The Sunday Times GenNext survey is a leading barometer of what South Africa's youth find on-trend and aspirational, and delivers insights that are valued by brand management, advertising and marketing professionals.

The 2021 survey says that it polled more than 6 000 young people aged between:
  • eight and 13 years (Tweens)
  • 14 to 18 years (Teens)
  • 18 to 24 years (Tertiary), and
  • 24 to 30 years (Young Professionals / Adults).
The ten finalists for the 2021 Overall Coolest Brand (in alphabetical order) are:
  • adidas
  • Apple
  • BMW
  • Gucci
  • Louis Vuitton / LV
  • Nike
  • Puma
  • Redbat
  • Samsung, and
  • Vans.
The awards say that the overall winner will be determined by their scores across categories of the survey.

Refilwe Malukeke, 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 worsened by the implications of the pandemic."  

The awards say that 2021 also saw the introduction of some new categories, reflecting rapid innovation and consumer technology adoption. These new categories include:
  • Coolest Online Store
  • Coolest Technology Brand
  • Coolest Digital Learning Platform, and
  • Coolest Fitness Device.
Eben Gewers, head of sales and marketing at Arena Holdings, which owns Sunday Times GenNext, concludes, "The adoption of technology during the 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." 

According to the awards, 2021 also saw young people over 18 years of age 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, as well as corporate partners Proudly South African and CliffCentral. The Sunday Times GenNext Awards event and webinar series are managed by Arena Events.

Applicants are encouraged to 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 Sunday, 12 September.

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