Reaching the elusive Generation Z

It’s the age-old question. Which channels offer brands the most effective and impactful way to connect with a youth audience? Redbus Media Group take us through best practice when it comes to GenZ.


Clearly, there will always be rationale and justification for each channel, however it is vital that this is always analysed and examined to allow brands to create the most engaging and impactful campaigns targeting Generation Z.   

Is TV really the answer?

An article, recently published by campaign, outlines that TV is especially effective at reaching a youth audience. The article claims that TV is unrivalled in its reach of 16-24s, using audience measurement from BARB to back this up. One interviewee in the article states that television ‘reaches 85% of 16-24s and 16-34s every week’ and that ‘There’s no other medium that does that.’ This is clearly a significant and impressive rate of cover, and is certainly not something to be dismissed.

The importance of Out of Home

However, the Out of Home (OOH) analytics body, Route, was quick to point out that TV is only unrivalled in reaching 16-24s, when you exclude OOH. Using their audience measurement, Route demonstrated the potential reach OOH offers when targeting this youth audience. For example, 40,000 OOH frames provide 86% reach of 16-24s, which rises to 96% if all sites are booked. It is also important to remember that this audience are still light TV-viewers compared to the average person in the UK. According to Ofcom, the average TV viewer watches 212 minutes of TV a day, compared to 16-24 year olds who only watch 114 minutes.

One of the reasons this audience is traditionally hard to reach is because of their constant ‘on the go’ nature, which makes OOH a great medium to consider when planning campaigns to reach a youth audience. OOH is able to deliver advertising in a way which suits Gen Z; it is non-intrusive and exists effortlessly within their environment. Kantar’s Ad Reaction report, released last year, revealed that OOH receives the highest positivity ratings amongst Gen Z when compared to both offline and online channels.

Integration is key

However, this is not to say that OOH alone offers marketers a magic solution for reaching this audience. Research is consistently highlighting how effective marketing campaigns can be when OOH is integrated with other channels, including TV and digital channels. Recent research by OOH specialist, Rapport, demonstrates how well TV and OOH work unanimously, suggesting that OOH boosts the effects of TV by up to 17%. A recent report by Outsmart demonstrates the capacity of OOH to drive mobile activity amongst a youth audience. Generation Z were found to be the most likely group to engage with OOH via their smartphone. This further highlights how important it is to integrate channels, particularly using a combination of both online and offline formats, when targeting this audience.

The magic answer

It is clear that when claims are made about certain channels and formats providing a ‘magic solution’ for engaging with and reaching Generation Z, further analysis is always important.  It is also clear that OOH, as well as other traditional channels, do need to be included. For brands to feel confident they are effectively reaching Generation Z, a number of touch points need to be included as part of an integrated strategy.


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