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Brief Published: 12 May 2017

Gen Z Insights: Innovfest Unbound 2017

Born on the Web: The Rise of Gen Z panel at Innovfest Unbound 2017

Innovfest Unbound – Southeast Asia’s largest innovation festival, held in Singapore last week – brought together global innovators, start-ups and brands for discussions around innovation, technology and marketing. One of the highlights from the event was the range of insights shared on Gen Z (aged eight to 22).

  • In Control: Shaul Olmert, chief executive of online publishing platform Playbuzz, stressed the importance of brands adapting their messages “to the fact that young people live in a different environment”. Noting that his 13-year-old daughter had never read an article, he argued that it’s up to companies “to create content that she can understand”.
    However, “the offer on the internet today is either long-form articles that are obsolete (people only spend a few seconds looking at them, so they don’t really read them) or animated gifs on Snapchat (stuff that’s meant to be very shallow and doesn’t create any depth of experience),” said Olmert.
    “This is a generation that grew up with full control,” Olmert warned. “They were born with a remote control in their hand. They choose what content to consume. They buy à la carte. And since they live in this on-demand world, there’s no reason to be loyal to anything."
Born on the Web: The Rise of Gen Z panel at Innovfest Unbound 2017

[Gen Z] does not have the offline context: they do not want a newspaper or print experience on the internet... It's more swipe, less type.

Parminder Singh, chief commercial & digital officer, Mediacorp
  • Vanishing Brands: Mark Adams, senior vice-president at US-based company Vice Media, cited a 2017 Havas Media study that found that global consumers would not care if 74% of brands disappeared. “All the reach, frequency, agencies, strategy, money and ad dollars is achieving – among [the Gen Z demographic] – not a lot,” he said.
    “If you are a savvy, sophisticated consumer of communications, you do not trust anyone,” Adams went on. “Gen Z have seen a 45% divorce rate in their own family unit, so even their own family unit has fallen apart. If you think people trust brands, you have a hole in your head. We have a crisis of trust and we can define it as millennial or Gen Z, but it's a new consumer mindset.” 

For more on new youth subsets and how to reach true tech natives, see Youth in Flux: Millennial 20/20 Summit, Consumers in Chaos and Gen Z: Smart Kids Take Control.