sparks & honey, Omnicom’s (NYSE:OMC) cultural intelligence consultancy, has released its latest cultural intelligence report, Gen Z Complexities: You’ve Only Heard Half the Story. In its new report, the consultancy challenges the common assumptions of the Gen Z narrative, examining their related tensions and contradictions, revealing the nuanced behaviors and attitudes driving Gen Z’s future. This launch also marks the official rollout of sparks & honey’s new Youth Culture consulting practice, led by Hannah Hickman, which aims to help clients understand and engage this influential generation.

“The one certainty today is uncertainty. Over two years into a global pandemic, rocketing inflation, climate disasters, and now, the war in Ukraine, Gen Z is coming of age during extremely uncertain times, and they’re handling it all in surprising ways by rethinking foundational elements of day-to-day life,” said Hannah Hickman, VP, Client Strategy and Head of Youth Culture Practice at sparks & honey. “While Gen Z might be the most studied generation yet, it is easy to get a flat picture of them, so we set out to highlight their dichotomies and discrepancies - that’s where the real insights now lie.”

In 2015, sparks & honey was one of the first to define the behaviors and attitudes of Gen Z with its groundbreaking report, Gen Z 2025: The Final Generation. That research went on to shape headlines, books and keynotes, as the consultancy partnered with major brands and C-Suite leaders to understand and engage with Gen Z. This new report builds on those insights, focused on nuances, subcultures and contradictions through the lens of five key complexities, spanning Gen Z attitudes toward politics, money, home and work, relationships and climate aspirations:

  • Gen Z and Politics: Gen Z’s politics are perceived to neatly fit under a liberal umbrella, focused on issues like social justice, climate activism, gun safety and voting rights. But Gen Z are exhausted by politics and frustrated with the status quo, and research suggests that many are going the way of their Gen X parents or preferring not to support either party, driving young Gen Z towards the polarities of democratic socialism — and for some, far-right politics.
  • Gen Z and Money: Student debt, rising inflation, and completely priced out of the housing market. The economic and financial turmoil Gen Z has witnessed has made ambiguity a norm by which they navigate their financial futures. Gen Z are not willing to place all their faith in traditional institutions. Instead, they are switching up their approach to earning money and acquiring wealth, going so far as to reimagine the role finances play in their short-term or long-term goals.
  • Gen Z at Home: The pandemic accelerated the need to create comfort, safety and flexibility, amid the chaos and uncertainty of the world. But “Camera Culture” has created a tension between the private aspects of Gen Z’s home spaces and the public-facing ones – on Zooms, TikTok, and Stories. There is a growing need for these young homebodies to take control of their lives, setting up boundaries with work and socializing.
  • Gen Z and Relationships: When it comes to emotional and physical connections, Gen Z are highly aware of their own needs. Reframing how and when their needs are met, the young generation don’t shy away from putting off their relationship aspirations until they feel solid in their own being. With the freedom to explore, they are trading in “swipe-culture” for a return to slow dating where in-depth conversations and real-world interactions are elevated.
  • Gen Z and Climate: Witnessing the realities of climate change, it’s no wonder the threat of climate inaction is a major cause of concern for Gen Z, and many in this generation are committing their lives to finding a solution, changing their career trajectories and lifestyles in the process. But the effect of their online lives and spending habits tell a different story.

“As Gen Z gains economic, social, and political power, the changes they'll look to make will be structural, but not superficial. It’s our goal to help clients explore how to make culturally relevant business decisions around the outsized impact of this new generation of consumers – both inside and outside of organizations – across brand strategy, marketing, and product innovation, among other things,” said Terry Young, Founder and CEO of sparks & honey.

sparks & honey will unpack select insights from this new report in a special series of Culture Briefings this week - see here for the schedule. For more information on sparks & honey Youth Culture consulting practice and the Gen Z Complexities report, visit: https://www.sparksandhoney.com/reports-list/2022/4/12/gen-z-complexities.

About sparks & honey: sparks & honey is a cultural intelligence consultancy helping organizations understand and take advantage of explosive cultural shifts, as well as cultural movements that develop over time. They leverage Q™, their custom SaaS platform, in combination with a powerful human network to quantify culture, decode future opportunities and ignite transformation for brands and their consumers. Produced in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, sparks & honey’s recent intelligence report, Precision Consumer 2030, was presented from the stage at Davos in 2020. sparks & honey is a part of the Omnicom Precision Marketing Group.

About Omnicom Group Inc.:Omnicom Group (omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 70 countries. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news.

Media Contact:Melanie CaprusoDiGennaro Communicationsmelanie.capruso@digennaro-usa.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/debb9176-205a-4e87-ac06-67347105f85f

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