by Day One Agency

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Q&A's

How does it make you feel when brands use the words "slay" or "vibes"? When would it be ok vs not ok?

"Kind of feel like they shouldn’t be using them at all. Comes across as try-hard, tone deaf and a little corny."

"Don’t think they should be using them so cringe and makes it feel like they’re trying to hard to fit in with the younger crowd. Only okay if someone known for being in the know (like Jake Shane) was speaking in an ad and used those phrases."

"Agree these types of words should come from a spokesperson vs. the brand directly. While I understand why brands want to use these words, there’s other ways to resonate with Gen Z like having ESG goals, approachable branding, etc."

"It almost always reads as incredibly lame lol. Agreed that it could only ever feel passable from a spokesperson."

"Very try–hard and unnatural. I get the idea of brands trying to come across as “in-the-know” with words like that, but they’re a brand at the end of the day, not a person."

"If it's done right/natural then I really don't mind."

What Gen Z likes to watch on TikTok?

"I feel like most of my content is podcasts for some reason lol got stuck on that side of the algorithm. Maybe a little bit of the trendy sounds stuff too as well as some DJTok & Formula content too lol."

"Omg so much lol. I’d say I’m pretty consistently on FashionTok, CatTok, DogTok, LatinoTok, CookingTok. Definitely lots of funny, random meme content mixed in, some concert clips as well, and occasionally some gaming videos."

"Sourdough/bread making content, music (artist interviews, recordings, etc), GRWM, fashion content. Random vine-style memes"

"GRWM, beauty recs, pop culture moments “memified”"

"Everything - GRWM, clothing hauls, I am also big on Cleaning videos and ASMR"

What are your top 5 favorite influencers right now?

"I don’t really have any favorite influencers to be honest?"

"Don’t really have any that come top of mind. I think a lot of the people I follow online tend to be athletes or musicians like SGA, Mbappe, Jaylen Brown, Keinemusik etc."

"I still keep up with the OGs from the YouTube beauty influencer days – Desi Perkins, Katy (@katy), Jaclyn Hill (I find her cringy but I’m so fascinated by her). Also, love Monet and Eric Sedeño (@ricotaquito)"

"I always like food influencers like Keith Lee and Sister Snacking, fitness instructors."

"I always love fashion influencers (Koleen Diaz, Sierra Rena, Veneda Carter, Alexis Carrington, Chiara Sampaio)."

"Corteiz - Ajani - Briana King - Rilly Ril - Talia Goddess."

"Remi Bader, Jake Shane, Monet Mcmichael."

What are they looking for from social?

"Humor, escape, and to see what my friends are up to."

"Agree with above! Love to see what my friends are doing but on top of that staying up to date with what's going on in the world, sports, and memes."

"Authentic, relatable, and light content."

"Although it varies slightly by channel, I’d say above all else, I look for entertainment. The best is when social makes me laugh!"

"Relatable content, news updates, and just generally seeing what’s going on in the world / with friends."

Do you like Tiktok more than Instagram?

"IG over TikTok all day."

"I prefer IG too but I’d say I use them for different purposes! I wouldn’t ever post on TikTok (whereas I do on IG, especially Stories) but I probably spend more time aimlessly scrolling through TikTok."

"I’m addicted to IG Reels… I only open TikTok when I get tired of Reels/for work."

"No! But I also use them for different purposes. TikTok is for guilty binges. IG feels more like a regularly part of my media diet."

"Seeing folks prefer IG reels over TikTok feels so crazy. TikTok girly reporting in – I can spend hours on there, laughing and scrolling past the ads and branded content. I use Instagram mainly to stalk myself or check in with friends."

What did Gen Z think of The Grammy's?

Society

"Didn’t watch it since I’m not really into award shows lol. But I saw a few clips on IG after and I liked the Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs Fast Car cover. Also really agreed with what Jay-Z said about music being subjective!"

"I think a lot of us would tune in primarily for the fashion and the performances because we realize the awards themselves can’t really be taken seriously. A Black woman not winning AOTY for 25 years?? Insanity."

"Only watch it for the fashion and performances but even some of the performances are nothing special to me. The best part is watching X blow up with funny memes of speeches!"

"I love watching every year and thought it was the most entertaining one they’ve had in a while. Appreciated that women dominated the nominations but agree with the above answer regarding it not being serious due still having racial issues."

Why do Gen Z prefer video?

Lifestyle

"I think it makes it a little easier to process information and requires less effort than reading maybe lol? I also just find watching videos more entertaining."

"^Agree, easier than reading sometimes lol. Also sometimes multitasking and listening to the audio."

"Funny and easy to consume."

"I think it makes it more condense which I usually find that I like the spark notes and quick facts."

"Part of already established routine / activity, we’re already tuned into an ongoing stream of video given social habits on TikTok."

