Ten brands are in the running for the prestigious title of Overall Coolest Brand at the 17th Sunday Times GenNext Awards. The top five finalists in each of the 61 categories have also been announced, with the winners to be celebrated at the online Sunday Times GenNext Awards event on September 9 2021.

The 10 finalists for the 2021 Overall Coolest Brand are (in alphabetical order): adidas, Apple, BMW, Gucci, Louis Vuitton/LV, Nike, Puma, Redbat, Samsung and Vans. The overall winner will be determined by their scores across categories of the Sunday Times GenNext survey.

The Sunday Times GenNext survey remains the leading barometer of what SA’s youth find on-trend and aspirational, and delivers insights that are valued by brand management, advertising and marketing professionals. The 2021 survey polled more than 6,000 young people aged eight to 13 (tweens), 14 to 18 (teens), 18 to 24 (tertiary) and 24 to 30 (young professionals/adults).

Refilwe Maluleke, MD of Yellowwood, which conducted the survey on behalf of the Sunday Times, says: “The youth are dealing with high levels of anxiety due to the challenges we face as a country, which have been exacerbated by the implications of the pandemic and associated lockdowns such as illness, loss of life, loss of livelihoods, increased gender-based violence and uncertainty about the future.”

She believes that in this context, true relevance comes from those brands looking to serve young people in some way, whether it’s helping them navigate the chaos, find respite from the challenges, or allow them to safely explore their world and themselves with minimal physical, social, professional, reputational or financial risk.

This year also saw the introduction of some new categories, reflecting rapid innovation and consumer technology adoption: Coolest Online Store, Coolest Technology Brand, Coolest Digital Learning Platform and Coolest Fitness Device.

“The adoption of technology during the Covid lockdown has been phenomenal, and this clearly drove the need for more market intelligence in the youth sector.  We’re excited to extend the survey with these new categories, allowing us to feed valuable insights back to our advertisers and customers,” says Eben Gewers, head of sales and marketing at Arena Holdings, which owns Sunday Times GenNext.

This year also saw young people over 18 being polled on their preference for alcohol brands for the first time.

Sunday Times GenNext is presented in association with headline partners Yellowwood and Gautrain, and corporate partners Proudly South African and CliffCentral. The Sunday Times GenNext Awards event and webinar series is managed by Arena Events.

Register to watch the Sunday Times GenNext Awards online, by clicking here.

The Sunday Times GenNext supplement will be published in the Sunday Times on September 12 2021. For more information about advertising in the supplement, contact Debbie Montanari at montanarid@arena.africa.

For information on sponsorship and activation opportunities at the 2021 Sunday Times GenNext Awards contact Cortney Hoyland at hoylandc@arena.africa.

Here are the list of the 2021 Sunday Times GenNext Awards (in alphabetical order)

