Youth marketing
min read

Passions, pressure and de-bunking Gen Z myths: in conversation with Aiden Faherty

Published on
March 1, 2024
Last updated
March 4, 2024

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Youth Marketing Strategy (YMS to you and me) is the world’s biggest festival of youth marketing. Bringing together game-changing brands and the most influential thought leaders from across the marketing industry spectrum, it’s where the youth marketing world meet. 

This year, YMS takes place not once, but twice. We’ll be heading to the Big Apple for YMS New York on the 20th and 21st March 2024, and hitting the UK capital for YMS London on the 5th and 6th of June. 

YMS enables you to get the marketing insights you need to secure your business’ next generation of consumers. It’s time to secure brand loyalty for years to come…

In this blog, we sit down with Gen Z panelist Aiden Faherty for an exclusive Q&A ahead of the event.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and the causes that you are most passionate about…

I'm Aiden Faherty, a 23-year-old digital artist from Westchester, New York. My creative journey has led me into the world of 3D cinematic videos, where I bring my visions to life using tools like Unreal Engine 5, After Effects, and Blender.

You can catch a glimpse of my work on Instagram and TikTok @coolacloy, where I've carved out a space to share my creations.

One thing I'm driven by is my profound curiosity about the human psyche. In today's world, mental health is a prevalent and vital topic. Through my personal experiences, I've witnessed the impact of mental health challenges on friends and family, prompting me to explore this realm more deeply.

In my own journey, I encountered anxiety, which further became a catalyst for delving into Eastern philosophy.

This exploration has provided me with insights into how to navigate the mind, offering valuable lessons that I integrate into both my personal and creative life. Specifically, in my creative endeavors, I enjoy overlaying audio clips of Alan Watts discussing such profound topics onto the immersive landscapes I craft in 3D space.

Do you feel there is pressure on your generation of Gen Z-ers to 'change the world'?

Absolutely, I feel that there is a collective responsibility on our generation, including Gen Z-ers, to contribute towards changing the world. The pace of human growth is reaching a point where it outstrips nature's ability to cope. It's disheartening to witness the environmental toll, with the elimination of plants and animals to accommodate this expansion.

During my three months of traveling around Southeast Asia, I witnessed firsthand some nations lacking sufficient regulations to address pollution.

This experience reinforced my belief that addressing global issues, such as environmental sustainability, is a crucial task that our generation must tackle. The pressure to change the world is not just an individual burden but a shared responsibility that calls for collective action and awareness to ensure a more sustainable and harmonious future.

What one thing would you like brands to do to support the causes young people care about the most?

I believe one impactful step brands can take to support causes important to young people is to prioritize sustainability in their practices.

Embracing environmentally friendly and ethical practices, reducing carbon footprints, and promoting fair labor conditions not only align with the concerns of many young individuals but also contribute to a healthier planet and society. By adopting responsible business strategies, brands can actively engage with the values and priorities of the younger generation, fostering a sense of social and environmental responsibility.

How can brands stand out from the crowd when appealing to Gen Z?

To truly stand out when appealing to Gen Z, brands need to embrace uniqueness in all aspects of their identity.

This involves cultivating a distinct brand personality, developing authentic and relatable messaging, and offering products or services that set them apart from the crowd. Gen Z values individuality, creativity, and authenticity, so brands that showcase these qualities authentically are more likely to capture their attention and loyalty.

What Gen Z myth would you most like to de-bunk? How?

I would like to debunk the myth that Gen Z is lazy.

It's essential to recognize that the world we are growing up in is vastly different from the one our parents experienced. Take, for example, the challenge of finding affordable housing. When looking at apartments in the city, you can see the previous year's prices, and in the last three years, some of these apartments have jumped more than $1000.

This is just one example of how we are navigating a reality where prices are skyrocketing due to inflation, making it increasingly challenging for young people to secure stable living conditions. Many of us are facing unprecedented economic pressures, and it's unfair to label an entire generation as lazy without understanding the broader context.

What are you most looking forward to at YMS?

I'm eager to share insights gleaned from my personal experiences with social media, and I'm equally excited to engage in discussions about the evolving landscape of marketing, listening to others' perspectives on the changing dynamics.

What should we have asked you that we didn’t?

"How do you anticipate advancements in AI and machine learning influencing the creation of visual effects in the entertainment industry?"

Quick fire round:

Favorite social media platform?


3 brands you admire / are a fan of?

IIImagine, Afterlife and Runway!

3 influencers you follow and admire?

Brickspacer, Rank.sss, pattymadden.

You can catch Aiden at YMS New York on Day 2, where he'll be sharing his insights and wisdom on our Ask A Gen Z panel. Not snapped a New York ticket up yet? It's not too late!

Secure your pass here.

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