Back to Blog
Video MarketingJUL 2022|Chris Marcus

How to Grab Gen Z's Attention Span in 8 Seconds or Less

Gen Z has been exposed to digital advertising their entire lives. Scanning, sifting, and sorting information quickly is second nature.

If brands don't grab Gen Z's attention within an 8-second window, you’ve lost - they’ve already scrolled on. 

In this article, we will help you learn how to get your point across quickly and effectively to Gen Z.

Gen Z vs. Millennial Attention Span

Attention is getting shorter and shorter. 

The early 2000s showed that millennials' attention span tapped out at 12 seconds. And for Generation Z, the number is even lower at 8 seconds.

Diminishing attention isn't exactly news; the biggest difference between Gen Z and Millennial attention spans is what channels each demographic gravitates towards and how they digest information.

Millennials are scattered - distracted - viewers because they flip between 3 screens at a time

Gen Z juggles up to 5 screens at a time and has a shorter attention span - but ironically, they have a higher ad recall rate.

Advertisers need only seconds to break through with Gen Z.

In a recent study, 56% of Gen Z participants could remember an ad they watched for less than 2 seconds. Their recall rate was two times better than participants over 40!

There could be a lot of reasons why we see diminishing attention spans and increasing ad recall rate, but the implications for advertisers are clear.
Communicate brand and product messages as clearly as possible in the shortest amount of time. 

How to Get (and keep) Gen Z Attention

When it comes to Gen Z, video is the way to go.

Short-form videos are perfect for the social media platforms Gen Z engages with and video has a high chance of being watched until the end - when done correctly.

Follow these seven tips and you'll be on your way to creating great content that will grab attention and keep it.

1. Aim for Under 2 minutes

Keep in mind that Gen Z switches between five devices. The objective is to communicate the message in the least period of time while maintaining brand messaging.

2. Tell a story

The best way to connect with Gen Z is by telling a story. Stories are how we connect with one another, so use this to your advantage.

Or better yet - help them tell their story. Doing so will ensure that it will appeal to your target audience.

Gen Z can spot a fake from a mile away. Be relatable, be genuine and most importantly be yourself.

3. Clean Visuals

This one goes without saying, but make sure your visuals are on point.

No one wants to watch a shaky, dark, and blurry video.

Hire a video production agency so your visuals are clear and of high quality.

4. Add Subtitles

Gen Z is scrolling through social media on their phones; with the sound off.

Add subtitles. Not only will this increase the likelihood that someone will watch until the end, but it also improves the understanding of your video; two things that are crucial for ad recall.

5. Vertical Video

Gen Z is more likely to watch videos on their phones and when it comes to social media, vertical video has a 5% higher chance of being watched to completion than horizontal.

Love it, or hate it - vertical video is here to stay.

6. Use Hashtags

Hashtags connect your brand with new audiences, thus, increasing your reach.

They also help you tap into trends, which is especially important for short-form videos because they can quickly become outdated.

But be careful not to overdo it. Use 1-2 hashtags per post so as not to look spammy.

And make sure they are relevant to your video and brand.

7. Include a CTA

A call-to-action (CTA) is essential for short-form videos because you need to give the viewer a next step.

It can be as simple as asking them to follow your social media accounts. The important thing is that you include a CTA so the viewer knows what to do next and how they can stay up-to-date with your content.

Learn more Instagram tips and tricks for marketers.

Gen Z is a generation that has been characterized as having a notoriously short attention span. The average attention span of an individual in this demographic is said to be around 2.7 minutes, which is significantly shorter than the attention spans of previous generations.

It's worth noting, however, that attention spans can vary greatly by age. For instance, young children typically have very short attention spans, but this tends to improve as they grow older and develop the ability to focus on a task for longer periods of time.

When it comes to interests, Gen Z is known for being diverse and often gravitating towards niche hobbies and subcultures. This includes activities like bull riding, which gained mainstream attention in the 1990s thanks to popular figures like Cody Lambert, Lane Frost, and Tuff Hedeman. These rodeo cowboys, along with others like Cynthia Geary and Stephen Baldwin, helped to bring the sport to a wider audience through their performances and media appearances.

Despite the stereotype of short attention spans, it's important to note that people are capable of paying attention to things that truly interest them. For example, someone who is a fan of Luke Perry might be able to recall specific details about the actor's life and career, despite the fact that he passed away several years ago.

Overall, while it's true that human attention span may be decreasing in certain contexts, it's also true that people can be highly focused and engaged when they are passionate about a subject. So, while some may forget their own birthday, they may also be able to remember intricate details about a subject that they are truly invested in.

Sports Fans

They are not just avid sports fans but also highly digitally savvy, making them an ideal audience for innovative and interactive marketing strategies. Their love for sports, combined with their penchant for social media and online platforms, presents a unique opportunity for brands to engage in real-time, personalized marketing. Additionally, Gen Z values authenticity and social responsibility, and they respond positively to marketing that aligns with these values. Sports marketing that leverages the power of digital platforms, and communicates in a transparent and socially conscious manner, can effectively engage and influence this generation, leading to stronger brand loyalty and consumer response.

Learn more about Athlete Branding

Daily Fantasy Sports

To effectively capture the attention of Generation Z within the brief span of eight seconds or less, it is crucial to understand their affinity for interactive and fast-paced content. Gen Z, having grown up in a digital world, gravitates towards experiences that are both engaging and succinct. Daily fantasy sports perfectly cater to this demographic, providing quick, exciting, and dynamic interactions that align with their short attention spans. The use of daily fantasy sports as a platform for marketing is particularly effective for this generation. Marketers can leverage these platforms by integrating advertisements and promotional content in a way that feels natural and unobtrusive. This can be achieved through in-game branding, real-time updates, and personalized content that resonates with the preferences and behaviors of Gen Z users. By blending marketing seamlessly into the fabric of daily fantasy sports, companies can engage this younger audience in a manner that is both relevant and captivating, making the most of those crucial first eight seconds.

Learn more about Daily Fantasy Sports Marketing

Final Thoughts

With Gen Z consumers, 8 seconds is all you get to grab their attention. 

If you want to hit Generation Z with your brand's intended message, you need an approach that's fast and easy to digest.

This is no small feat, which is why most brands fail at the first hurdle: creation. 

Getting it right requires experience in the process of developing and producing short-form videos. 

The best way to establish this process is by working with a production partner who has these three characteristics: technically adept, operationally savvy, and culturally on-point.

Oh, hey - that’s us. Hit that pink chatbot in the bottom right-hand corner and a Colormatics team member will be happy to help.