Image: TM Events

Nike remains the coolest brand, according to South Africa’s youth. The results of the 12 annual Sunday Times Generation Next survey – the leading youth brand preference and consumer behaviour research – were announced at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg last week. Nike walked away with a slew of awards, including coolest clothing brand, coolest shoe/footwear brand and coolest brand slogan: “Just do it”.

BMW and Trevor Noah also reigned supreme, each winning multiple categories. BMW can add coolest company and coolest motor vehicle to its trophy cabinet, while Noah was crowned coolest local celebrity and coolest local male screen star.

There was a major focus on brands and personalities that are Proudly South African and a new category was added this year to reflect this. Nestlé won the honour of coolest Proudly SA brand. Other South African brands and personalities who resonate with the country’s youth were: Identity, which was once again voted the coolest South African fashion brand; AB de Villiers, who was ranked the coolest local sportsperson; Pearl Thusi, recognised as the country’s coolest local female screen star; Black Coffee, who was nominated as the coolest local DJ; and AKA, who was named the coolest local music star.

Firm South African favourite Spur emerged as a winner as the coolest place to eat out, as did Mugg & Bean as coolest coffee shop. McDonald’s walked away victorious in the fast food category. Coca-Cola was once again recognised as the youth’s favourite soft drink, and Red Bull was voted the coolest energy product. Ferrero Rocher won the award for coolest chocolate, Doritos took the honour for coolest snack and BarOne was voted the coolest breakfast cereal.

In the tech realm, Samsung remained the coolest cellphone and coolest computer brand, while rival iPhone took the top honour as coolest hi-tech gadget. WhatsApp was again voted the coolest social media platform, as well as the coolest cellphone application. 

The survey is conducted on behalf of Sunday Times by specialist youth marketing company HDI Youth Marketeers. “Youth are a market who know what they want, and respect brands that invest in their communities,” says MD Jason Levin. “They proactively seek brands that sell them experiences that they can share with their friends. They want to be immersed in stories and experiences that brands have to tell – as long as they have an opportunity to choose them. They respond to brands that enter their world to make it more interesting and add value.”

Big take-out: South Africa’s youth voted for their favourite brands in the annual Sunday Times Generation Next Awards: Nike was once again voted the coolest brand overall, and also the coolest clothing brand and shoe/fashion brand with the best brand slogan.

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