Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Gen Z Ka Falooda

In their pursuit of Gen Z, brands often find themselves navigating a minefield of clichés and questionable content, writes Ad Mad Dude.
Published 10 May, 2024 11:48am

Welcome to the thrilling saga of marketing to Gen Z in Pakistan, a journey fraught with more twists and turns than a Pakistani drama series. Here, in this bewildering landscape, marketers embark on a quest akin to finding a Wi-Fi signal in the hills of Nathia Gali – full of hope, yet bewildered by the complexity.

Ah, the digital realm – Gen Z’s kingdom, where they reign supreme, swiping through content with the discernment of a seasoned critic choosing what to binge-watch next. The Old Guard Marketers, in their noble quest to capture attention, often come armed with digital gimmicks galore, only to find Gen Z as elusive as your house in the Lahore winter fog. They navigate the social media labyrinth with the grace of a politician dodging difficult questions, hoping to emerge victorious with ‘viral’ content that captures the hearts and double taps of the young. Yet, the reality is often more akin to throwing a lavish party online and having Gen Z RSVP with a ‘maybe’.

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Gen Z does not just want hollow words; they want the whole storm that comes with it – complex, powerful and real. The Old Guard Marketers, in their infinite wisdom, often attempt to paint this picture with a palette that includes every shade under the sun, hoping it sticks. But Gen Z, with their X-ray vision for authenticity, can spot a token diversity campaign faster than you can say ‘inclusive marketing’. They crave stories that mirror the multifaceted nature of their reality, not just a beautifully edited montage that checks all the boxes.

The plot thickens as we delve into the economic disparities within Pakistani Gen Z, a narrative so rich and complex it could rival the plot of any primetime soap opera. On one side, we have the digital aristocrats adorned with the latest gadgets, living the ‘Insta-worthy’ life. On the other, the realists for whom luxury means having a stable internet connection. And yet, some marketers, in their quest for universality, continue to peddle dreams that gloss over these disparities, crafting campaigns that cater to the elite while the rest of Gen Z watches from the sidelines, munching on popcorn and wondering when they will see their own stories unfold.

In the relentless pursuit of authenticity, brands often find themselves navigating a minefield of clichés, armed with nothing but corporate jargon and a handful of stock images that scream ‘relatable content’. It’s a delicate dance, trying to appear genuine while subtly slipping in a sales pitch; like trying to add extra sugar to chai in front of a diabetic auntie. Gen Z demands sincerity, a narrative that speaks to their experiences and aspirations without sounding like a robot programmed to say: ‘We understand you’.

Using innovation to engage Gen Z is like trying to catch a greased lightning bolt – exciting, daring, and slightly insane. We throw AR, VR and every other R into the mix, hoping it dazzles them into engagement. It’s a spectacle with brands doing somersaults trying to keep up with the latest trends, often tripping over their own digital feet. Yet, in this chaotic ballet, there is a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, something will click. Because if there is one thing Gen Z loves, it’s a good show – as long as it feels real. So let’s take a moment to applaud the audacity, the creativity, and the sheer stubbornness of marketers trying to make sense of this riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. It’s a wild ride, full of unexpected twists and turns, but it is also a journey of discovery. In trying to decode Gen Z, we might just learn a thing or two about authenticity, resilience and the beauty of embracing chaos.

So here’s to Gen Z, the generation that keeps marketers on their toes, constantly challenging us to look beyond the surface and engage with the world in more meaningful, authentic ways. May we continue to learn, adapt, and occasionally enjoy the thrill of the chase. After all, what’s life without a little adventure – and what’s marketing to Gen Z without a healthy dose of their reality?

Ad Mad Dude runs the eponymous Facebook page.