Sunday Times Generation Next

The results of the thirteenth Sunday Times Generation Next youth survey were announced at an awards extravaganza held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday, 11 May.


Nike was once again awarded as the “Overall Coolest Brand”, after claiming top spot in three of the 75 categories surveyed:  Coolest Clothing Brand, Coolest Brand Slogan, and Coolest Footwear Brand.

The annual survey, commissioned by the Sunday Times and conducted by HDI Youth Marketeers is the leading barometer of youth sentiment towards brands and celebrities in South Africa.  Nearly 12,000 youths aged between 8 – 23 years, across urban and peri-urban parts South Africa, were polled.

Reardon Sanderson, GM Commercial at Times Media says, “the Sunday Times Generation Next survey continues to deliver very relevant data on the perceptions and motivations behind the brand choices of SA’s youth.  We believe the insights delivered are essential to marketers and advertisers, and we’re very proud to make it available to the industry.”

“Education and spirituality are the big themes in this year’s study,” says Catherine Bothma, MD of HDI Youth Marketeers. 

“Without a doubt, young people view self-enrichment as very important.  Only 9 years ago youth couldn’t live without their cellphones and money, whereas this year, those have fallen to 4th and 5th place, making space for family, religion and education.”

Brands that have maintained top spot in their respective categories since 2016 include:  FNB, Samsung, Mr Price, SAA, Colgate, Protea Hotels, Sandton City, Identity, Vodacom, KOO, Engen, Sunday Times, Trace, Google Play Store, MetroFM, Top Gear magazine, McDonald’s, Spur, Red Bull Energy Drink, Doritos, Coca-Cola, Jelly Tots, Mugg & Bean, Orbit chewing gum, Always, Avon, WhatsApp,  Tom & Jerry, FIFA, Daily Sun and Dark & Lovely.

New categories awarded in 2017:  Coolest Footwear/Shoe Store (TotalSPORTS); Coolest Stationery Store (CNA); Coolest Ice Cream (Magnum); Coolest Local Screen/TV Star (Trevor Noah); Coolest University (University of Cape Town, UCT); Coolest Stationery (Bic); Coolest Pet Food (Whiskers); Coolest Spread/Sauce (Nutella); Coolest College (Rosebank College); Coolest Yoghurt (Parmalat); and Coolest Method of Transport (Gautrain).

In the celebrity and entertainment categories, MetroFM was once again awarded as the Coolest Radio Station, and SABC drama Uzalo as Coolest TV Soap.  AB de Villers remains Coolest Local Sportsperson.

Perennial favourites Black Coffee (Coolest Local DJ) and AKA (Coolest Local Music Star) came out tops again.  In a new category, Coolest Local Male Celebrity, Trevor Noah continued to be a hit with young fans.  Babes Wodumo, who performed at the Awards ceremony, was named Coolest Local Female Celebrity.

Bothma says, “Youth are becoming increasingly aware of their surroundings and every year they become more open in their consumption habits. Now more than ever, youth want to associate with brands that invest in their communities, brands that do good, that make them feel special, and are accessible and affordable, of course. When it comes to celebrities, the youth are all about the celebs who have an international impact, representing South Africa in a positive way.”

Headline partners for the 2017 Sunday Times Generation Next include Nedbank and Brand South Africa (an official custodian of the South African Nation Brand), Proudly South African and Kotex.  Other partners include Adidas, BOUNCE SOUTH AFRICA, Maybelline New York, Vodacom NXT LVL, Avon, KidZania Johannesburg, Sandton City, Shell South Africa and CliffCentral.

The polling results and analyses across all 75 categories in which youths were polled will be published in a supplement accompanying the Sunday Times edition on 14 May 2017, the lifestyle results will be available at HDI.

Sources: HDI Youth Marketeers
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Brent Lindeque
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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