gen Z

How Diversity in Advertising is Evolving

The event addressed how diversity in advertising is evolving. Consumers want to buy from companies that commit to diversity but mere representational presence in ads is not enough. Brands that produce creative that is authentic in context, and elicits emotion from consumers, will garner loyalty and ROI. Leaders from Microsoft and Kantar shared how we can collectively understand nuances better to debunk stereotypes and empower all groups of people.

Demystifying the Multigenerational Workplace

On May 18th, 2023, ARF Young Pros met to discuss how generational differences can affect behavioural preferences and tendencies in the workplace. Multigenerational teams are the new normal with at least four generations in the workforce today. Age correlates less and less with expertise and authority and the need for effective collaboration across generations is therefore more valuable than ever.


Capping off the final day of sessions, Kantar’s Michelle Eule led a lively commentary on whether the generation consumers are born into really matters as an influence for marketing and if other psychographics or demographics are more important.

Redrawing the Marketing Plan—How to Activate Brands Effectively for GenZ

In this session, Aarti Bhaskaran (Snap) and Priscilla Aydin (OMG) presented their partnered research that investigated: the channels, platforms and motivations Gen Z utilizes to consume content; Gen Z’s expectations from brands as well as their receptivity to different types of messaging; how brands can effectively converse and plan for GenZ, including selecting the right platforms/media, cultural moments and developing authentic messaging.


This panel, moderated by Scott McDonald, led a discussion in response to the presentations on the generational implications in marketing and advertising. Topics of discussion included the notion of labels and challenges that can be associated with them, using generational attributes as a starting point or a “lens,” and the idea that while generations may be an indicator, values and certain behaviors can “transcend age.”

Generations are Messy but Meaningful

J. Walker thanked Bobby Duffy for his insights and perspectives and offered a somewhat different take: He stressed that generations are an important way to study social change. They are a useful construct, but they are not perfect. According to J. Walker, generations are best understood as an aggregation of life trajectories, shared circumstances and events as generational members come of age. Graduating during a recession or growing up in a pandemic will shape those generations. Cohorts who grow up at the same time and share common experiences, expectations and values matter for brands and culture. The shared starting point is the critical factor. Comparing Boomers at 20 years old with Millennials at 20 is the relevant point. A general comparison of Boomers vs. Millennials is not relevant.

The Generation Myth

Highlighting key points from his book, The Generation Myth: Why When You’re Born Matters Less Than You Think, Bobby Duffy presented his research on generational thinking as a powerful idea corrupted by stereotypes, myths, and cliches. As he tracked today’s generations over time (Pre-War, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z) to see what is truly generational, Bobby looked for gaps between young and old on attitudes to everything from drinking, smoking, and loneliness to race, gender equality and climate change. He found that many analyses and forecasts about consumer behavior ignore the complexity of change, that is, they only look at one of the three mechanisms that cause changes: Cohort Effects—Behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that are more common among members of a generation; Period Effects—Changes resulting from events and circumstances that affect everybody, all generations, from war and disasters to periods of economic boom; Life-Cycle Effects—Members of all generations change as they grow older and experience getting married, having children, etc.  The key to using generational analyses in consumer behavior forecasts, therefore, is to untangle these three mechanisms and recognize the importance of period and life-cycle effects to avoid overstating cohort effects.

Welcome to the Age of Intentionalism

The 2020 pandemic broke time, and this is still happening in 2022. Warner Media’s Mukta Chowdhardy explained that the pandemic caused consumers to focus on intentionality and making mindful decisions.

Streaming in the New Media Landscape

Since the onset of COVID-19, viewing patterns have changed dramatically. The biggest shift, however, has been an accelerated trend towards streaming. Shelter at home policies and health concerns about gathering in large public places, such as movie theaters, are the driving forces. The ARF’s OTT virtual event was dedicated to exploring recent trends as well as identifying the drivers of viewing behavior and the business of OTT in the “new normal”: How have viewing patterns and preferences evolved? What strategies have streaming companies employed to maintain and increase market share? How have studios evaluated and overcome production challenges? 2020 OTT landscape are vastly different from 2019 – how have advertisers taken advantage of the shifts? Spanning two days, for two hours each day, leading OTT providers, advertisers and research experts shared their perspectives and predictions about changing viewing behavior and where the market is heading.

Media 101 — A Guide to Buying and Selling

At our February Young Pros event, Meghan McGuirk, VP Group Director, Investments at Havas Media, Cristina Schlobohm, Director of Communications Strategy at Havas Media, and Kara Donahue, Account Executive at Roku, walked attendees through the media buying and selling process. They explained the five main media planning milestones: briefing, defining a strategy, tactical work, activating a campaign and reporting after it’s complete. Each speaker elaborated by using real life examples and showed the perspective and impact that all teams involved in the process have—both on the client or vendor side.