Nike has, for the fifth year in succession, been awarded as the Uber Cool Overall winner at the 15th Sunday Times Gen Next Awards. The survey, conducted by HDI Youth Consultancy, polled more than 7 000 South African youths between the ages of eight and 23 on what was on-trend and aspirational. Nike was also awarded as the Coolest Clothing Brand, the Coolest Footwear Brand, and held on to the Coolest Brand Slogan.
“The Sunday Times Gen Next survey is considered the leading barometer of youth sentiment in South Africa, and organisations are increasingly guided by the results in driving their youth marketing strategies forward,” said Reardon Sanderson, GM group sales and marketing at the Tiso Blackstar Group. “As a result, we’ve realised the need to extend the scope of the survey and a number of new categories were included in 2019 with the intention of increasing insights for marketers.”
Fourteen new categories were introduced this year, including Coolest Online Fashion Store (Superbalist), Coolest Campaign Targeted at Youth (LoveLife), Coolest Food Delivery App (Mr D Food), Coolest Entertainment Channel (Cartoon Network Dstv 301), Coolest Gaming Console (PlayStation 4 Pro), along with two personal brand categories: Coolest Politician (Nelson Mandela – current president Cyril Ramaphosa placed second), and Coolest Online Influencer (Bonang Matheba).
Brands that successfully maintained their number one position in 2019 are: FNB, Samsung, Mr Price, South African Airways, Colgate, Protea Hotels, Mall of Africa, Vodacom, KOO, Mercedes-Benz, CNA, Engen, Sun City, FIFA, Magnum, Trace Urban (Dstv 325), Cartoon Network (Dstv 301), YouTube, MetroFM, Top Gear, McDonald’s, Spur, Doritos, Coca-Cola, University of Cape Town (UCT), Pin Pop, Stimorol, Playgirl, Always, Dis-Chem, Avon, WhatsApp, Dove, Dark & Lovely, Nutella, Nivea, Rosebank College, Parmalat, Toys R Us, and the Sunday Times.
Fifteen of the seventy-six categories saw new winners since 2018.
Trevor Noah (Coolest Local Male Celebrity) and DJ Black Coffee (Coolest Local DJ) remain perennial favourites. However, fresh celebrity winners in 2019 include: Thuso Phala (Coolest Local Sportsperson), and Lady Zamar (Coolest Local Female Celebrity). The Queen was awarded as the Coolest Local TV Soap.
“Being in our fifteenth year of Gen Next, HDI is excited by the new categories and how the market is responding. The categories that excite us most include the Gaming Console/Computer Games category where, despite the global rise of Fortnite, FIFA still remains one of the most popular games in the eyes of SA’s youth,” said CEO of HDI, Bongani Chinkanda.
What we also found interesting was that when the youth were prompted to name their Coolest Online Store, the one that came out tops was Superbalist, while the rest seemed to be normal brick-and-mortar retailers. It’s similarly exciting to see that YouTube was voted as the Coolest Music Platform. It’s going to be interesting to watch how YouTube relates to platforms like MTV and Trace in the future. So, as we move forward and the new categories become more refined and defined, they’ll definitely become more compelling and insightful too.”
The polling results and analyses across all categories will be published in a supplement accompanying the Sunday Times edition on Youth Day, 16 June 2019.
The full rankings can also be found, here.
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