Sponsored by QuickFrame by MNTN
As Gen Z consumers spend more time scrolling and streaming than ever, video marketing has become a critical approach for fashion, beauty and luxury brands to engage with these audiences.
To be effective, however, brands targeting Gen Z must ensure their video ads reflect the formats most popular on that audience’s favorite platforms. For example, according to research from Smartly.io, 40% of Gen Z consumers prefer Instagram Stories, Reels or TikTok videos when seeing ads from brands on social media. Similarly, brands need to keep in mind Gen Z’s unique media consumption habits and attention spans.
“Audiences today, especially younger demographics, have a shorter attention span when it comes to ads,” said Max Berns, lead customer success manager at QuickFrame by MNTN. “For Gen Z, specifically, it’s about that opening hook — the first 3–5 seconds of an ad are extremely important if you don’t want them to scroll by or click ‘skip ad.’ We encourage our clients to test a few different messages in the opening to see what is really resonating with the Gen Z audience.”
Video marketers are unlocking Gen Z engagement with UGC
As video-first platforms become more popular, brands have more opportunities to reach key audiences on different channels while using the visual language Gen Z prefers.
For fashion and beauty brands targeting Gen Z with video ads, user-generated content is one of the most effective tactics. According to research by QuickFrame by MNTN and Digiday, 33% of agencies and brands surveyed reported that UGC is the most important video approach for campaign success when targeting Gen Z.
“Gen Z is creating and sharing video content with platforms like Snapchat and TikTok in a way that no generation has before,” Berns said. “They are more receptive to UGC-style ads because it appears as if it’s coming from someone just like them, whether it’s an influencer or someone in your marketing department.”
Brands are successfully using UGC for multiple video strategies, including product promotion, brand advertisements and lifestyle content. Furthermore, according to Berns, data shows that UGC videos perform better than those shot in a studio for beauty brands. For instance, as previously reported on Glossy, skincare brand Truly’s in-house marketing team creates UGC-style TikTok videos targeting Gen Z and millennial audiences.
Other video approaches that are popular when targeting Gen Z include customer testimonials (20%), direct response (20%) and unboxing videos (10%), according to research by QuickFrame by MNTN and Digiday.
“We’ve become very accustomed to the typical style of unboxing videos – overhead shots of human hands opening a branded box – because it mimics the exact experience a consumer can expect once they receive a product,” explained Berns. “Often, these can look like UGG-style videos, as if a friend or colleague was speaking to the user personally. But because we already have a strong idea of how unboxing videos traditionally look, simply rethinking the visual approach can really electrify its engagement.”
Creative refreshes are sustaining video marketing momentum
Since Gen Z audiences are inundated with ads, beauty and fashion brands have a short window to capture their attention. According to an analysis by QuickFrame by MNTN, video completion rates on Facebook and Instagram begin declining after five days. Additionally, sales and conversions are highest within the first 14 days of a campaign.
“A major reason why Gen Z flocks to TikTok and other similar platforms like Reels and Shorts is because a user can theoretically scroll all day through the app and not see the same video twice,” Berns said. “So what do you think will happen when they are scrolling through and see the same ad again and again and again? They will grow bored, tired and eventually annoyed by your creative. You don’t want that.”
One way these brands are standing out from the deluge of videos and ads that Gen Z consumes is by incorporating data insights into creative strategies. Brands are gleaning data from numerous elements of their video creative, including the distribution platforms, production types, video duration and target KPIs. This feedback is then used to power creative refreshes, in which brands adjust campaigns based on video engagement, demographics, interests and more.
Only 26% of agencies and brands are refreshing video ad creative quarterly, while 21% are doing monthly refreshes, according to research by QuickFrame by MNTN and Digiday.
As reported on Glossy, DTC underwear brand Parade is one company using creative refreshes for its video ads, which primarily appear on Instagram. Working with QuickFrame by MNTN, Parade created dozens of pieces of video that can be reassembled to spotlight different models or music, among other interchangeable features. This strategy allows Parade to rapidly test many variations of the same content, tailoring each ad to the specifics of certain demographics or customer profiles.
However, the frequency of creative refreshes and the approaches to measuring engagement metrics vary based on brand and sector. For instance, according to Berns, high-end brands may have a longer lead time before a creative refresh.
“For luxury brands, really show off your product, show off your brand — give some different creative out there to really keep your audience engaged across the board,” Berns said.
“But regardless of the industry you are in, you need to bake creative refreshes into your strategy on a regular cadence – weekly or monthly – even if you aren’t launching a new product,” he added. “If you are tracking your video performance, you’ll be able to see when the efficacy of your videos begin to drop off, which will indicate that a creative refresh will likely be right around the corner.”
Sponsored by QuickFrame by MNTN