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September 10, 2020
9/10/2020

Time is money: Kantar analyzes Gen Z and skippable video

Gen Z are like goldfish, right?  
A lot has been made of Gen Z’s short attention span.1 
This may result in some marketers thinking this generation is unable to focus on or remember advertising. 
Here we’ll summarize new research Snap recently commissioned from Kantar that analyzed the speed with which people of different ages watch content on social media and the extent to which they recall it. 
Over 2,000 research participants aged thirteen and over were recruited from four different countries -- Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants were instructed to use various simulated social media environments2 as they usually would on their phone for 75 seconds -- each participant seeing the same skippable advertising video3 during their session. After this, each participant took a survey that asked them questions about the content they saw. Kantar’s Context Lab4 was used. 
Time is money
The speed with which research participants watched and skipped content and whether they correctly recalled seeing it were analyzed for participants belonging to different generations.5 
We observed Gen Z research participants spent less time with content than Millennial and Gen X / Baby Boomer participants -- both for advertising and non-advertising content. Gen Z navigated through individual Stories faster and watched more throughout the duration of their research session. Interestingly, despite this, we also observed that Gen Z participants correctly recalled the advertising and non-advertising content they saw at high rates. When looking at aided advertiser recall specifically, we observed Gen Z having the highest rate of correct recall when compared with Millennials and Gen X / Baby Boomers -- despite spending less time than either group watching the ad. 
These observations are consistent for each of the four countries tested (US, UK, AU, and CA).
To further analyze Gen Z’s ability to recall advertising, Kantar compared the rate of correct advertiser recall for participants who watched the skippable video ad for less than or equal to 2 seconds versus those who watched it for more than two seconds. More than half of Gen Z participants who watched the ad for less than 2 seconds recalled it - 2X better than participants age 40+. 
Rethinking video creative strategy and view duration for Gen Z
There could be multiple underlying reasons why we observe these differences between generations, but the implications for advertisers are clear. Gen Z can recall brand and product messaging in a short amount of time. 
Advertisers may want to consider different creative strategies for digital video targeted at Gen Z, placing greater emphasis on communicating brand and product messages as early as possible.  
Advertisers may also want to take into account the age distribution of the viewing audience when using video view duration metrics as proxies for an ad’s effectiveness, especially skippable video. Younger people may require less time with a skippable video ad than older people in order to recall seeing it.

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1https://www.fastcompany.com/3045317/what-is-generation-z-and-what-does-it-want
2Snapchat tested along with other social media platforms. Participants were required to be a user of at least one platform tested, and they were assigned at random to one platform if they used multiple.
3Skippable video ads were served in between Stories for all platforms. If a participant didn’t use Stories, they were excluded.
4https://www.kantar.com/marketplace/solutions/media-planning-and-effectiveness/digital-media-optimisation
5Kantar used the following age boundaries for generational groups as of April 2020. Gen Z: age 13-24; Millennials: age 24-39; Gen X and Boomers: age 40+