Teens are ‘Thailand’s toughest ad audience’

Corporate January 12, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

NEW STUDY OUTLINES KEY OPPORTUNITIES FOR THAI BRANDS, DIGITAL INSIGHTS



GENERATION Z – people aged 16-19 – are increasingly relevant to brands as a barometer to gauge future advertising trends, a new study finds.

Kantar Millward Brown’s global “AdReaction” reveals that while this “digitally native” group was raised with technology, it is the toughest for brands to engage with. In Thailand, these teenagers represent 18.3 per cent of the population, or 12.5 million consumers.

Based on surveys of more than 23,000 consumers in 39 countries including Thailand, the “AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z” study analyses media consumption patterns, advertising attitudes and creative-approach responses to provide guidance on how to engage more effectively with this new key group, making comparisons with Gen Y (aged 20-34) and Gen X (35-49).

“Gen Z in Thailand are exposed to advertising from an early age, and are well accustomed to digital |formats. This shapes their expectations of advertising and makes |them harder to please,” said Usana Chantarklum, managing director of Kantar Millward Brown Thailand. 

“The study shows their on-demand world of infinite choice means that they expect to be able to skip ads, and are negative about brands that use invasive techniques to get their attention. Less impressed by celebrities, they expect high-quality special effects. However, the most important characteristic for all ages is still the ability of an ad to tell an interesting story.”

Three key opportunities for Thai brands to connect with Gen Z were identified in the study.

Respect their online space: Within the Thai digital space, Gen Z are generally more sceptical of advertising than other generations. Results show they prefer control over online advertising, and are positive towards mobile app rewards and skippable pre-rolls (which achieve net positive scores of 53 and 34 per cent respectively). However, their least favourite formats are the invasive kind – non-skippable pre-rolls and pop-ups (6 and 5 per cent respectively).

Find the right creative approach: Globally, music, humour and celebrities all make Gen Z more receptive to advertising than other generations. 

However, in Thailand Gen Z are tough to impress – the only ad characteristic that they are most receptive to is the use of special effects like action sequences, explosions or space scenes. 

Gen Y is the group that finds creative aspects most appealing, with 53 per cent agreeing that music makes them more receptive, 55 per cent saying humour and 34 per cent |citing celebrities, compared with |47, 51 and 22 per cent for Gen Z respectively.

Be even more social: Gen Z are heavy users of social media, not just in time but also the quantity of platforms they visit. 

Primarily these include Facebook, YouTube, Line, Instagram and Snapchat. 

As an example, 35 per cent of Thai Gen Zs access Instagram several times a day, compared with 29 per cent for Gen Y and 18 per cent for Gen X. Line is also accessed almost ubiquitously, with a huge 92 per cent of Gen Z accessing at least once a week.

Five digital insights 

about Thai teens

1. Despite being the generation that grew up with mobile technology, Gen Zs’ daily usage is slightly lower than that of older generations – 81 per cent of Gen Z spend more than an hour a day on their mobile device, compared with 85 per cent of Gen Y and 87 per cent of Gen X.

2. However, TV radio and print consumption are also lower, with 63 per cent of Gen Z watching an hour or more of television each day compared with 72 per cent for Gen Y and 76 per cent for Gen X). 

This means brands need to work hard to capture the attention of Gen Z when they are consuming media – either traditional or digital – or risk being missed altogether.

3. All generations prefer short videos, but the younger generations of Gen Z and Y favour video ads of less than 10 seconds, while Gen X is more tolerant of videos up to 20 seconds.

4. Gen Z are starting to use ad-blocking software, with 18 per cent using it on desktops and 19 per cent on mobile. But it’s not just the younger Thai generations – Gen Y are also using the technology, with 21 per cent using desktop blockers and 20 per cent using mobile blockers.

5. Gen Z are also most likely to talk to friends about ads, compared with Gen X, who prefer to share with family, indicating that viral content can go further with younger generations if brands make it stimulating enough.