"Easier to find results that are shorter/concise."

What online media sites do y'all get your news from?

Lifestyle

"I’m a big NY Times guy. Love The Daily but I should really broaden my horizons."

"^Same, I know it’s a bad habit, but I almost exclusively read NYT."

"The Cut for editorial, CNN for hard news & headlines."

"NYT is definitely a big one for hard news but I love the Skimm too and newsletters like Casey Lewis After School for editorial and trends. Lately, I have also been turning to Twitter."

How do you guys feel about paying for content vs dealing with ads? Do you pay any creators for content?

"Definitely into dealing with ads rather than paying. I guess my only exception is Hulu but otherwise I don’t mind ads. And I don’t foresee myself ever paying a creator for content."

"Agree with the above! I don’t think I’d ever pay creators for content lol so happy to stick it out with the ads."

"Much prefer ads over paying! Don’t pay any creators for content either."

"I don’t pay any creators for content. If the platform is somewhat affordable i’ll pay for it to get rid of ads (ads during spotify for example is super obnoxious, but i can handle it during hulu)."

Is GenZ really into Pinterest?

"I don’t really use it that often. But I know a lot of my friends use it for moodboarding or for aesthetics inspiration. I think some even use it to shop?? Not sure about that one lol but I think its a cool app/tool just haven’t ever got into it."

"^^ Completely agree with the above. I very rarely use Pinterest, only if I’m seeking some super specific ~aesthetic inspo~ but I definitely have friends who use it regularly."

"I don’t really use it but a few of my friends do for haircut/hair color inspo or outfit ideas."

"Use it almost daily LOL. Thought I was the only one until I saw a statistic today. I use it to find inspiration for my ceramics as well as just overall creative. The algorithm is so accurate and feels like there is endless content. Been seeing a lot of companies advertise on it and I click in thinking it's a normal pin and end up scrolling."

"Yeah I’ve been into it a lot more recently. Probably more for work, but in general it’s great for moodboarding, feels like a cool rabbit hole to fall into. On TikTok if I fall into a rabbit hole I feel kinda gross about it."

How do young people feel about brands texting them vs emailing them?

Society

"I’ve blocked so many brands over text and it never seems to work and makes me actively so annoyed. Please delete my number."

"I feel like brands always want us to sign up for texts for promotions - like 15% off your order if you sign up for texts, which I do for the discount but then i immediately unsubscribe."

"Really not a fan of marketing emails or texting at all. Let’s get rid of “hey bestie” texts from brands. You’re not my friend—or my bestie! I don’t really want to interact with you as such, either."

"Don't text or email just share it on social! We all follow our favorite brands."

"Don’t text me and only email me if there’s a sale LOL. i love coupons!"

"Agree with above! I feel like I don’t really like when brands reach out to me. I follow the brands I like but if you are bombarding me it’s kinda a turn off."

"If I have to text STOP one more time… It’s always HEY BESTIE! Or Bernie Sanders needs $5 more from me…"

"Pls don’t."

Is it important to you that influencers label their posts with #ad when it's a paid sponsorship?

"I don’t really feel too strongly about #ad posts ngl. I think it's usually pretty obvious if an influencer posts sponsored content but I guess it’s nice they give a heads up lol."

"Yes because i like to know if the endorsement is actually genuine or not - if I don’t see #ad i know it’s because an influencer actually likes a product enough to share it without getting compensated. When i see #ads, i automatically am skeptical just because the influencer is probably posting it to get paid."

"Yes I think it’s important for credibility and authenticity. I agree that it’s always obvious when it’s an ad and don’t like when they try to deceive their audience by hiding the #ad or making it really small/blend in."

"I feel like you should embrace any video promoting a product with some degree of skepticism, and tbh I’m not sure if the #ad helps or hurts in terms of influencer credibility. Might hurt! I also feel like it’s usually fairly obvious (to the point above) if it’s a paid sponsorship (#ad or not). Where it should matter is if the product is some sort of fringe financial instrument, or energy drink that’s not approved by the FDA or whatever."

How do you feel about social media?

Lifestyle

"That it’s addictive."

"Recently uninspired but tentatively optimistic about the future."

"It’s a double-edged sword; it’s entertaining and a fun creative outlet, but it's also addictive and (if unregulated) a risky echo-chamber. For example, a lot of my friends have been cutting their screen time or straying away from posting too much as a means to protect their mental health. On a positive note, I am glad outlets like social media can at least offer a platform for people to raise awareness on important issues, help people find a community, and spotlight small businesses and creators."

How do they consume content?

Entertainment

"It depends on the type of content for me and where I am. If I’m out, I really don’t like watching TV or anything on my phone. So it’s Twitter for news and entertainment, a book just in case and Instagram/TikTok when I’m bored or I’ve exhausted all other options. If I’m home, Hulu/HBO Max for movies and TV, computer for news/article reading and still books. (But a different one from the train book!)"