FINALISTS - Coolest Banks 2021

Absa

Capitec Bank

FNB

Nedbank

Standard Bank

FINALISTS -  Coolest Cellphones 2021

Hisense

Huawei

iPhone

Nokia

Samsung

FINALISTS - Coolest Clothing Stores 2021

H&M

Markham

Mr Price / MRP

Sportscene

Woolworths

FINALISTS -  Coolest Clothing Brands 2021

adidas

Gucci

Louis Vuitton / LV

Nike

Redbat 

FINALISTS -  Coolest Hotels 2021 - NEW

Blue Waters Hotel

City Lodge

Protea Hotel

Sun City Hotel

Sun International

FINALISTS - Coolest Shopping Malls 2021

Canal Walk

Gateway Theatre of Shopping

Mall of Africa

Sandton City Mall

V & A Waterfront Mall

FINALISTS - Coolest Online Store 2021 - NEW

Amazon

Mr Price / MRP

Superbalist

Takealot

Zara

FINALISTS - Coolest Companies to work for 2021

Apple

BMW

Mercedes-Benz

Nike

Samsung

FINALISTS - Coolest Telecoms Providers 2021

Cell C

MTN

rain

Telkom

Vodacom

FINALISTS - Coolest Tinned Food 2021

All Gold

KOO

Lucky Star

Pick n Pay No Name Brand

Woolworths

FINALISTS -  Coolest Public Transport Brand 2021 - NEW

Bolt

City to City

Gautrain

Taxi

Uber

FINALISTS -  Coolest Motor Vehicles 2021

BMW

Ferrari

Lamborghini

Mercedes-Benz

Range Rover

FINALISTS - Coolest Stationery Store 2021

CNA

Game

Makro

PNA

Shoprite

FINALISTS -  Coolest Petrol Stations 2021

Caltex

Engen

Sasol

Shell

Total

FINALISTS -  Coolest Local Entertainment Places 2021

Gold Reef City

Kruger National Park

Sun City

Table Mountain

uShaka Marine World 

FINALISTS - Coolest Technology Brand 2021 - NEW

Apple

Google

Huawei

Microsoft

Samsung

FINALISTS -  Coolest Weekly Newspapers 2021

City Press

Rising Sun

Soccer Laduma

Sunday Sun

Sunday Times

FINALISTS -  Coolest TV Channels 2021

Cartoon Network (DStv Channel 301)

Channel O (DStv Channel 320)

Disney Channel (DStv Channel 303)

Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161)

Nickelodeon ( DStv Channel 305)

FINALISTS - Coolest Local TV Programmes/Series 2021 - NEW

Durban Gen

Gomora

The Queen

The River

Uzalo

FINALISTS - Coolest Kids TV Channels 2021

Boomerang (DStv Channel 302)

Cartoon Network (DStv Channel 301)

Disney (DStv Channel 303)

Disney Junior (DStv Channel 309)

Nickelodeon (DStv Channel 305)

