REPORT
Jul 31, 2019
What do Gen Zers think is cool?

Gen Zers are a tricky yet intriguing generation to grasp – they’re offline-shopping, eco-conscious, genre-defying, values-defending mavericks. As they grow into adolescence and adulthood, what do Gen Zers actually think is cool and how can brands appeal to this cohort’s unique mindset?

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Lil Nas X rides across the American west on a horse, cowboy hat on his head, Chris Rock by his side. They arrive at the local saloon, and Billy Ray Cyrus is there, tying up his horse. They sit and have a drink, while white, gun-toting locals creep towards them. Together Nas X and Cyrus sing, “I’m going to take my horse to the old town road,” launching into one of this century’s most memorable hooks. No, it’s not the stuff of your best REM sleep, but the start of the video for the recent record-breaking song, Old Town Road – and a beacon of Gen Z culture. [1] Bringing together meme culture, TikTok, remixes, and pan-genre musical formats, Old Town Road is a near-perfect embodiment of Gen Zers’ idea of ‘cool’.

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