The coolest, top-performing brand in SA, according to the 2018 Sunday Times Generation Next Awards, is once again Nike. It is followed by Samsung, with Adidas in third place.

In addition to its overall top-performing ranking, Nike is ranked the coolest brand in both the footwear and slogan categories, while Adidas has unseated Nike as coolest clothing brand.

The annual Sunday Times Generation Next survey, conducted in association with youth marketing specialist HDI Youth Marketeers, measures the sentiments towards brands and celebrities of more than 12,000 young people, aged eight to 23, from urban and peri-urban areas of SA. The survey, now in its 14th year, is considered a good indicator of what children, teens and young adults in SA find trendy and aspirational.

A number of brands retain their top spots from last year, including FNB (coolest bank), Mr Price (coolest clothing store), SA Airways (coolest domestic airline), Protea Hotels (coolest hotel group), Identity (coolest SA fashion brand), Vodacom (coolest telecoms provider), Engen (coolest petrol station), the Sunday Times (coolest weekly newspaper), Metro FM (coolest radio station), Top Gear magazine (coolest magazine), McDonald’s (coolest fast-food place), Spur (coolest eat-out place), Red Bull (coolest energy product), Doritos (coolest snack), Coca-Cola (coolest cold drink) and Mugg & Bean (coolest coffee shop).

The big take-out

Nike has once again been named the overall coolest brand in the annual Sunday Times Generation Next youth survey.

Only Nike, Samsung, Adidas, Trace Urban, Top Gear, WhatsApp and Nivea have achieved coolest brand status in two or more survey categories. For the third consecutive year, WhatsApp is the coolest social media platform and coolest cellphone application, while Samsung tops both the coolest cellphone and the coolest computer brand categories.

There are new category winners for 15 of the 74 categories included in the survey.

Apple iPhone has taken over from Xbox as the top hi-tech gadget brand, while Mall of Africa replaces Sandton City as coolest shopping centre. Other changes from last year include Nasty C, who performed at the awards, displacing AKA from the coolest local music star category, and Dis-Chem taking over from Clicks as the coolest speciality health, beauty and accessories store. Soccer star Siphiwe Tshabalala is the coolest local sportsperson.

Trevor Noah remains at the top of the coolest local male celebrity category, while Babes Wodumo keeps her top position as coolest local female celebrity for the second year running.

A new category was included in the survey this year: coolest toy store. Toys R Us tops the category, with Game and The Crazy Store following in second and third place.

Headline partners for this year’s Sunday Times Generation Next Awards included Nedbank, Brand SA and Kotex.