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Tapping Into Gen Z Social Media Culture: Music and Food

We all know how much Instagram has evolved over time–heck, even within the last year. Influencers have taken control, images are so last year, and shopping is only a click away.

As an agency, we know that Gen Z are the up and coming rulers of social, so how do we start to prepare for this? What are their beliefs? Their browsing habits? Today, we’re here to unpack two of the latest trends from the 2023 Instagram trend report and how they relate to Gen Z behaviors.

Cultural Curiosity: Participatory Global Eats

#foodie has 230 million and counting tags on Instagram, and Gen Z is exploring culture through cuisine now more than ever. Based on a recent survey, 68% of Gen Z social media users will either continue to or would like to try food from another culture after discovering it online. 1

Wanderlust is especially relevant after COVID, bringing a rush of people wanting to travel. And “U.S. Leisure Travel Is Back at Pre-Pandemic Levels.” 2

When you want authentic Italian pasta, but Italy is not in your backyard, social media can take you there-especially through video. Whether it’s an influencer taking you through a DIY recipe or a restaurant that posts their delicious signature dish, you can easily experience food through your screen; a bite-sized piece of another culture right at your fingertips.

We leveraged this insight in a recent social campaign we worked on for Uncle Julio’s: Authentic Inspirations.

The campaign followed Uncle Julio’s chefs as they traveled to Mexico in search of culinary inspiration. From the delicious street food, to the luscious Hass Avocado groves, to the sustainable rooftop gardens of 5-star restaurants, we documented the most delicious journey and learned how authentic Mexican ingredients, techniques, and culture finds its way onto the plates of Uncle Julio’s.

Our campaign showcased that Uncle Julio’s “Mexican From Scratch” truly is what the name suggests. If you want to get a taste of Mexico, check out their social feeds-or, better yet, dine in and try the dishes inspired by our travels yourself.

Return of the Rave and Rise of the Global Beats

For many of us, music is a form of escapism-a therapy and jam session all in one. For Gen Z, it’s all about self expression, and social media is one of their most accessible avenues. Choosing the right song for your Instagram Reel, your Facebook Story, your TikTok is an art.

A study conducted by Adobe confirmed this to be true. “Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are the top platforms young people use the most to be self-expressive, while music (30 percent) and fashion (27 percent) were named the best ways to truly show who you are.” 3

Additionally, more than half of Gen Z respondents in The 2023 Instagram Trend Report said they plan to listen to non-English-speaking artists in 2023. Genres like K-Pop and Latinx music continue to drive culture on Instagram-yet another way that Gen Z is learning about the world around them through cyberspace.

Our client, Avocados From Mexico, is on the forefront of sonic branding, which holds that a brand should have a unique and ownable sound just as it has unique and ownable visuals. More and more, brands are showing up in audio-only placements (Voice assistants, podcasts, streaming ads, etc.) and your brand needs to be just as recognizable there as it is on a billboard.

As Avocados From Mexico takes on this initiative to define the sonics of their brand, they asked us to help engage consumers on that journey. As part of their 2023 Super Bowl campaign, we hopped on the globalization of music trend and created two digital experiences where the power of sound is in your hands.

Genius Music Lab

Imagine customizing the famous Avocados From Mexico jingle with a country, Latinx, or my favorite, an R&B flare. Our tool analyzes users’ Spotify listening data to determine their favorite genre. Then we offer the chance to write your own lyrics, and our AI vocalist will sing the custom lyrics onto the track for you to listen to, download, or share with friends.

Wink A Beat AR Filter

To prove that sonic branding is just as flexible and versatile as visual branding, we created the Wink A Beat filter. On Instagram, users can use facial expressions to trigger sounds from the Avocados From Mexico sonic DNA music library. They can build a beat of their own in four different genres-pop, rock, country, and hip hop. Between the four genres and all the different sounds we have programmed, there are 9.6 billion different combinations, but the Avocados From Mexico sonic DNA is always present.


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