because brands are able to cross cultures and borders that can have a voice.

Ultimately, brands have to be aware of where society is going and it is look more multicultural. Within the next 50 years, if brands don’t figure out how to connect with multicultural audiences, they’re not going to be about. It’s less about core audiences and more about making a call at some point to shift their attention, otherwise they just won’t be available anymore, Chavez said.

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