New Research From Havas Worldwide Reveals A Powerful Partnership Between Young People And Brands

"Youth values" no longer an effective marketing tool

Sep 23, 2014, 13:15 ET from Havas Worldwide

NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The days of the rebel without a cause are gone. In contrast to the "against" status that defined youth in previous decades, today's young people are hackers rather than revolutionaries, more interested in driving incremental change than in rejecting authority.

How can brands connect with this key audience? New research out today from integrated marketing and communications agency Havas Worldwide examines the evolving relationship between young people and brands in 29 markets.

Highlights from the newly released Prosumer Report, "Hashtag Nation: Marketing to the Selfie Generation," include:

  • Let's be friends. Young people are far more willing to invite brands into their lives than are older generations. Nearly half of all young respondents characterize brands as "essential" to them—compared with just a quarter of those aged 55+. But a word of warning to marketers: 4 in 10 respondents aged 16‒34 say brands don't take young people seriously enough.
  • Branded content as social tool. Sixty percent of young respondents consider brands to be "an important part of the creative content online." Smart brands are helping young people navigate the social waters by offering shareable content and experiences worth talking about.
  • Pop culture made me. Far more than older generations, young people say pop culture has helped to form their personalities (51%) and attitudes (50%). And though we're largely talking about American pop culture, those figures are higher in emerging markets.
  • Technology brands are closest to young people's hearts. Samsung, Google, YouTube, PayPal, and Facebook are millennials' favorite brands, according to Havas Worldwide's most recent Brand Momentum polling. But, as this new report shows, any brand can become a tech brand by using digital technologies to provide something new and innovative to consumers.

"What's particularly encouraging about this study is that the data point to a real sense of partnership between young people and brands," said Andrew Benett, Global CEO of Havas Worldwide and Havas Creative Group.

"Brands rely on youth not just for what's in their wallets, but for what's in their heads and hearts—their creative input, their enthusiastic evangelism, their energy," Benett added. "And young people, in turn, want to be able to rely on brands to make their lives better and to help them stand out from the crowd. It's a relationship built on mutual interests and trust—and it's up to brands not to break that bond by being disingenuous or failing to keep their promises."

"Hashtag Nation: Marketing to the Selfie Generation" draws on findings from an online survey of 10,574 people aged 16+ in 29 markets: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam. The study was created by Havas Worldwide and fielded by Market Probe International in 2014.

Prosumer Reports is a series of thought leadership publications by Havas Worldwide—part of a global initiative to share information and insights, including our own proprietary research, across our network of agencies and client companies. For more information or to download the latest white paper, please visit

About Havas Worldwide

Havas Worldwide is a leading integrated marketing communications agency and was the first to be named Global Agency of the Year by both Advertising Age and Campaign in the same year. The Havas Worldwide network is made up of 11,000 employees in 316 offices in 120 cities and 75 countries, and provides advertising, marketing, corporate communications, and digital and social media solutions to some of the largest global brands. Headquartered in New York, Havas Worldwide is the largest unit of the Havas group, a world leader in communications (Euronext Paris SA: HAV.PA).

Yvonne Bond
Global Communications Director
Havas Worldwide 
(212) 886-2035

SOURCE Havas Worldwide