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A Generation Forged in Crisis: Gen Z's Power to Influence Brand Actions for the Better



New study from McCann Worldgroup Truth Central reveals Gen Z is 'Coming of Rage' and has the tools and confidence to spur change

A Generation Forged in Crisis: Gen Z's Power to Influence Brand Actions for the Better

McCann Worldgroup Truth Central – McCann Worldgroup’s global intelligence unit – has released a global ‘Truth About Gen Z’ study that explores the attitudes and behaviours of this coveted group, revealing a generation that, unlike previous youth cohorts, has the power to actually generate the changes in culture that they seek. The study surveyed 2,500 18-24 year-olds based in the US, UK, Brazil, Germany and China and combined those findings with insights from McCann Worldgroup Truth Central’s new network of Gen Z anthropologists. 

The study reveals that while this youngest generation stands to inherit a number of societal problems, many of which have come to the fore in light of recent social justice movements and the Covid-19 pandemic, it is uniquely confident in its ability to overcome them. 66% of Gen Z globally say their generation can solve big global issues (rising to 69% among Gen Z in the UK), with 74% of Gen Z believing their generation has the power to influence a brands’ actions for the better.  

“Over the course of the last year, we’ve had the opportunity to learn from a group of Gen Z ethnographers as part of our McCann Worldgroup Gen Z Anthropology Network. While youth culture has always been about change and renewal of society’s values, today’s youth are ready to use their voices for change. In London, we were told that Gen Z should be understood as a mini-marketing agency that has the power to make and break culture.” said SVP, McCann Worldgroup Truth Central, Dr. Rodney Collins. “One of our Gen Z anthropologists in Germany summed up her generation as one of resilience, innovation and networking with a request for people to make room for their voices so they can fulfil their true potential.”  

The study revealed a number of insights that are unique to this cohort and pivotal for brands and society to act upon as Gen Z’s power and influence grows: 

  • Fear of Stasis: Questioning societal norms and systems isn’t youthful rebellion – it's a reflection that the only thing scarier than change for Gen Z is if things stay the same. A majority of Gen Z (53%) globally agree that ‘society staying the same as it currently is’ is scarier than ‘society changing drastically in the future.’ A deeper look into the data reveals a stark difference between countries… 60% of Gen Z in Germany and 58% of Gen Z in the UK agree with the statement while only 22% of Gen Z in China concur. 

  • A Generation Divided on Cancel Culture:  Gen Z is often regarded as a monolith, especially when it comes to supporting the demise of figures who do not align with their political and social beliefs. The study reveals this is not the case with Gen Z being highly split on the issue of cancel culture – 51% globally agree that “cancel culture has gone too far” vs. 49% globally who agree that “more people need to be held accountable”. In the UK, this ideological divide on cancel culture splits right down the middle of Gen Z with 50% on each side. These local nuances further validate the notion that this is a generation driven by thoughtful and nuanced views of what is right vs. indiscriminate anger. 
  • Many Gen Z’ers Don’t Want to Go It Alone: For all their drive and confidence, a significant percentage of Gen Z’ers would welcome help from others. 34% globally feel that today’s issues may be too large for Gen Z to solve on their own – rising to 46% among Gen Z in Germany – opening a window for intergenerational cooperation and brand collaboration in tackling society’s most crucial challenges. 

view more - Trends and Insight
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McCann Worldgroup, Thu, 01 Apr 2021 15:17:55 GMT