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Going for a song: are Gen Z shoppers habits shaped by music videos and should retailers take note?

Music be the food of ecommerce? (Image: Vevo/Tame Impala)

As many as 40% of Gen Z shoppers are inspired to buy clothing after watching music videos – and that such content has the power to change their behaviour in a other ways.


In the lead up to retail and advertising’s busiest months, Vevo, a leading music video network, has released new research exploring consumers’ relationships with music videos and points to how this can influence buyer behaviour. 

The survey of 2,000 UK consumers, fielded by OnePoll, comes at a time when brands are looking to capture the hearts and minds of consumers in the run up to Christmas. While the findings can inform brands’ advertising campaigns all year round, the results are particularly insightful for this holiday season, the most critical sales period of the year. 

Most notably, Vevo’s research shows that music videos had the greatest impact on Gen Zs, a key demographic with growing purchasing power. According to the study, 42% have been inspired by an artist or music video to buy a particular item of clothing, while 57% feel that music videos have impacted culture through changing fashion trends. 53% admitted to tuning into a video if the celebrity is popular, further highlighting how artist influence can make or break sales.

Overall, 61% of total respondents – across all age groups –  said that music videos had caused them to change their behaviour in some way, from recreating a particular fashion look or hairstyle to visiting a specific part of the world. 

Their top reasons for watching music videos included to cheer themselves up (35%) and make them feel nostalgic (31%). These statistics clearly illustrate that music videos can act as a source of escapism and create strong emotional connections which in turn can fuel certain buying behaviours. 

Similarly, 71% felt that music videos had impacted culture – from changing views on fashion trends, to more serious topics, such as mental health awareness and politics. All in all demonstrating the influence music videos can have in capturing emotion and changing hearts and minds.

James Cornish, VP International Sales, Vevo, says: “This research backs up what Vevo has known for a long time: the emotional connection generated by music videos, coupled with their cultural relevance, can significantly impact buyer behaviour and help drive sales. Our premium music video catalogue is particularly sought out by Gen Zs and we’re currently reaching 87% of this demographic each month, which is greater than the likes of Love Island and other popular youth culture shows across linear. With rotational, always on ad-products such as artist takeovers, sponsorship of music video premieres or playlists, Vevo offers advertisers and brands a plethora of ways to capitalise on a growing engaged and traditionally hard to reach audience.”

Winning hearts and mind this Christmas

These findings can inform brands’ advertising campaigns all year round, but the results are particularly insightful across the holidays. In 2021, we are experiencing the Christmas build-up starting earlier than ever before, resulting in brands and advertisers having to get out on the front foot to capture attention and drive more sales. 

Cornish adds: “In the UK, we’re all incredibly aware of the need for Christmas shopping to start early to avoid disappointment. External factors and a longing for a more joyful post-lockdown Christmas has meant that our brand and advertising partners have had to start early with their Christmas campaigns. This has led to increased pressures on advertising and sales teams and as a result, we’ve seen the more premium parts of our inventory selling out earlier than ever before.”

He continues: “At Vevo, we offer many ways to support this process – whether it’s sponsoring a Christmas playlist, to intelligently matching campaigns with our Moods offering to generate a more engaged and emotional reaction. The responses music videos can generate works well alongside holiday campaigns, and the impact our content has on buyer behaviour can help brands to really stand out this Christmas.”

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