How Is the 1-second Attention Span of Gen Zs Important for Marketers?

The attention span of Gen Zs is less than any other age group. Gen Z individuals lose their attention in about 1.3 seconds. The global study of Yahoo! and OMD Worldwide stated this after proper research and analysis. Despite knowing that Gen Z has such a short attention span, some marketers haven’t gotten over their 30-second-long TV ads. However, it is high time to grab this opportunity creatively to get the attention of Gen Z.

Grab the Attention of Gen Z In an Instant

Let’s look at how marketers can make the most of the 1.3-second attention span of Gen Z. So, here are two key points, according to analyst Paul Verna who spoke at “Attention! Trends, and Predictions for 2023” last week:

  • The skippable ads Gen Zs get to see on YouTube and TikTok while watching videos and scrolling their feeds give them hope for the future of ads. It helps reinforce that ads are optional and they can choose what they want to see. These ads fulfill the expectations of young people to some extent.
  • Gen Zs are quick at making decisions about what intrigues them, unlike the past generation who used to sit and watch the entire ad on TV to realize later that they don’t have an interest in buying what they just watched.


The outcome of the above two highlighted points is that Gen Z prefers those platforms which support shorter ad formats.

The other critical facts are stated below:

  • Half of the users on Snapchat belong to Gen Z.
  • Gen Z is highly likely to use TikTok more frequently than any other age group.
  • A significantly smaller number of young people are interested in watching linear TV, and Connected TV as the duration of ads on these platforms is around 15 seconds, which is quite longer than the attention span of Gen Z.

How Different Social Platforms Shape Gen Z Ad Expectations

The number of Gen Z users on different social media platforms also depends on the duration of ads running there. Social media platforms which have a smaller period of ads, that is, below 15 seconds and as low as 3 seconds, are the ones popular with Gen Zs:

  • Snapchat has a higher number of Gen Z users, that is, 50%, as compared to other platforms where the duration of ads is as low as 3 seconds. The maximum duration of advertisements on this platform is 15 seconds.
  • TikTok got the second spot as it has 44% of Gen Z users, while 56% are non-Gen Z users. The ad format at TikTok supports 9–15 seconds.
  • Instagram has 31% Gen Z users and supports an ad format of around 15 seconds.
  • YouTube has 25% of Gen Z users, while its ads are 6–15 seconds longer.
  • CTV and linear TV have fewer Gen Z users, that is, 22% and 18%, respectively. The duration of ads is 15–30 seconds on CTV and 30 seconds on Linear TV.
  • Facebook has the least number of Gen Z users as compared to other social media platforms,that is, only 16%. Most users on Facebook are Non-Gen Z users, that is, 84%. The duration of ads on this platform is mostly 15 seconds.

What Works for Marketers?

The above stats highlight a few vital points which can benefit marketers:

  • Consumers don’t pay attention to ads that are 15 to 30 seconds longer. So, they should better move away from such ad formats.
  • Marketers must adapt to new changes quickly and understand the interests of Gen Z users to plan and act according to the current situation.
  • It is high time that marketers realize that they shouldn’t use rigid processes. Also, they must not depend on exclusive and high-quality production expectations. Instead of moving slowly and making expensive ads, they must start making quick, relatable, and trendy ads to grab the attention of Gen Z.

How Can Marketers Connect With Gen Z to Get Attention?

If you want to make the best use of the 1-second attention span of Gen Z, you should know the best ways to connect with them.

Use the Language Gen Z Understands

The best way to connect with Gen Z is to use the language they understand. For instance, if young users are adept at using memes, gifs, or emojis, use these elements to catch their attention.

 There are a lot of examples of such social media ads which went viral on TikTok, Instagram, or other platforms just by using a popular meme format or trend with relevant text. Such ads get millions more views than other high-quality and professionally edited videos that cost a significant amount to marketers.

Even after witnessing great examples of such ads, many marketers stick to their traditional way of advertising products and services. The takeaway for the marketers is that “Immediacy and originality outshine high-quality production and editing.”

Be Active and Adapt to Changes Quickly

The need of the hour is to be active and rapid enough to participate in the competition. Marketers will stay relevant if they are willing to take risks or adapt to new changes. On the other hand, they will fail regardless of the high-quality ads if they don’t understand the current marketing needs.

Final Words

Gen Z is different from the old generation. They are more aware of their needs and interests and have higher expectations from the digital world and technology. A little effort from the marketers’ end can be quite helpful in getting the attention of Gen Z.

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