I’m a Gen Z-er, and I supposedly have an 8 second attention span.
According to the Internet, I’m also fiercely independent, completely different from my parents and more prone to stare at a screen than talk to another person. Being antisocial apparently pays off. My generation, which is currently the largest, contributes $44B to the economy.
In other words, Gen Z-ers are kind of a big deal when it comes to the economy, but the thing is, no one outside our generation really gets us.
So when it comes to advertising, brands and agencies have quite the challenge. Let me help by giving you a peek into how my generation thinks.
To understand Gen Z, companies need to remember that we grew up with Tech, and Tech grew up with us. I remember playing with the extendable antenna on my parents’ “brick phones,” and I’ve been around long enough to remember the first Galaxy and iPhone. Because of this, with the annual release of new and improved products, we have come to expect exciting innovations on a regular basis. We have a high bar for being wow-ed…and the bar keeps getting higher.
And with this increasing standard, we have to choose how to dedicate our time. So it’s not that we have 8 second attention spans. Rather, we have 8 second filters. There are an infinite amount of things to do (and shows to watch on Netflix) but only a very finite amount of time in our days.
Marketers need to remember this: in this 8-second filter economy, attention needs to be earned, and making a new catchy slogan or redoing logos just won’t cut it. Instead, focus on what actually wows us: visual immersion.
Visual immersion is all about visually compelling content that ultimately takes a viewer out of their current environment and places them into a new one.
Take Bud Light’s viral “Dilly Dilly” campaign, which places audiences in a medieval Game of Thrones-esque setting. The audience is visually immersed in a familiar, yet still foreign world, which has an entire quirky culture of its own. The medieval imagery coupled with a unique tone takes audiences out of their sofas and into Bud Light’s world.
Home Depot’s ad campaign on Pinterest focused on visual immersion through interactive content, a Gen Z-er favorite. Users could explore 360° content of Home Depot-designed rooms, which showcased products in actual use rather than in an online catalog. With over 36 million video views and 350,000 clicks-to-site, the numbers speak for themselves on the campaign’s success.
Paramount’s recent Pet Sematary 3D photo ad is another example of visual immersion. By transforming a 2D creative to a 3D image, viewers are transfixed by the glowing yellow eyes of the gray, shaggy cat, and the depth of the picture makes it feel as though you’re looking through an eyeglass portal to another universe.
So if you’re trying to make it past my generation’s 8 second filter, think about how to effectively incorporate visual immersion to your ads, whether it’s through built worlds, interactive content, or a 3D picture.