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Polygence Scholar2022
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Lillian Clark

Palo Alto High SchoolClass of 2023Palo Alto, CA


Hi! My name is Lillian and my project is about how advertising sustainability affects the purchasing behavior of Gen Z and Millennial women. Now that my project is done, I am hoping to continue researching different aspects of marketing and their effects on female purchasing behavior through a marketing major in higher education!

Project Portfolio

How does the usage of marketing sustainability via social media affect female Generation Z and Millennials’ tendency to purchase products?

Started Apr. 11, 2022

Abstract or project description

In 2018, Unilever, a multinational consumer goods company, revealed “its fourth consecutive year of growth for its ‘sustainable living’ brands, which grew 46% faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70% of its turnover growth.”  “Sustainability” is defined as the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. Sustainable living is a common topic on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, reeling in younger generations. As of 2021, 78% of Generation Z shoppers purchased an item advertised on social media. Additionally,  22% of Millennials in a survey conducted by Statista considered sustainability when purchasing products, followed by 18% of Generation Z. Through social media, brands are able to target younger audiences and capitalize on the appeal of buying sustainable products. However, many companies are not truthful about their sustainability or eco-friendly practices when advertising their lifestyle goods, like makeup and clothing. This practice is known as “greenwashing,” where companies misrepresent or exaggerate their eco-friendly practices and sustainability goals.  Greenwashing is extremely deceptive and can lead consumers to purchase products from companies that are scamming them. This leads the researcher to conduct a survey measuring how the consumer behavior of Generation Z and Millennials are affected by sustainability advertisements, whether truthful or not. This survey will also explore the extent to which these consumers are willing to buy sustainably and whether their stated beliefs are proven through their purchasing actions. The researcher hypothesizes that Millennial females with higher disposable incomes will be more likely to purchase products advertised because the Millennial generation has shown more concern statistically for sustainability, and with higher disposable incomes, they have the financial means to purchase sustainable products even if they are more expensive.