Brands

Gen Zers Like ‘MrBeast’ More Than Tom Hanks — and More Eye-Opening Survey Tidbits From Young Consumers

Fun data points from Morning Consult’s survey of the influential generation that just might surprise you

About 3 in 5 Gen Zers (62%) said they’ve never heard of New York Yankees star Aaron Judge, according to Morning Consult data. (Unsplash, Getty Images / Morning Consult artwork by Anna Davis)

Gen Zers are no longer a mere fascination: They now wield serious purchasing power and cultural capital as they put their imprints on the global economy. Morning Consult surveyed Americans between the ages of 13 and 25 about their media tastes and habits, relationships with brands and interest in sports in order to better understand where, exactly, the youngest adult generation is now taking us.

Read Our Gen Z Coverage: Gen Z and Sports | Favorite Pro Leagues | Favorite Athletes | Sports Influencer Q&A | Favorite Celebrities | Social Media Usage | Preferred Online Content | Opinion on Advertising | Movie Marketing Trends | Favorite Film Franchises | Favorite Genres | Preferred Entertainment Length | Favorite Video Games

What exactly makes Gen Z tick?

Morning Consult set out to find the answers via a comprehensive survey of U.S. Gen Zers between the ages of 13 and 25, the influential cohort whose interests and habits seem top of mind for companies across all industries. This week, we’re releasing our findings on a wide range of topics within the sectors of brands, sports and entertainment. 

Given the scope of the survey, not every data point made it into the individual stories. Here, we present a collection of Gen Z data tidbits that fell to the cutting-room floor — but were too interesting not to share. At the very least, it’s the kind of water-cooler fodder that could make you a hit at this season’s holiday parties.

Brands

  • Just 1% of Gen Zers said they don’t use any of the 10 social media platforms tested in the survey, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
  • Facebook was the only tested social media platform in which the general public reported a higher level of usage than Gen Zers. Nearly 4 in 5 U.S. adults (78%) said they use the app, compared with 49% of Gen Zers. 
  • Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae, two of the most-followed creators on TikTok, had negative net favorability ratings among Gen Zers of minus 8 and minus 10, respectively. (Net favorability rating is the share of respondents with a favorable opinion minus the share with an unfavorable opinion.)
  • Gen Zers were more likely to report having boycotted a brand for partnering with a celebrity who did something they didn’t agree with (23%) than were all U.S. adults (17%).
  • Male and female Gen Zers said they enjoy “storytime” videos on social media (where a creator details a story from an event or situation) about equally. However, other tested online video content formats saw significant differences in enjoyment levels between the genders. Male Gen Zers said they like engaging with news, nostalgia and fun-fact videos much more than female Gen Zers did, while female Gen Z said they enjoy engaging with videos that document shopping habits, routines and lifestyles more than male Gen Zers.

Sports

  • About 3 in 5 Gen Zers (62%) said they’ve never heard of New York Yankees star Aaron Judge, who recently signed a reported 9-year deal worth $360 million after breaking the American League’s single-season home run record in 2022. Similar shares said they haven’t heard of tennis legend Roger Federer (63%), Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl-winning quarterback Matthew Stafford (61%) and two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (59%).
  • One in 5 Gen Zers said they have an unfavorable opinion of both Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and PGA star Tiger Woods, making them the least-liked athletes of the 28 sports figures included in the survey.
  • When asked about their sports news consumption, about 2 in 5 Gen Zers (39%) said they “don’t look for sports news anywhere.”

Entertainment

  • Gen Zers had a more favorable opinion of Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson (55%) than A-list Hollywood actors Tom Hanks (53%), Tom Cruise (52%) and Leonardo DiCaprio (52%).
  • They also had a more favorable opinion of the Swedish YouTuber Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg (39%) than actors Elizabeth Olsen (37%), Matt Damon (35%) and Bradley Cooper (32%).
  • About 2 in 5 Gen Zers (38%) said they’ve never heard of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. 
  • Two-thirds of Gen Zers said they’d be interested in going to see a 4D movie if their local movie theater offered it. 
  • Who says Gen Z is only glued to their screens? About 3 in 4 (73%) said they read a book at least once in the past month.

Video games

  • The exact same share of Gen Zers (61%) said they’ve heard of video game streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and actor Harrison Ford.
  • A third of Gen Zers are fans of esports — more than NHL, MLS, NASCAR, UFC and the PGA Tour.
  • The general population’s favorite video game was “Grand Theft Auto” (42% said they were fans), though that was still significantly less than the portion of Gen Zers who said the same (63%).
  • Three of the survey’s top 10 most popular content creators (“PewDiePie,” “DrDisrespect” and “Valkyrae”) are best known for playing video games.

The Nov. 2-8, 2022, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. Gen Zers between the ages of 13 and 25, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. A separate Nov. 2-4, 2022, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,210 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.