No longer swayed by influencers, Irish youth have swapped social media stars for their peers

That’s according to a new report by creative agency The Tenth Man.

By Laura Roddy Reporter, Fora

IRELAND’S GENERATION Z is swapping Kim Kardashian and other online influencers for role models in their local community – which means Irish brands need to change their strategy.

A report by branding and content agency Tenth Man, released today, showed that only a handful of 16 to 24 year-olds in Ireland – some 17% of those surveyed – believe a post by a celebrity or influencer endorsing a product or brand on social media is ‘genuine’.

Established in 2018 by former Paddy Power advertising director Ken Robertson, Tenth Man counts Eir, Primark and National Lottery among its clients. The report – entitled The Age of Everything – examined the behaviour and attitudes of Ireland’s youth in a survey of 1,000 people.

The research, conducted by Opinium Research, also included face-to-face interviews with young people, a media review and 30 interviews with youth culture experts.

Anna Burzlaff, head of insights at The Tenth Man, told Fora the report showed there is a “real frustration with the mainstream media and (Generation Z) doesn’t feel like big media companies are speaking to them, they feel like they’re being stereotyped”.

Burzlaff said young people are turning to content that is created for them by their peers and said this is a trend that businesses will need to reflect in their marketing campaigns.

She cited Nike’s ‘Nothing Beats a Londoner’ campaign as an example of what companies can do to target members of Generation Z.

In that campaign, the sports clothing brand picked and profiled young athletes living in the different areas of the UK capital- who then helped launch the campaign on their own social media channels. 

“I think in Ireland, businesses that can tap into that are businesses that can create a lot of relevance,” Burzlaff said.  

Alcohol consumption 

The report also highlighted that Generation Z is taking a different approach to alcohol consumption, with 52% of the 1,000 respondents to The Tenth Man’s survey saying they rarely or never drink.

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Some companies have already began to respond to an overall trend that sees a consumer interest in non-alcoholic drinks with Fora reporting Diageo has increased its stake in non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip, last week.

“Coca-Cola has just brought out a new line called Bar None which is alcohol-free drinks that have a Spiced Ginger Mule flavour,” Burzlaff said.

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