InsightPress Release

Gamer study sets the record straight on what Gen Z thinks of advertising, brands and influencers

NEW JERSEY, USA — The “ZBD Gen Z Gamer Study,” based on a survey of over 2,000 Gen Z gamers in the US, sheds new light on the central role that video gaming plays in how 18-25 year olds interact with brands, advertisers and influencers.

The study shows that gaming is a critical mainline artery to reach and meaningfully engage with Gen Z, which is estimated to have spending power upwards of $360 billionn in the US alone. 53% of respondents spend more than $20 per month on video games, but the value of the media channel goes beyond hard numbers, with 72% saying they can be their authentic selves while playing online. To qualify for the survey, Gen Z respondents had to play video games for at least one hour per day, but a staggering 65% of the respondents spend over three hours a day playing video games.

Brands in games

As well as “traditional” ad formats, increasing numbers of brands have taken to gaming platforms like Roblox to build immersive branded experiences or sell digital merchandise: 

2000 Gen Zs have their say on brands and advertising INS
  • 81% have played or would play a video game from a non-gaming brand, like “Nikeland” in Roblox
  • 68% have bought or would buy a branded item within a video game
  • Gen Z also like to see gaming brands away from the game itself, particularly in films and TV shows (57%), physical places such as theme parks (51%), and on clothing (49%)

Digital advertising

Gaming is often cited as a key emerging channel for advertisers, with various ad formats available across mobile, PC and console games:

  • 43% say advertising in games is so disruptive it ruins the experience
  • 50% say ads are a little annoying but that they don’t mind them in free games

Influencers and social platforms

Gen Z often engages with brands though creators and influencers. They’re motivated by fairness, particularly as many make content themselves:

  • 80% care about fair rewards for creators and influencers who engage with brands
  • 67% would trust a brand more if influencers or creators they know engaged with it
  • Males are most likely to engage with influencers on YouTube (79%), while females favor TikTok (75%)
  • 70% of Gen Z make money through a side hustles, including social media content creation (29%), streaming (15%), and podcasting (7%

Ben Cousens, Chief Strategy Officer at ZBD, commented: “Gen Z is the first to grow up as digital-natives, meaning there are stark differences with any that came before. It’s imperative for consumer brands and advertisers to understand how to communicate and engage with the most technologically plugged-in generation in history, which demands authenticity and fairness above all.” 

The full findings of The ZBD Gen Z Gamer Study can be downloaded here.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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