If you’re over 17, you may want to buckle your seatbelt for this. If not, I doubt your attention span has held to sentence number two, so deuces.
Google, apparently the authority on all things hip and youthful, has released a funky phresh report detailing what Gen Z thinks is “cool.”
Teens think several Pacific Northwest companies — Nike, Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks — are “cool,” according to the very scientific and legitimate report.
For the olds out there who might think “cool” means “positive affirmation,” allow Google to school you right off the bat.
“Cool is an indication of what people pay attention to, what gets them excited, and can often act as a manifestation of their hope and dreams,” writes Google’s Brand Team for Consumer Apps. “Unlike millennials, this group is ambitious, engaged, and feel like they can change the world. For Generation Z, what’s cool is also a representation of their values, their expectations of themselves, their peers, and the brands they hold in the highest regard.”
Ah millennials, the Gwyneth Paltrow of generations. Am I dating myself with that reference? Let’s refocus.
Google asked 1,100 teens to rate brands based on their awareness of the company and how “cool” they think it is. And the results are…
Cool: YouTube, Netflix, Google, Oreo, Xbox, Nike, Amazon, Apple, Snapchat, Instagram, Chik-Fil-A, Microsoft, Starbucks
Not cool: The Wall Street Journal, Vice, Yahoo, Sprint, TMZ, Virgin America, McDonalds, Quicksilver
Gen Z thinks X-box is the coolest video game, while millennials are more into Playstation. Millennials like cars. Gen Z likes Uber.
By way of explanation, Google offers the following tidbits about some of the top brands:
“Teens go crazy for Oreos! Oreos are cool because of the variety of delicious flavors and the cute/funny marketing.”
“Finding information quickly is important to busy Gen Z. They think Chrome is cool because it’s fast, reliable and easy to use.”
“#netflixandchill is how teens…um ‘connect.’ Netflix is cool because it is well used, well loved, well priced, and well stocked.”
Ok, who told them about Netflix and chill?
The report also includes a helpful one-pager on positive associations Gen Z and millennials have with Google and Google products.
In summary, Google says “Gen Z never knew the world before the internet — before everything you could ever need was one click away. They never knew the world before terrorism or global warming. As a result, Gen Z is the most informed, evolved, and empathetic generation of its kind. They value information, stimulation, and connection, evident by their affinity for YouTube, Google, and Netflix.”
Let’s unpack that little. Ignoring the fact that studies show increased access to technology does not improve global awareness or media literacy, it seems a stretch to claim that proclivity for video streaming is evidence that this generation values connection.
I’m not saying millennials are any better. Pop culture has unequivocally decided we’re the worst. Maybe we are. Maybe Gen Z is. Maybe generational studies are.
Regardless, I hope you’ll enjoy reading through this report as much as I did. Google, has other aspirations for you.
“We hope it serves as glimpse into the minds of the most informed and connected generation yet—Gen Z.” Nope.