Gen Z avoids advertising at all costs

Gen Z avoids advertising at all costs

Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. After starting his career in technical journalism as an editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited a number of publications on technology and digital marketing, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.


Any company that wants to target Generation Z consumers (those born between 1997 and 2012) shouldn’t even bother with traditional advertising.

This is a sharp discovery from a new report published by the digital consumer research company, Bulbshare, which collects insights from thousands of consumers around the world.

Titled ‘Ad Blockers and Advocacy: Why Generation Z Blocks Paid Ads for Real Votes’, the report reveals that 99% of consumers in this generation cohort will click ‘skip’ on an ad if that’s an option and nearly two-thirds ( 63%) use ad blockers to avoid online advertising.

Their willingness to do so largely stems from the fact that they feel overwhelmed by the number of commercials they see daily. The report shows that almost three quarters (74%) of consumers feel bombarded by advertisements. The same percentage feels irritated by commercials and intrusions in their time. Meanwhile, one in four finds advertising extremely intrusive, while one in two finds it somewhat disruptive.

“The best commercial has always been distracting,” said Bulbshare founder and CEO Matt Hay. “It should be difficult to ignore. But today’s brands face a very real danger of being part of a vague but annoying wall of noise.

Over the past decade, brands have increasingly supplemented their traditional advertising efforts with influential marketing. But customers are becoming increasingly distrustful of the relationship between big brands and high-profile personalities.

Bulbshare research shows that 84% of Generation Z consumers have lost confidence in influencers. Not surprisingly, they are more inclined to buy based on authentic recommendations. In fact, 86% would be more inclined to buy a product recommended by a friend than a paid influencer.

“This desire for authenticity makes it imperative that brands not only have products worthy of recommendation, but also nurture communities where authentic recommendations can be maintained,” Hay said. “In fact, there is a real hunger for this among Generation Z consumers.” About three-quarters (74%) would promote a product they truly care about online. Moreover, 88% were enthusiastic about working with brands, and 76% said they enjoyed reviewing products.

“In a world where 81% of consumers believe real opinions compared to those promoted through advertisements. It is much more logical to allow consumers to be authentic advocates of a product or brand than to spend money on advertising that will, at best, be ignored and provoke active resentment at worst.

Are you interested in the world’s leading brands personally discussing such topics? Learn more about World Digital Marketing Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America and Singapore.

Tags: Advertising, Gen Z



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