Nowadays, the so-called Generation Z, i.e. people born (according to most assumptions) after 1995, also known as post-millionaires or the Internet generation – the first to grow up in a digitized society – is becoming important both as employees and consumers. That’s why their behavior and displayed attitudes differ significantly from those of their parents (Generation Y) or grandparents (Generation X). The market experiences this shift as new consumer and employee trends emerge, but to catch up, companies must take them into account if they want to reach representatives of this generation with their offer or message. One such trend is watching soothing videos to de-stress. What is this new pastime and what lies behind such behavior? Read on to find out!
Soothing videos – table of contents:
- What is Generation Z watching? YouTube’s survey results
- Soothing videos – or what?
- Peace of mind and mental health – important for Generation Z
- Needs of Generation Z – summary
What is Generation Z watching? YouTube’s survey results
In August 2022, YouTube’s Culture & Trends team published on its company blog Culture & Trends the results of a study that looked at the viewership of selected categories of videos uploaded to the site among post-Millenials from over 10 different nations from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East). The team discovered that as many as 69% of Generation Z say they often return to creators or content that they find comforting, and 82% watch YouTube to evoke feelings of nostalgia. The most revealing result of the study, however, is that 83% of respondents classified as Generation Z look for so-called “soothing videos” on YouTube. What are these types of videos and why are young people so eager to reach for them?
Soothing videos – or what?
Soothing videos are clips that help relieve stress. The most popular are the so-called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) clips, i.e. those that evoke a spontaneous response of the sensory meridians. What does this medical term mean? It refers to a sensation of pleasant tingling, mainly in the head and neck area, but sometimes in other parts of the body.
It can represent our body’s reaction (brain activity) in response to delivered visual and auditory stimuli (such as whispering, scraping, whizzing, or even the sound made by a hair dryer). In 2021 alone, they viewed these types of YouTube videos more than 65 billion times, which confirms the fact that people (not just Generation Z) are looking for this type of soothing experience.
Also, young audiences appear to favor nature films and those from the so-called cottage core theme, i.e. showing idyllic life in the countryside, which can also have a soothing function.
Peace of mind and mental health – important for Generation Z
What does the fact that a considerable percentage of Generation Z representatives are searching for “soothing” material on YouTube? indicate? Notably, everyday life causes them a lot of stress, and these types of videos are their way to relax and fall asleep, getting rid of the feelings of anxiety that are the result of, for example, a tense political situation, an economic crisis, the consequences of a pandemic or a climate crisis at the moment. We may also point out that stress among the young derives from overstimulation, too many opportunities, or social pressure, among other things.
For whom should these types of consumer trends be important? Undoubtedly, the marketing people in charge of corporate communications whose target audience is precisely those classified as Generation Z. The awareness of the existence of such a trend – and perhaps even more of the reasons behind it – will allow one to understand the needs of this audience and adjust messages or take better marketing actions. All indications are that Generation Z needs a haven that is free from the anxieties that hound them daily.
Needs of Generation Z – summary
Stress is a phenomenon that none of us can avoid in our lives, but everyone will deal with it in their way. Some choose to exercise, others relax with an evening of Netflix, and yet another group – especially Generation Z – reach for soothing videos, looking for soothing sounds and images to quiet the mind. Has discovering this trend given you a better understanding of who your audience is? If you’d like to harness it for your marketing efforts, consider partnering with a YouTube soothing video creator or forgo another flashy commercial in favor of becalming auditory and visual experiences.