Back to the future?

katniss_everdeenI talked to a class of final year PR students this week. As I was setting up I heard one girl wail “Trump, Putin, we’re all going to die!”

She was 21. A first year Gen Z-der so to speak.

As you might have read, my firm has partnered with the wonderful Dr Noreena Hertz to bring greater insights into this circa 16-21 year old demographic – that Noreena has dubbed Gen K (for Katniss)  – to clients. Many in marketing seem to think they are just younger and lower paid Millennials. Big mistake.

While many Millennials had their early life experience forged in pre-financial crash times, Gen Z/K have grown up with global financial, political and security concerns, and have come of age in the “post truth politics” world of Trump, Corbyn, Farage, Le Pen, with ISIS, Russian foreign policy and AI threatening their todays and tomorrows.

I told her that, bizarrely, she had more in common with people like me who grew up in the seventies that those just a decade older. We joined young CND, marched with Rock Against Racism, worried about the A bomb and the IRA bomb, listened to dole queue handmade rock. In that, Gen Z/K might look at their Millennial colleagues and older kin much as we former punks once looked at the hippies.