A survey has revealed that Gen Z Americans have a complicated relationship with targeted online advertising – as many are ambivalent towards privacy in that context. This cohort's attitude toward branding is also inconclusive, highlighting the importance of nuanced approaches.
The survey from Morning Consult revealed that though 17% of Gen Z Americans say that targeted online advertising is always an invasion of privacy, as many as 56% report that it only is sometimes, and 11% say that it never feels like their privacy is invaded in that context. In comparison, 28% of all adults say that online ads specifically targeted to them are always invasive. Similarly, Gen Zers are somewhat irresolute about branding, with half preferring brands that update their branding regularly, while the other half suggest that they prefer companies that maintain their aesthetic.
Gen Zers are growing up in tumultuous times, and their existence within a permacrisis is perhaps contributing to their ambivalence towards such issues. However, the lenient approaches to things like data privacy provide an opportunity for brands to build on their acceptance of such channels. For example, by offering opportunities for self-expression through affordable options, brands could see even higher buy-in from younger generations. Spotify has done just this, utilizing users' browsing data to generate Myers Briggs-style music personas – demonstrating how personal data can be used to enable self-expression among young netizens.