Meet the next generation: Spectrum Science's Amanda Cowherd Silver

Cowherd Silver participated as a juror for the Campaign US BIG awards this year.

What is your favorite app and why?

Instagram. It may be basic, but I spend the most time on it. I enjoy keeping up with friends' lives, daydreaming about future travel destinations and drooling over videos of cookies and cakes.

What is your favorite social media trend right now?

The Twilight Renaissance. My middle-school self has been living for the viral Twilight TikToks.

What is the coolest way you’ve seen a brand reach Gen Z?

I love when a brand turns a common assumption on its head. The OkCupid “DTF” campaign from a few years ago redefined what singles were swiping for, whether that was “fall head over heels” or “fifty-five-hour binge.” It also promoted the campaign with an omnichannel experience, which is key to reaching Gen Z.

What’s a trend you wish would stop?

Gender reveals on social media. Because users want to make their reveal as photogenic as possible, the stunts keep getting bigger and bigger — and in some cases, more dangerous. (Remember the forest fire?)

What do you do for fun?

As a dog mom, I spend a lot of time obsessing over, photographing and exercising my mutt, Finn. I love to travel and try the best dessert that a restaurant has to offer. I enjoy watching scary movies and musicals. I never turn down karaoke.

What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?

I've been lucky enough to work with companies who are researching mRNA vaccines and COVID-19 treatments, so I am extremely excited to continue writing about groundbreaking science and medicine.

What are some changes you want to make to the ad industry as your career develops?

I want the industry to continue pushing the boundaries of ad placement and personalization. We also need to ensure the strategy behind an ad holds the same weight as an eye-catching visual.

What are your top five tips to marketers hoping to connect to Gen Z?

1. Be brief. As a generation inundated with messages, keep advertisements swift and straightforward.

2. Have a sense of humor. Gen Z enjoys interacting with brands that don’t take themselves too seriously.

3. Reflect the world. Authentic advertising showcasing diverse people resonates more with everyone.

4. Support a social cause. Gen Zers have more options than ever before, so they will choose to spend their dollars on a brand that takes a stand.

5. Take accountability. If you fall short of expectations, be transparent and make an active commitment to change.

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