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New Research Showcases What Brands Need to Do to Appeal to ‘Cuspers’
(ages 19-25) Who Fall in Between Millennials and Gen Z

a global leader in social-first entertainment, serving both talent and
brands, today unveiled findings from a comprehensive study that dives
into generational views on identity, the future, the impact of
technology and their financial state. Fullscreen focused on the
‘Cuspers’ cohort (currently aged 19-25) — those sitting right between
Millennials and Generation Z. The study found that Cuspers are far more
creative than Gen Z and Millennials, with 1 in 4 (25%) feeling most
comfortable expressing themselves through the content they create (v.
16% and 18% for Gen Zs and Millennials, respectively).

“Cuspers are an unstudied group and they have a unique perspective on
life, money and the future that is incredibly enlightening, as they
place a premium on creativity and creating content,” said Maureen Polo,
GM of the Brand Studio at Fullscreen. “For those born on the borderline
of these generations, a current life stage transition is playing a major
role in shaping everything from their outlook on life to their content
preferences. Brands especially need to understand these differences to
effectively engage with them in a meaningful way.”

Who are the Cuspers?

Cuspers embrace multiple parts of their identity and want to be seen as
different from both Millennials and Gen Z, embracing their ‘whole

  • They are more likely than any other cohort to self-identify as a
    person of color, minority, LGBTQ or another intersectional identity
  • 1 in 4 feel underrepresented in the media
  • Cuspers are diverse:

    • 55% are Caucasian, compared to 72% of Millennials
    • 23% are African American or Hispanic compared to 9% of Millennials
    • Over a third (34%) feel that diversity is the leading trait that
      will define them, followed by independence at 28%

Self-Expression at Their Fingertips

Cuspers feel most at ease while creating content and cite creativity as
important to them.

  • 25% of Cuspers feel most comfortable expressing their full selves
    through the content they create (v. 16% and 18% for Gen Zs and
    Millennials respectively)
  • This lean into creation is also exhibited in the fact that 35% of
    Cuspers regularly use Stories features across social media platforms
    (v. 31% for Gen Zs and 21% for Millennials)
  • Top Social Features Used to Express Themselves:

    • The top features used by Cuspers to express themselves include
      Direct Messages (47%), Reposting Content (43%), and Stories (35%)
    • Cuspers are significantly more likely than both Gen Zs and
      Millennials to utilize Theme Filters, Live Videos, and Stories
    • Cuspers cite ‘easy way to stay relevant/active on social
      and ‘feels more authentic/real as the top two
      reasons for using Stories features
  • Cuspers are fans of content creators too – following on average 25
    Influencers (at twice the rate of Millennials) and 12 brands on social

The Future is Uncertain

Cuspers find the future is stressful and many don’t feel the desire to
have children.

  • With adult responsibilities either upon them or just over the horizon,
    Cuspers are feeling the pressure. They are more likely to describe
    being stressed (36%), excited (34%) and scared (19%) than other
    cohorts about their futures
  • 1 in 4 (28%) are choosing not to have children, with one of the top
    reasons being that they don’t want to raise them in the current
    society (28%)
  • However, they DO want to get married — and while they’re young. Most
    (38%) think they’ll get married between the ages of 21-25
  • Similar to Gen Zs and Millennials, 61% of Cuspers believe the country
    is headed in the wrong direction
  • 40% of Cuspers believe the best way to create change for a better
    tomorrow is by voting in local elections — versus 47% of
    Millennials who cite voting in national elections as the
    biggest way to affect change
  • 26% feel strongly about LGBTQ rights as compared to 19% for Millennials

“Cuspers do have earning power and any brand trying to reach this
demographic should know that they demand honesty, inclusion, and
positivity,” continued Polo. “Because of their outlook on life and
transformative life stage, brands must acknowledge and appeal to the new
experiences this cohort is navigating to successfully garner their
attention and authentically engage with them.”

All About the Benjamins

Cuspers are still trying to gain their financial footing and find the
gig economy useful in that regard.

