What’s Up with Gen Z’s Quirky Social Humor?

Posted by: Angie Read

Fun is one thing, funny another. Spend five minutes with a Gen Zer and ask them to show you some funny videos, memes or GIFs. While you’ll get a chuckle from the more predictable cat videos, you’ll most likely see something so quirky and off-the-wall that you’ll end up raising an eyebrow or scratching your head.


Where did Gen Z’s unique social humor come from?

Scott Fogel, Senior Strategist at Firstborn (a design and tech company), told Fast Company that a lot of Pivotals’ humor stems from a “weird, unhinged sensibility.” They love self-deprecating Snapchats and memes, or videos that make them appear offbeat or quirky. And that’s what is on trend.

And Fogel points out this is not a Millennial behavior.


“It’s rare for a Millennial to post anything on social that makes them look strange,” he said. “But for a generation that’s spent their entire lives online – mostly in the unfiltered lens of Skype, webcams, lives streams and vlogs – an intimate exhibitionism has emerged in a way that older generations simply don’t have.”

Brands that infuse humor and self-deprecation into their personalities will appeal more to Pivotals – but they should still take caution. Trying to pander to this generation by using too many popular acronyms or teen slang will instantly get you pegged as trying too hard. Amanda Gutterman, VP of Growth at digital media company Dose, shared a great analogy with Contently:

“You don’t want to come onto a platform like Snapchat and be perceived as someone’s weird uncle trying to be cool.”


Want more on Gen Z? Stay tuned for Jeff Fromm & Angie Read’s new book, Marketing to Gen Z, coming Spring 2018. Pre-order here!

About Angie Read

Angie Read is Vice President of Growth Insight at Barkley. She has 20+ years of consumer marketing and public relations experience for brands including Sprint, Hallmark, Huhtamaki, Dearfoams, Foot Petals and baggalini, as well as...See Angie's full bio.