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Move Over Millennials - Here Comes Gen Z

Is Gen Z elbowing the Millennial generation aside as the demographic most sought after by marketers? That’s up for debate. However, Gen Z and its massive size—2.6 billion by 2020—and annual buying power—$44 billion—are clearly a soon-to-be in demand audience for marketers of every stripe.

Generation Z, born just after Millennials between 1996 and 2010, is the first generation to have never spent a single day without the Internet. The Gen Z cohort is said to have an average attention span of a mere eight seconds. And this group’s age range—spanning from eight to 22—is wildly different from one end to the other, forcing marketers to refine the demographic into smaller groups based on lifestyle interests, purchase behavior and spending power, among other criteria.

So what does it take to make a mark on Gen Z? Content and messages that are fine tuned for speedy viral sharing and carefully selected influencers are often part of the marketing strategy. These key ingredients play a particularly important role as Gen Z, in fact, believes that brands aren’t interested in communicating with them. Smart partnerships, interactive games, social media contests and STEM competitions are also key strategies that are making authentic connections with this demographic. Here, we break down four campaigns that are making the Gen Z connection.

AGENCY: HelloWorld
CAMPAIGN: LittleBits Droid Inventor Kit

CHALLENGE: Encourage consumers to purchase LittleBits Droid Inventor Kits and engage with the brand in a fun and creative way that leveraged the brand’s partnership with Disney/Lucas Films. The goal is to get kids interested in STEM and invention from a young age, making science, technology, engineering, art, and math applicable to their lives through Droid-building, and help start an inventor movement.

SOLUTION: Engage Gen Z with a custom invention contest. The Droid Inventor Kit offered fans an opportunity to create a custom Droid for a chance to win epic prizes.

EXECUTION: Various media drove consumers to the microsite or mobile optimized site where they were encouraged to register and upload a photo of a unique droid that they built utilizing LittleBits Droid Inventor Kit and other LittleBits kits and craft products.

Participants entered in one of two categories: “Padawan Learner” or “Jedi Master.” The winners were judged based on three criteria: inventiveness, creative use of materials, and video presentation. The celebrity judging panel included: Daisy Ridley, “Rey” in the Star Wars films; Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilms; Kelly Marie Tran, “Rose Tico” in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”; and Ayah Bdeir, Founder & CEO, littleBits.

RESULTS: 320 submissions, more than 70,000 visitors to the competition website with an average time spent of seven minutes, 33 seconds. Six winners, one sweepstakes prize, five honorable mentions.

“Supporting inventors of all ages and backgrounds is inherent to littleBits’ mission,” says Peter Dille, vice president of marketing at LittleBits. “We’re deeply committed to making electronics accessible to everyone. And what better way to inspire kids to create and invent than to give them the tools and the motivation to make it happen?”

NOTE: Many other examples were featured in this article. For the full piece, please see CHIEF MARKETER.