Gen Z metaverse users are more trusting and willing to spend

A new study from Razorfish and VICE Media Group points to what Gen Z users want from branded metaverse experiences.

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Younger Gen Z gamers have a particular emotional connection with the online world, and are looking for metaverse experiences in their virtual worlds, according to a study by agency Razorfish and VICE Media Group.

One third of Gen Z gamers want virtual stores to shop at in the 3D worlds they explore. Gen Z users are also more open to companies making use of their data than older metaverse denizens. 63% say they are concerned about data privacy when gaming, which is a bit lower than Millennials (66%) and Gen X (70%).

This group also finds stability and emotional comfort online, with 33% saying they play games to build a more idealized version of the world.

Meaningful relationships. Gen Z gamers’ perception on time spent in virtual environments is largely positive. According to the study:

  • Those in the metaverse are six times more likely to describe themselves as introverts vs. extroverts
  • 52% feel more like “themselves” in the metaverse than in real life
  • 65% believe that their online relationships are just as meaningful as offline ones
  • 1 in 2 believes gaming improves their mental health

These are also positive associations for brands if they participate. It’s a significant reason why a quarter of marketers in MarTech’s flash survey said they’re considering a metaverse activation this year.

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The study, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. gamers, also projects that Gen Z gamers will spend a fifth of their “fun budget” on metaverse goodies, or $50 annually in-game on skins and other virtual bling.

There is already proof that marketers are figuring out how to connect with this group. In March, American Eagle ran an integrated campaign with celebrities like young tennis star Coco Gauff and actress Madelyn Cline. The result? Five million virtual try-ons of their spring collection on Roblox.

Why we care. It’s good news for brands that there is an entry point with gamers who don’t watch a lot of TV or use other traditional media. This year, we’ve seen brands set up virtual stores and leverage exclusive NFTs to engage gamers of all ages. 

Dig deeper: How Acura uses the metaverse and NFTs to sell cars

About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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