August 4, 2023

Instagram Targets Gen Z With Short Film Campaign Shot in Austin

Frankie Pike

This week, Meta-owned Instagram launched a campaign featuring Gen Zers called “Instagram Connections” with the taglines “where the little moments come together” and “some big things start small.”

The campaign includes two short films shot in the actual homes of Austin teens, according to Marketing Dive, and a score by Houston-born Dev Hynes (AKA Blood Orange).

“Send Off” shows teens using Instagram messages and Close Friends Stories to plan their friend a surprise snail-themed going away party. It also shows the discomfort their friend feels when feeling forgotten and seeing the ever anxiety-inducing typing indicator in messages.

As an (elder) Gen Zer myself, to me, these little moments of FOMO and isolation are what make the films feel authentic. Instagram doesn’t pretend like it only brings teens together and makes everyone feel good — we all know about the inherent anxieties that accompany social media usage.

The films work by striking a delicate balance between acknowledging the platform’s downsides while showing the special moments and relationships it can help foster.

Additionally, the campaign gets right what Gen Z likes about Instagram rather than focusing on what it doesn’t.

Meta has made a massive push to promote Reels in its attempt to win Gen Z over from TikTok, but Gen Z’s favorite Instagram features continue to be Stories and the messenger feature.

Surge asked 100 Gen Zers to open TikTok and Reels and rate the first 10 videos on each app. According to Surge, 9.6 times as many users preferred TikTok to Instagram Reels.

According to Business Insider, 70 percent of Gen Zers watch Instagram Stories daily, compared to 59 percent of Millennials, and according to Zoko, “studies show that Gen Z prefers messaging apps like Instagram DMs over email or phone calls.”

Lastly, I can’t think of anything more Gen Z than a snail-themed party.

“This group is focused on niche interests and if brands don’t recognize this now and get on board, they are going to be left behind,” said Gregg L. Witt in his book “The Gen Z Frequency.”

How VCRs Can Inform Video Strategy

Average video completion rates (VCRs) can vary significantly platform-to-platform, and marketers and content producers should take this into account.

It’s important that video content is optimized for the distribution channel, or else there can be a mismatch. The one-size-fits-all approach to video content (i.e. “if I edit this video, I can repurpose it everywhere”) just doesn’t work most of the time.

For example, your hook can come later in a non-skippable TV ad, but it should be in the first 3-5 seconds on Meta and TikTok. This thought should extend when deciding where to place hooks, where to place CTAs, product placement relative to the avg. VCR, and more.

Other news

  • Nearly half (45 percent) of all YouTube viewership now takes place on TVs. This is up from less than 30 percent in 2020.
  • This is what you need to know about X’s (AKA Twitter’s) recommendation algorithm.
  • Check out Fritos’ free mullet campaign in celebration of the USA Mullet Championships.

That’s all for this week’s Marketing Roundup. Check back in next Friday for more news. And subscribe to our newsletter below for additional updates.