Memorial Day has come and gone, final exams are a hazy memory. As the final bell rings, the teens launch their supplies in the air as Alice Cooper’s Schools Out plays over a celebratory montage.

OK, the last day of school was never actually as cool as the opening scene to Dazed and Confused. Instead of driving around all night looking for a party, today’s youth are more likely rushing home to play Fortnite. The point remains, however, a lot of Gen Z just saw their schedule dramatically open up. This provides brands with a golden opportunity to reach and influence a target market that will spend the next three months of their lives trying to find their place in the world while looking for something to do. And where will they be looking for ways to fill their time? YouTube.

96% of 18- to 24-year-old American internet users use YouTube. What that means is that essentially every Gen Z’er with an internet connection is on the platform and their usage is only increasing: 59% of Gen Zer’s increased their YouTube usage last year and a poll of 16-24-year-olds listed YouTube as the number 1 social site they use, with Snapchat and Instagram following.

So, how do you ensure you reach these highly engaged YouTube viewers with your strategic campaigns this summer? Giant Media’s VuePlanner® technology solution.

The Ideal Targeting Mix

VuePlanner® complements other Google buying platform targeting by helping you hit the contextual bullseye of the right person at the right time by leveraging search-based intent on YouTube. VuePlanner® enables advertisers to increase relevance by planning placement down to the individual video URL (beyond the Google Audience, Category and YouTube Channel levels). Our pre-bid technology identifies the most contextually relevant and brand suitable content, in real time, using AI and proprietary quality scoring.

In other words, VuePlanner® will put your ads in front of consumers (and those who influence them) already searching for content related to, and appropriate for, your brand message.

And what types of content are the kids into these days? We did a little research to see what the youth will be consuming this summer.


The film slate this summer is impressive. With new offerings from the MCU, X-Men, Men in Black and Fast and the Furious (not to mention nostalgia plays like Toy Story 4 and The Lion King) Gen Z will be flocking to the box office this summer.

With the way blockbuster studio films are released these days, opening weekend is treated like a bit of a holiday. Using VuePlanner’s® patented technology, advertisers can surround a movie’s release weekend on YouTube. Ad placement around trailers, fan reaction videos, favorite moments, red carpet events, start appearances, and premieres… all with the confidence of true transparency before investments are made.


Film won’t be the only medium driving this target demographic to YouTube this summer. This is the time of year many artists go on tour. Concerts will be hot for Gen Z all summer as will the festival circuit. Justin Bieber is putting out new music, Taylor Swift is going on tour and the number one song in the world is Lil Nas X “Old Town Road” — a lofi hit that was born on social media and now somehow has Miley Cyrus’s dad on the remix.

So what do all of these have in common? A substantial YouTube presence. The music consumption model for Gen Z now is that of seeking music videos to watch, festivals to stream, and concerts to be announced on YouTube. Only a few thousand folks will see Post Malone’s set at Bonnaroo this summer, but millions around the world will stream it. Again, this provides a golden opportunity for contextual advertising. If brands want to reach those who enjoy youthful music–be it Soundcloud rap, EDM or whatever the next hot trend will be–it can be discovered in and around these summer concert and festival events.

By picking a slate of videos with high VueScores,® brands can enhance performance and deliver better ROAS (return on ad spend) with an advertising experience curated at the URL level to reach viewers most likely to consume and respond to their message.


While there may not be many teens and young adults begging to go watch a baseball game in the bleachers this summer, there are a lot that will be consuming sports…just not live and in person.

At this very moment we are in the midst of the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals. What better way to pass the time than to grab a pizza and stream some sports as the cord cutting youth are wont to do? Of course, there is a lot more going on that just hockey, basketball and baseball this summer.

The most popular sport in the world will be kicking off its flagship event of 2019, the Women’s World Cup in a matter of days. The entirety of June will be dominated by the best female athletes in the world competing for national pride. Elsewhere, tennis fans can look forward to three more majors as Roger Federer continues his quest to be the greatest of all time.

The U.S Open and British Open golf tournaments will certainly compel some younger fans as Tiger Woods’ career is in the midst of a late period renaissance. Even emergent sports like cycling will take the world stage when the Tour de France begins this July, and we can’t leave out the Summer X Games, coming live from Minneapolis this August.

This is all to say that sports are still extremely popular with young people. They like playing them, they like watching them, and VuePlanner® can align your ad to coverage of them.

Plan With the Pros

While all the above content targeting ideas certainly make sense for a Gen Z audience during their summer break, in the end it’s of course very difficult to boil down interests by age. This is again why Giant Media’s VuePlanner®solution is so valuable. Our managed service offering provides customers with a dedicated account manager and ad operations team with insights from over 5,000 campaigns. Our technology identifies the highest quality, most relevant YouTube content for your campaign–optimizing inventory lists in real-time–and our specialists work directly with clients from full setup and implementation of campaign creative and tracking tags to ongoing campaign optimization throughout the flight and ongoing communication and troubleshooting with Google. Combine our tech with our people and we’ll find the content that best aligns to your Gen Z targeted campaign this summer.

I guess the only question is, why aren’t we planning already? The lockers are cleared out, the report cards have been mailed and it’s time for you to get creative.