FINALISTS -  Coolest Advertising Medium 2021

Facebook

Instagram

Television

TikTok

YouTube

FINALISTS - Coolest Music Store/Website/Streaming 2021

Fakaza Music

Google Play Music

Mp3 Juice

Spotify

YouTube Music

FINALISTS - Coolest Radio Stations 2021

5FM

Jacaranda

Metro FM

Ukhozi FM

Umhlobo Wenene 

FINALISTS - Coolest Breakfast Cereals 2021

Futurelife

Jungle Oats

Kellogg’s Coco Pops

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

Weet-Bix

FINALISTS - Coolest Grocery Stores 2021

Checkers

Pick n Pay

Shoprite

Spar

Woolworths Food

FINALISTS - Coolest Fast Food Places 2021

Debonairs Pizza

KFC

McDonald’s

Spur

Steers

FINALISTS - Coolest Restaurants 2021

Debonairs Pizza

McDonald’s

Mugg & Bean

RocoMamas

Spur

FINALISTS - Coolest Energy Products 2021

Dragon Energy Drink

Energade

Monster Energy Drink

Powerade

Red Bull Energy Drink 

FINALISTS - Coolest Snacks 2021

Doritos

Lay’s

Oreos

Pringles

Simba

FINALISTS - Coolest Cold Drinks 2021

Appletizer

Coca-Cola

Fanta

Lemon Twist

Sprite

FINALISTS - Coolest Universities 2021

Unisa

University of Cape Town / UCT

University of Johannesburg / UJ

University of Pretoria / Tuks

Wits University

FINALISTS -  Coolest Sweets 2021

Beacon Jelly Tots

Maynards

Pin Pop

Smarties

Yogueta

FINALISTS - Coolest Chocolates 2021

Cadbury Dairy Milk

Ferrero Rocher

KitKat

Lindt

Lunch Bar 

FINALISTS - Coolest TV/Streaming/Content Channels/Platforms 2021

DStv

Netflix

Showmax

TikTok

YouTube

FINALISTS -  Coolest Online Influencer 2021

AKA

Bonang Matheba

Cassper Nyovest

Pearl Thusi

Somizi Mhlongo

FINALISTS - Coolest Gaming Console 2021

Cellphone

Computer / Laptop

PlayStation Consoles

PSP / PS Vita

Xbox Consoles

FINALISTS - Coolest Male Deodorants 2021

adidas

AXE

English Blazer

Nivea Men

Playboy

FINALISTS - Coolest Female Deodorants 2021

Avon

Dove

Nivea

PlayGirl

Shield

FINALISTS -  Coolest Feminine Hygiene Products 2021

Always

Avon Feminine

Kotex

Lil-Lets

Stayfree

FINALISTS - Coolest Specialist Health Stores 2021

Avon

Clicks

Dis-Chem

Game

Woolworths

FINALISTS -  Coolest Make-Up Brands 2021

Avon

Inuka

L’Oréal Base

MAC

Revlon

FINALISTS - Coolest Social Media Platforms 2021

Facebook

Instagram

TikTok

WhatsApp

YouTube

FINALISTS - Coolest Soap Bars 2021

Dettol

Dove

Lifebuoy

Nivea

Protex

FINALISTS - Coolest Spreads 2021 - NEW

Black Cat Peanut Butter

Melrose

Nutella

Rama

Yum Yum Peanut Butter

FINALISTS - Coolest Local Sportsperson 2021 - NEW

Doctor Khumalo

Percy Tau

Siphiwe Tshabalala

Siya Kolisi

Thembinkosi Lorch

FINALISTS -  Coolest Local Club DJs 2021- NEW

Black Coffee

DJ Kabza de Small

DJ Zinhle

Major League DJz

Master KG

FINALISTS - Coolest Local Celeb 2021- NEW

AKA

Big Zulu

Cassper Nyovest

Connie Ferguson

DJ Zinhle

FINALISTS -  Coolest Shoe/Footwear Brands 2021

adidas

Jordan

Nike

Puma

Vans

FINALISTS - Coolest Skincare Products 2021

Avon

Dove

Gentle Magic

Nivea

Vaseline

FINALISTS - Coolest Colleges 2021

Boston City College

Cape College

Damelin College

IIE Rosebank College

Port Elizabeth TVET College

FINALISTS - Coolest Toy Store 2021

Crazy Store

Game

Makro

Toys R Us

ToyZone

FINALISTS - Coolest Food Delivery App 2021

Bolt Food

Checkers Sixty60

Mr Delivery / Mr D

Pick n Pay Delivery

Uber Eats 

FINALISTS -  Coolest Insurance companies 2021- NEW

1st For Women Insurance

Clientèle

Discovery

Old Mutual

OUTsurance

FINALISTS - Digital learning platform 2021- NEW

Google Classroom

Mindset  Channel (DStv Channel 319)

WhatsApp

YouTube

Zoom

FINALISTS -  Coolest Loyalty programme 2021- NEW

Clicks Club Card

Pick n Pay Smart Shopper

Shoprite Xtra Savings

Vodacom

Woolworths W Rewards

FINALISTS -  Coolest Fitness Device 2021- NEW

Apple Watch

Galaxy Fit 2

Huawei Health Band

Huawei Watch

Samsung Gear Fit

FINALISTS -  Coolest Sauces 2021 - NEW

All Gold

Chicken Licken / Soul Fire Sauce

Nando’s Sauces

Spur Sauces

Steers Sauces

FINALISTS -  Coolest Hot Beverage 2021- NEW

Jacobs

McDonald’s

Milo

Nescafé

Nestlé Hot Chocolate

FINALISTS -  Coolest Shower Gel 2021- NEW

Avon Products

Dove Shower Gel

Nivea Shower Gel

Sanex

Shower to Shower 

FINALISTS -  Coolest Alcohol* 2021- NEW (*Category only voted for by youth 18 years  and  older)

Belgravia London Dry Gin

Brutal Fruit

Heineken Beer

Hennessy Cognac

Savanna Cider

FINALISTS - Coolest Brand Overall 2021

adidas

Apple

BMW

Gucci

Louis Vuitton / LV

Nike

Puma

Redbat

Samsung

Vans

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