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The latest from the team

Gen Z Film: A World of Opposing Forces

There’s a lot of commentary out there about Gen Z. An awful lot, actually. A simple google trawl tips up about 10m results.

But, to use the words of Mark Ritson when discussing generational marketing, how much of the commentary out there is ‘bullsh*t’?

We do tonnes of research amongst this age-group today, as well Gen Y and X before them, so we’re adept at seeing what has and hasn’t changed.

And the trick to generational research is identifying and parsing those attributes: what is distinctly new about being young today vs. enduring truths of simply being young?

Gen Z experiment

So, growing a little frustrated by some of the commentary we were seeing, we thought it would be interesting to see how Gen Z themselves respond to the commentary about them and see what we could learn.

We set out a small experiment to talk to a set of friendship pairs, to see what’s really on their minds, and play back some of the commentary about them:

  • What do they think is on the money?
  • What are we missing that feels genuinely new?
  • What are myths they call bullsh*t on?

Navigating opposing forces

As we expected, they want an awful lot of we all wanted and were frustrated by at that age, and the story isn’t simple, a master theory doesn’t hold water, many of the theories are based on half-truths

But what is different is the level and character of anxiety young people are navigating and internalising today.

Also the level of seeming contradictions in what they say, how they act, what they seek. Dig into these and there’s a distinctly torn character to how they engage with strong opposing forces.

We identified 3 sets that they’re wrestling with:

  • Restraint + Hedonism
  • Judgement + Diversity
  • Realists + Dreamers

We believe the opportunities for brands lie in helping identify these potent tensions, and focusing on cohorts for whom your brand can credibly help resolve that issue.

In short, as long as we resist seeking hollow universal truths, we can all avoid falling foul of the bullsh*t