If you listen closely enough, you can almost hear every member of the BTS Army screaming for a Purple Mc Oreo Flurry edition for Taehyung, typing with a full-blown frenzy on Twitter, Instagram and every other social media handle that Gen-Z finds solace in. Well, it is not the first time that a brand has gone for a collaboration with a celebrity or a celebrated band. McD has already bagged the opportunity in South India as they roped in Rashmika Mandanna, the actor who wooed everyone in the song of Inkem Inkem Kavale beside Vijay Deverakonda (the OG Arjun Reddy, people, toxic but definitely grabs our eye).
But, a collaboration with BTS is definitely massive. Why, you ask? Um, are you a boomer? Well, even if you are, chances are that you must have at least seen random comments under YouTube videos saying 'Army', purple love emojis and other K-Pop references, which obviously you would not understand until you get out of the little rock under which you have been living in. With every music event across the globe, the fandom that BTS has created becomes ever more visible, with them being the first K-Pop band to be nominated for the Grammy's with their song, Dynamite. One look at any of their songs shows the amount of dedication they put into their music, with perfectly synced choreography and an aesthetic that can easily turn you into their fan. Now, before you head to YouTube to watch a BTS song(I recommend Blood, Sweat and Tears), it would be wise to see what is up with Gen-Z and how do brands create connections with this dynamic age group.
PLEASE START CARING ABOUT OTHERS - Yes. This is the one golden rule for Gen-Z. If you want your brand to be noticed, start with empathy. But don't do it just because you are forced to do it. Do it with full vigour and honesty and this is how Gen-Z will give you their attention. Wait. You haven't yet seen the new Adidas campaign? As Lily Singh puts it, this might be the only time you'd appreciate fungi in your life with Adidas's new Stan Smith Mylo shoes that are made of mushroom-based material. 10/10 for sustainable fashion. Aside from sustainability, Gen-Z also cares about brands that promote veganism, zero animal cruelty and zero-waste.
Is it just about the environment then? No!
Gen-Z is also all for brands that stand for inclusiveness and breaking stereotypes. Remember the whole fuss about Fair and Lovely jumping to Glow and Lovely? Gen-Z creates conversations around social and political issues ranging from movements like Black Lives Matter to support of Indian farmers. They are brutally honest. If they find something really wrong about your brand, well, I guess, good luck. Just change for the better. That's all.
What is your brand's personality?
Gen-Z wants conversations, not monotonous marketing where a brand seems like a broadcast radio. One of the best examples for this would be the Netflix's team online. A quick glance through Netflix's YouTube channel would make you realise how they have a dedicated team around their social media platforms that reply to interesting comments and create conversations. Netflix, thus, creates a personality of their own online.
This is probably the most difficult part. You have started conversations. Things are going well. Bam! Something happens. Gen-Z is also about transparency, which becomes even more clear during the time of controversies. The Zomato delivery incident was definitely one which created a controversy around it. However, Zomato handled this with a maturity that is almost enviable.
Entertainment, Entertainment and Entertainment
Instagram reels and TikTok are popular for Gen-Z people as they find instant gratification here, aimlessly scrolling through. With an attention span of hardly eight seconds of Gen-Z, a brand needs to create engaging content within a short time span. This is where things get difficult. Most brands opt for influencer marketing at this stage, by taking in the people who entertain the best to market their products, which often works really well.
Created Content. What next?
Adapt. The content that you put out for a Gen-Z audience must be adaptable to the changing environment.
- Platform - Gen-Z users could be on the phone or on a laptop. Ensure that the content is adaptable and impressive in whichever platform it is viewed in.
- Trends - Currently, in fashion, there is a resurgence of the 2000's aesthetics. Understand the trends in every field and adapt accordingly. Skinny jeans are out. Wide legged jeans are in. Comfort above everything else.
- Roast yourself - Do not wait for others to criticise your content and make fun of it. One way to go about this is self-criticism. A show on the YouTube channel of Netflix India, 'Behensplaining' reviews movies that are on their platform and criticise it by particularly focusing on the gender issues(am I watching too much of Netflix?).
So basically, how do we sum up Gen-Z marketing?
Minimal and Meaningful. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Okay, now you can go google on BTS. Go on.