Win More podcast listeners will know that host John Zaldonis and I often lament about our status as “uncool Millennials.” Those of us in our late 20s to early 40s aren’t the tastemakers anymore. The younger generation swooped in to state that our side parts, skinny jeans, and love of early-aughts sitcoms aren’t the defining culture. And these 100 brands targeting Gen-Z are paying attention.
In this list, we highlight 100 brands targeting Gen-Z with a media spend of at least $5 million annually.
Generation Z (aka Gen Z or Zoomers) is anyone born in 1996 or after, making the elders 25-years-old (most are the children of Gen X). They’re extremely tech savvy, having grown up in a world with omnipresent internet connections and cell phones. And, unaware of life pre-smartphone, expect convenience above all else. Convience should also comprise security because, again, their tech literacy means they understand the risks associated with personal data. They’re also the activist generation. Leading the fight against climate change and gun reform.
Here are four brands, from our full list of 100, that are targeting Gen-Z:
1) Levi Strauss
The branded apparel company launched a multi-platform global marketing campaign, “Buy Better, Wear Longer,” in April, teaming up with Gen-Z influencers Jaden Smith, Emma Chamberlain, and Marcus Rashford. Reaction to the effort has been overwhelming positive and generated notable social media growth. To further elevate its brand, Levi’s will continue increasing its ad spend.
The company is primarily targeting Gen-Z and millennials through YouTube, Hulu, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter advertising. This may lead the company to expand into podcast ad usage in the future since podcasts are so popular among this relatively young audience. Its target demographic often has a male skew.
2) 7-Eleven Inc.
The international convenience store chain has a new campaign running across TV, online video/CTV, billboards/signage, social, display, radio and digital audio. Developed with creative and media agency partner 360i NY, “Take it to Eleven” will be backed by a budget of over $70m. Overall, 7-Eleven has reportedly more than doubled its marketing investment in 2021.
7-Eleven’s new campaign will be supported by a notable advertising budget, so the increases in spend will continue throughout 2021. The company’s reliance on Instagram, YouTube, Twitch and Facebook advertising shows it’s Gen-Z focus. The brand may invest in OTT and/or podcast ads to go after Zoomers, too. As you know by now, its TV commercials particularly target women. The company has also been ramping up its efforts to reach Hispanic audiences and investing in localized ad space by hiring muralists to support and attract local communities with custom art.
3) Miller Lite
Within the past quarter, beer distributor Molson Coors increased media investment behind iconic core brands Coors Light and Miller Lite. This growth was partially made possible by lower spend in pandemic-affected areas such as sports and other live events. Miller Lite’s increase in digital spend, reliance on Facebook and Instagram advertising, and OTT ads on Hulu show its focus on Gen-Z right now.
However, the company’s rising TV spend and notable investment in podcast ads show that it’s also targeting millennials and Gen-X. To narrow its target demographic down, though, keep in mind Miller Liter especially targets men. The company additionally invests in OOH, print, radio and local broadcast.
4) JPMorgan Chase
Beginning in October, the financial services company will have a new CMO, Carla Hassan, former CMO of rival Citi. Hassan replaces Leslie Gillin, the former JPMorgan CMO who departed in March. At JPMorgan, Hassan will have a larger budget to handle Thus, under her leadership, the company’s spend should pick up more steam. Sellers able to offer digital ad space to build brand awareness among Gen-Z and millennials should contact soon.
Right now, it’s primarily using YouTube, paid social, OTT and podcast advertising to reach Gen-Z and millennials. The company doesn’t seem to be advertising on more traditional channels like print and/or OOH, reinforcing the conclusion that JPMorgan has a relatively younger target demographic right now. In the past, this demographic has also had a skew toward parents, especially dads.