  • On average, Cuspers spend most of their discretionary income on:

    • Beauty/Fashion ($966 per year)
    • Food & Drink ($905 per year)
    • Entertainment ($680 per year)
  • A little more than half are actively in the workforce (53%) and of
    those, only half have full-time jobs. The rest are trying to figure
    out what they want to do after college. This leads to a unique set of

    • 1. Finances – 30% (47% of Millennials have the same largest
    • 2. Academics/education – 20% (33% of Gen Z’ers agree this was the
      biggest stressor for Gen Z)
    • 3. Career opportunities – 20%
  • Of Cuspers who are employed, 77% have a flexible, gig job (vs. 54%
  • 27% of Cuspers believe growth of the gig economy is due to a desire to
    control their time
  • While still figuring out their spending habits, their impulsivity
    drives them to be early adopters: 61% say they tend to make impulse
  • 45% say they are the first of their friends to try new products

Balancing Act

Although they embody many of the social-first traits seen in Gen Zs,
Cuspers are just starting to learn about #adulting. They are comfortable
with technology and social media, but many recognize that it’s a
love-hate relationship that brings both good and bad.

  • 85% of Cuspers believe that technology is making the world a better
  • 1-in-4 (25%) Cuspers regularly use a voice assistant and of
    those, most utilize it to:

    • Stream music (66%)
    • Schedule alarms (64%)
    • Set reminders (60%)
    • Connect with friends (38% v. 23% for Millennials)
  • 1-in-5 (18%) admit they spend too much time on social media; however,
    most others (47%) state they balance it well
  • About 1-in-4 believe social media has a negative impact on how they
    feel about themselves (25%); 40% state no impact, 35% state it has a
    positive impact
  • Cuspers spend 46 hours on social media platforms each week – +33% more
    time than Millennials
  • Cuspers spend 8 hours a week on YouTube, more than any other social
    media platform and also follow influencers at twice the rate of
  • 58% of Cuspers use video game systems regularly — ahead of Gen Zs
    (55%) and Millennials (43%).

    • They also use video games more regularly than they do video
      streaming devices (55%) or mobile gaming (54%)

The research, conducted by Talk
*, builds on findings from a 2017 Fullscreen study that also
looked at several generations and considers the changes over the last
two years regarding the economy, technology and the societal atmosphere.

*More than 1,500 13-37-year-olds were surveyed online by Talk Shoppe
on behalf of Fullscreen from April-May 2019; in addition, 11 total
qualitative interviews were conducted across generations during the same
time period.

Fullscreen will be hosting a panel that discusses this generational
research alongside Adult Swim, American Eagle, Marriott and Visa at the
WarnerMedia House during the Cannes Lions International Festival of
Creativity in Cannes, France on June 18 at 11:30 a.m. CET. The session
will discuss everything from the highs and lows of social media and
technology, to understanding new content formats and what makes for
relevant storytelling.

About Fullscreen

Fullscreen is a leader in social-first entertainment experiences,
serving talent and brands through creative, strategy, and marketing that
enables growth, engagement, and monetization of their audiences. Its
unique clientele includes over 400 brands and over 2,500 creators and
celebrities that generate more than 7 billion monthly video views across
a global network of social channels. Serving a broad range of clients
from offices in Los Angeles and New York and with team members across
the country, Fullscreen is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Otter Media, a
WarnerMedia company. For more information, visit
and follow on social media at @fullscreen.

About Talk Shoppe


Talk Shoppe brings a fresh approach to market research by tailoring
proven research methodologies in creative and custom ways to bring deep
and meaningful insights to our clients’ most pressing business
challenges. Our expertise reaches across a vast set of research
solutions – each of which work in their own way to unearth consumer
insights and drive business decisions. We regularly partner with leaders
in music and entertainment, video games, social media platforms,
automotive, restaurants and packaged goods; our conversations are
conducted with empathy among a robust and diverse mix of niche and
mainstream audiences.


Kimberly Dreisinger
Dotted Line Communications on behalf of
[email protected]