Thought Leadership

Into Z Future

Gen Z are a generation of creators, a digitally savvy group of individuals whose relationship to brands looks nothing like their predecessors'. They are, as Snapchat and JWT Intelligence present in their latest report, the next generation of Super Creatives.

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor, BITE

Share


Gen Z. A generation that has never been without a space to exist online; that view social media as a tool through which to enhance their life in the real world; and who are creatively trilingual. These are the individuals, aged between 13 and 22, who are, as Snapchat and JWT Intelligence present in their latest report, the next generation of Super Creatives.

The report Into Z Future collected data from over 1,200 people in this age bracket across the UK and the US to explore the link between their use of social media and their inherent creativity. 51% agree that their generation is more creative than previous generations; 56% of Gen Z-ers use social apps to express themselves creatively; and nearly 60% of respondents said their output on social apps represents the real, everyday version of themselves.

Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of The Innovation Group, J. Walter Thompson and Amy Moussavi, Head of Consumer Insights at Snapchat, presented the report at the Cannes Lions festival alongside an exhibition created by the LA-based artist Alex Israel. The exhibition allowed viewers to enhance their experience of the five paintings on show using Snapchat's AR function. It helped to showcase some of the digital tools that Gen Z have at their disposal and that they use to curate and form a link between their experience both on and offline.

51%
agree that their generation is more creative than previous generations
nearly 60%
said their output on social apps represents the real, everyday version of themselves
56%
use social apps to express themselves creatively

Gen Z embody a new era of creative communication. As a digitally native generation, they think about creativity through technology, but are also more conscious of the damaging impact technology can have on their mental health. They are also, as Moussavi said, a generation of activists: "They feel they have an opportunity to change the future and they feel they have a responsibility to do so." Social media has made them conscious of and concerned about broader global issues. And has also empowered them to feel they can bring about change.

In the panel discussion that followed, Amanda de Cadenet, Founder and CEO of Girlgaze, spoke passionately about her latest venture, the development of a digital jobs platform to allow female-identifying, majority Gen Z, creatives to not only showcase their work but to generate opportunities from it. Social media has given this generation a level of creative independence that is liberating. They don't need external representation; they just need, as de Cadenet outlined, a place where they "can go, where they can speak up, be represented."

The panel, and subsequent report, also highlights Gen Z's need for real world experiences that compliment the ones they're having in the digital space. As Jennifer Sey, Senior VP and CMO of Levi's explained, "This generation are living through their screens but they want the experience, the conversation in real life." It's a realisation that Refinery29 have championed with their project 29Rooms. 

They feel they have an opportunity to change the future and they feel they have a responsibility to do so.

Amy Moussavi

Described as "a funhouse of style, culture and creativity", the space last year played host to a phone-free installation where visitors simply had to chat to a stranger. Piera Gelardi, Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director at the platform, explained how the idea was "a physical destination that was a gift to our audience that brought the brand to life." 

Gen Z are a generation of creators, a digitally savvy group of individuals whose relationship to brands looks nothing like their predecessors'. As the report's introduction concludes, "With their fluid relationship with social media platforms, as well as their budding reach in brand campaigns, culture, and media, Gen Z are redefining what brands and marketers may have thought they understood about identity, communications, and the future of creative talent."

To download the full report, visit Wunderman Thompson's showcase.

Related Tags

Social Media Cannes