Nike continued its winning streak with its sixth win in a row as the Overall Coolest Brand at the 16th annual Sunday Times Gen Next Awards, announced online on 21 August 2020. The winners span 71 categories and are based on the outcome of research conducted by Yellowwood.
The Sunday Times Gen Next survey has established itself as the leading barometer of what South African youths find on-trend and aspirational, and delivers insights that are valued by brand managers, advertising, and marketing professionals. The survey had previously been limited to South African youths between the ages of 8 and 23. Youths and young professionals across the country were polled during the 2020 survey period which concluded ahead of the national Covid-19 lockdown.
MC Maps Maponyane
Eben Gewers, head of Advertising Sales and Trade Marketing at Arena Holdings – which owns Sunday Times Gen Next – believes this year’s results will be a key metric of pre-Covid youth preferences and attitudes towards brands.
Covid-19 is undoubtedly going to have a dramatic effect on numerous areas of life in the short and long terms. Things are going to change and capturing a ‘before and after’ snapshot of youth brand preferences will provide huge benefit to the South African advertising and marketing industry about how priorities and perspectives may shift in the face of huge socio-economic upheaval.
"What began as a typical year for the annual Gen Next survey, was turned upside down when shortly after our in-field research was conducted, South Africa went into lockdown. Having analysed these results in a whole new context, we found that many of the insights and brand preferences were only deepened by the pandemic," says Refilwe Maluleke, MD of Yellowwood.
Watch the ceremony here:
Sunday Times Gen Next winners in 2020 include:
Cartoon Network (DStv 301) (2)
Channel O (DStv 320)
College of Cape Town
Dark and Lovely
Gold Reef City
Kellogg's Corn Flakes
KFC's Add Hope
Mall of Africa
Mr D Food
Nestlé Hot Chocolate
PlayStation 4 Pro
Red Bull Energy Drink
Toys R Us
University of Cape Town (UCT)
WWE Channel (DStv 128)
Apart from evaluating consumer products and brands, the survey also recognises youth perception of the personal brands of sports and entertainment celebrities.
For many years, DJ Black Coffee and comedian Trevor Noah dominated the Coolest Local DJ and Coolest Local Male Celebrity categories respectively. However, 2020 saw new category winners announced: Kabza da Small (Coolest Local DJ) and Nasty C (Coolest Local Male Celebrity). For the second year running, Bonang Matheba took the crown as Coolest Online Influencer. Sho Madjozi was recognised as Coolest Local Female Celebrity. The 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning captain, Siya Kolisi, is this year’s Coolest Local Sportsperson.
Sunday Times Gen Next is presented in association with Arena Events, Yellowwood and Shell. Other partners of the Sunday Times Gen Next digital series of events include Mall of Africa, Proudly South Africa, CliffCental.com and The Financial Mail Redzone.
The polling results and analyses across all categories will be published in a supplement accompanying the Sunday Times on 23 August 2020.
Below are the rankings in the 2020 Sunday Times Gen Next survey.
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