Often referred to as the first digitally native generation, Gen Z represents a vital group for brands to target with dedicated marketing campaigns, with highly rewarding opportunities around every corner. However, discovering what really makes this audience tick is key to success.
These tech-savvy consumers are more likely to respond to a more authentic and often innovative approach to marketing, which means brands may need to reconsider their approach when addressing these discerning, socially conscious, social media-loving individuals.
Below, we’ve put together five examples of memorable Gen Z marketing campaigns, showcasing different ways to successfully market to this complex audience segment.
Who Gives A Crap’s Valentine’s toilet paper campaign
Due to its eco-friendly and socially responsible nature, the brand is highly successful with the Gen Z audience.
It is well known for coming up with witty marketing campaigns and hooks to promote its products as well as more sustainable consumer choices, all the while raising money for sanitation and hygiene charities.
Earlier this year, the brand launched an innovative Valentine’s Day campaign encouraging consumers to send in old love letters to allow the company to turn them into recycled ‘Flush Your Ex’ toilet paper.
The campaign was a prime example of how companies can use creative, disruptive marketing at key times of the year to actively engage their audiences and prompt them to act in a socially responsible way, while also promoting their values and products.
IKEA’s Pinterest Quiz
With many of IKEA’s customers – and especially Gen Z – increasingly turning to social media for inspiration, IKEA decided to retire its iconic 200-page catalogue in December 2020.
Following this, IKEA partnered with Pinterest to find a fresh and captivating way to bring the print version of the catalogue to social media, launching a custom quiz experience to give its customers the perfect décor inspiration. The interactive questionnaire learns user preferences and builds personalised user boards with product recommendations and renovation ideas.
The brand’s simple yet highly compelling campaign showcases how to exploit a platform that is popular with Gen Z in a fun and engaging way while harnessing this group’s desire to begin to plan for the future.
Following Marks & Spencer launching legal action against Aldi over trademark infringement on its popular Colin the Caterpillar cake, the brand responded with a humorous tweet that launched the #freecutberth campaign.
This amusing concept won the brand the support of a number of social media users across the UK, and especially that of Gen Z. Audiences produced a range of user-generated videos, parodies and memes, generating millions of views across socials.
Overall, the brand was able to generate over £5 million worth of media spend and increase its X (previously Twitter) followers by 30% with a single post, showing just how rewarding appealing to the light-hearted, playful side of the Gen Z audience can be.
Spotify's ‘Me, Also Me’ campaign
Offering another example of how appealing to Gen Z’s fun-loving side can generate marketing success, music giant Spotify launched a campaign that heavily relied on the popular ‘Me, Also Me’ meme to publicise the new Spotify Everywhere.
The brand created a range of images that showcase how the streaming service has music for every mood, connecting with its audience through humour and simply by being relatable, letting the memes on the billboards speak for themselves.
Its success also goes to show that keeping up with new social media trends is vital no matter what industry a business operates in, offering opportunities for everyone to explore to easily elicit a positive reaction from target audiences – especially Gen Z.
The Duolingo Owl
Over the past few years, Duolingo has cleverly used its company’s mascot to make its mark on social media audiences around the world.
Rather than focusing on the direct promotion of its main service offering, Duolingo uses social media to create fun posts and videos that feature its mascot Duo, whether to offer its take on the latest trends and topics, or to generate its own relatable content.
As a result, the brand’s mascot gained its own ‘personality’ thanks to the brand’s highly engaging social media strategy, which inspired users to create their own related content to further bring it to life.
With this approach, instead of being directly marketed to, individuals are being subtly drawn to the content of Duolingo, with a more subconscious yet powerful connection being established between the consumer and the brand.
Want to connect with a Gen Z audience?
As Gen Z operates in a digital world, brands should focus on creating marketing campaigns that, in one way or another, stand out amongst the myriad of digital messages that are shown daily.
Overall, marketing strategies that differ from more traditional, ‘direct’ campaigns are much more likely to resonate with this generation, particularly where they involve social media.
At Champions, we have a team of marketing specialists that can forge highly effective campaigns to target your target audience. Whether Gen Z is your main audience, or you are looking to target this group for the first time, we can help.
Contact us today for more information on how to navigate the world of digital marketing and place your brand on a path to success.