Gen Z isn’t the future of the restaurant industry; it’s the present. While Baby Boomers still have the largest buying power and millennials have quickly outpaced their older counterparts as the largest group of consumers, Bloomberg reports that as of 2021, Gen Z’s spending power has risen to $360 million in expendable income, which is more than double what experts estimated in 2018.
With so much buying power, reaching adult Gen Z consumers is a priority for many restaurant brands, yet marketers cannot rely on the same tactics that worked for previous generations.
“Gen Z is the first generation that grew up in a digital-first world, accustomed to instant access and on-demand content,” says Colleen Lille, manager of restaurant advertising at Amazon Ads. “Gen Z consumers are now young adults making decisions about how to invest their time and resources, which presents an opportunity to build brand loyalty to establish a lifelong fan.”
To reach this new generation of consumers, restaurants may want to consider advertising using the media this demographic already consumes: video. Though adult Gen Z’s love of video across all channels has been well documented by sources such as Statista’s 2022 report, which breaks down access by generation, not all video channels are equally effective for restaurant advertising. TV-first ad strategies, for example, are popular with restaurant brands, since video can help present food in a more appealing manner than static images, but traditional TV messages aren’t necessarily reaching Gen Z patrons.
“According to 2021 data from eMarketer, adult Gen Z audiences watch more streaming video content than any other generation,” Lille says. “Brands can meet this audience where they are with a holistic video strategy across CTV (connected TV) and OLV (online video), inclusive of short and long-form video.”
This means rather than reaching adult Gen Z through traditional linear TV spots, restaurants could see success reaching this generation of consumers through digital streaming services. “At Amazon Ads, we’ve been hard at work building a streaming TV ad solution to help brands reach this growing viewer base in new and exciting ways,” adds Lille.
While many marketers are familiar with Amazon Ads retail advertising opportunities, it also offers a variety of unique solutions that can help brands navigate today’s challenges and help drive business results.
“Investments by Amazon in innovative forms of entertainment like Thursday Night Football and Twitch aren’t just a testament to the quality and popularity of those services and content. It’s an investment in the future of media and entertainment,” Lille says. “It shows our conviction that experiences made possible through streaming TV are here to stay—as a way for customers to find joy and entertainment, as well as meaningful connection.”
A recent study by Kantar and Amazon Ads found that nearly eight in ten Amazon visitors who stream TV order from a restaurant at least weekly, while 41 percent visit or order from a restaurant four times per week.
“Amazon Ads can help brands of all sizes, even if the product offering isn’t being sold in the Amazon store,” Lille says. “We have the ability to engage customers throughout the day, while they are doing things they love.”
Advertising offerings include Streaming TV, Twitch, online video accessed through Amazon DSP, and high-visibility ad placements, including the Fire TV home screen, of which Amazon internal data shows more than 150 million have been sold globally as of April 2022. Amazon Ads also works with brands on interactive advertising, such as QR code overlays, which can seamlessly send viewers to mobile app download pages, digital ordering solutions, and reward program sign-ups.
Best of all, Amazon Ads has a team of experts ready to help restaurant brands identify the best mix of ad solutions to help companies achieve their advertising goals.
“There are so many unique and interactive ways that restaurants can work with us today,” Lille says, “but what’s most exciting are the range of unique opportunities that Amazon Ads can develop, plan, and execute on your behalf. We’re just getting started.”
By Peggy Carouthers