"When I am home it is usually always Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu and I try to limit (but I always fail) using TikTok, Instagram when I am not watching a show. On the go, I don't usually watch anything besides some Instagram content but lately to make the time pass on the treadmill at the gym I have been using the HBO Max app to stream a show."

"When I’m out and about I tend to spend the most time on Twitter and Instagram (Stories specifically), but I prefer to stick to audio and listen to podcasts or a playlist I’ve made. I typically have a book with me as well, but those rarely make it out of my tote bag. At home, I spend a lot of time on YouTube and TikTok since watching videos requires more attention. As far as streaming goes, I’m a big fan of HBO Max and tend to start there, and then move on to Netflix or Hulu."

"At home, I’m tuning into HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube (pretty much every streaming service) or listening to Spotify (not Apple Music lol). If I’m on my phone, I’m scrolling through TikTok, Twitter (mainly for news), Instagram (I use it to keep up with close friends)."

Does Gen Z actually care about the metaverse?

Technology

"Of course, it’s the future. And any brand that doesn’t have a CMO (chief metaverse officer) within the next 5-10 years, will fall behind. But I will say that I don’t want the virtual world to completely supplant IRL. Like Sean Monahan said: “URL [should] serve IRL—not replace it.” I like going to concerts, bars, sports games, even the office. I don’t really have interest in doing that through a screen. I think the answer to this question probably depends when you were born on the Gen Z spectrum. If you’re a “Zillennial,” I think you don’t care that much (as in, are not on Minecraft all day), but if you’re on the younger end, I think you’ll spend far more time in the Metaverse."

"I think most of us (outside of marketing) don’t really know what the 'metaverse' is even though we use a version of it on Fortnite, Roblox and even Minecraft. I think over the next few years, as it expands and brands start to stake their claim in the space, it’ll start to take shape more and I believe more POVs will begin to form. As of now, the term is mostly associated with gamer culture, which has gone from being a fringe activity to mainstream."

"I do and I don’t. As someone relatively new to gaming and internet 'discourse,' I think it’s an interesting time to be a part of virtual communities and networks. But I’m not an early adopter on most things, and the metaverse is no different. I feel like I’m going to take this early stage a bit passively—read some articles, maybe buy some Bitcoin—and see where I get."

What brands do the best job promoting themselves on social?

"I think it depends on what channel we’re talking about, but I love everything that Recess and Ruby Hibiscus do. The Recess IG page is simple but also extremely tapped in. I also love Poolsuite, probably specifically because it’s not at all branded content."

"It sounds typical, but any brand that does a good job of making their TikTok ad funny and not so branded or ad-like. Like Duolingo for example, they have been killing it on TikTok."

"I think Glossier does a good job with this. They're tapped in with their community and really leverage UGC content. All of their packaging is also really cute which helps with the IG aesthetic."

"I think Aēsop does a really great job with the imagery and language they use to bring you into their world. They’re not sell-y (they already have their loyal clientele) and are really good at conveying their product as part of a particular lifestyle."

"I hate to say it but, SKIMS. I think they do a good job portraying their brand’s image."

What's the next, cooler iteration of the newsletter?

"I think having a guest cultural curator would be cool to have and see what moments they choose to highlight"

"Zines and newspapers are having a moment. Thinking of The Drunken Canal here. Also, am I the only person who thinks subscription boxes and mailers—especially in the beauty space—might bring around a snail mail revival?"

"I subscribe the Nudge (they text you about fun things to do in your city) and I think some kind of direct-to-text newsletter could be fun - like a gossip blog that just texts you breaking news real-time."

"I think secret location/exclusive events might make a comeback. It’s kind of big now, but there is a group called Junior Varsity that puts on parties, and you can only get in if you RSVP via text. Also seeing more events/parties where you need to ask to be on the list, rather than buying tickets"

What should the next social platform look like?

"I think one of the main takeaways: stop trying to do too much. I don’t want my social app to also be a mall, and I’m not into targeted ads. I just want to post some cool photos and talk with my friends!"

"^^And stop trying to be other platforms! We need something fresh, not an IG remake"

"I want it to show stuff that I like and allow me to share photos, memes, cool stuff to my friends. Also like the other comment said above to remakes^^^"

What platforms do you use to stay in touch with friends?

"Groupme, Snapchat, Instagram"

"iMessage mostly, Snapchat for random updates throughout the day and Instagram for sending memes/celeb news"

"Snapchat and Twitter! But my Zillenial status might be showing here."

"Instagram, Twitter, iMessage, not as much Snapchat since I don’t like receiving a huge collection of photos at once (it’s overwhelming)"

Are you on Discord?

"I’m not, but I should be."

"Unsure of where to even start, so no!"

"No."

"No, but I want to be."