Why Gen Z Is A Generation of Creativity

July 17, 2019

Every generation believes they’ve got one up on the generations that came before them and the youths of Gen Z (the generation born roughly between 1995 and 2010) are no different. For this generation, it’s all about creativity, with a new study [download page] by JWT Intelligence and Snap Inc. finding that half (51%) of Gen Z believe their generation is more creative than previous generations.

JWT surveyed more than 1,200 Gen Zers living in the US and UK who use their smartphones at least once a day and, as perhaps the first generation raised completely within the digital age, it’s not too surprising to learn that Gen Zers express the majority of their creativity online using online tools. Indeed, more than half (55%) report that they find social apps and the internet a more creative space than what they experience offline.

When asked which digital creative tools Gen Zers prefer the most, more than one-third (35%) of respondents ranked Snapchat creative tools as the top digital tool for creating art or editing photos. In fact, Snapchat beat out other apps including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok as the top app for creating videos and images, sharing user-created images or videos, communicating with friends, sharing moments from their day and what they are doing with their day.

In a time when other research has shown that Snapchat’s popularity among teens seems to be waning as Instagram’s grows, only about 3 in 10 (29%) Gen Zers favored Instagram’s creative features for their creative endeavors. Gen Zers also find Photoshop (23%), iMovie (12%) and VSCO (8%) useful digital tools when creating their art or editing photos on their smartphone.

Gen Z’s Value Creativity On and Off-Line

Despite the fact that many Gen Zers are finding social apps and the internet more creative spaces than what they have found offline, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t finding creative outlets away from their mobile or computer screens. Quite the contrary, more than three-fourths (77%) of respondents say they spend their free time offline participating in creative activities such as drawing, illustrating and journaling. This is compared to just about half (48%) of the respondents reported spending their free time online being creative by editing photos, creating memes or digital art.

Some 49% of those who create on or offline find ideas and inspirations for their photos, blog posts, videos and memes from social apps. Another 44% find inspiration from family and friends and 40% look to personal experiences to inspire them.

An Untapped Source For Marketers

In an age where a Gen Z like Kylie Jenner can become a billionaire by being a social media influencer, it may come as a relief that only about one-fifth of respondents say they are using social media to develop their brand. Alternatively, 46% say they are being creative because it’s a passion and they don’t consider themselves a brand.

That being said, what does all this creative energy mean to marketers? While most Gen Zers do not consider themselves a brand, they are engaging with brands on social media. Brands have the opportunity to encourage even more engagement by tapping into Gen Z’s creativity through user-generated content (UGC).

In the past, UGC has been proven to improve customer confidence in a purchase, improve customer feedback and it is considered more interesting than brand created content. A more recent study found that encouraging UGC was a good way to create a connection between consumers and a brand.

To read more about Gen Z, you can download the report here.

About the Data: The report was generated from results from a survey of 1,208 US and UK Gen Zers who use their smartphone at least once a day.

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