Are grandpa’s media habits so different from Gen-Z’s?

We ask the experts...

Are grandpa’s media habits so different from Gen-Z’s?

It may be one of the hottest topics in advertising, but the Metaverse becoming a reality is still some way off, attendees at the recent Campaign Media360 Conference were told.

The warning came from LoopMe GM EMEA Simon Stone, who told the audience that advertisers should be considering how they can create immersive experiences for today’s advertising.

“That means more augmented reality, overlaying 3D images on the real world, more personalised advertising for connected TVs, more in-app advertising. Different generations will consume these media types differently. But all of these channels are going to grow.”

Moderated by Campaign’s deputy editor Gemma Charles, Stone took part in a session that also brought together Catriona Ferris, customer insight director at Unilever, Aaron Cole, CMO of The Out, and Jenny Biggam, founder of media agency the7stars.

Who, Charles asked the panel, is watching what? What are the generational differences in viewing habits? And how can brands understand these and create the right content for the right audience?

“Don’t get so caught up in the future that you neglect the present,” said Ferris. “Make an effective TV ad and then scale it up for all platforms. TV gets you scale; we all know that. And a good TV ad speaks to consumers across generations.”

Cole works for a premium car rental service launched by Jaguar Land Rover and talked about the need to create brand experiences for fans, even if they weren’t yet ready to become customers. Jaguar Land Rover, he explained, had many dedicated fans who were much younger than the people able to afford a premium car rental experience.

The Out has a ring-fenced “fun budget” to keep these people engaged with the brand. “We use this to create Web3 type experiences that allow our audience to enjoy the brand without spending a lot of money.”

In an age of segmentation, asked Charles, can a mass-market brand still appeal to everyone across the generations? “Absolutely,” replied Stone. “But you have to tailor your message effectively for different audiences and platforms.

“We have new consumers coming into our brands all the time,” said Ferris. “We find ways to talk to them. You don’t talk to someone who has just moved into their first flat the way you would an established homeowner who’s been using our product for years. But they both have the same need to clean their home. And they both use our product.”

Biggam told the audience that the experience of the pandemic and lockdown had narrowed the gap between the generations. “The last IPA TouchPoints report showed that lockdown had brought increasing numbers of older people online, consuming more digital media. Younger generations were already close to saturation point, so there isn’t the difference between consumption levels as there used to be.”

Whichever generation you’re engaging with, you have to ensure that the values you lay claim to in your marketing are also there for people to see in your brand, said Cole. “We have a lot of delivery drivers, and we make sure they benefit from market-leading pay and conditions. Because if they are happy, the customer experience is better, which reflects well on our brand and our business.”