McCann Worldgroup's latest study reveals brands have the power to influence, not Governments

McCann Australia's Planning Director's Ian Macdonald and Roshni Hegerman prsent the study.JPGToday, at its offices in Sydney, McCann Worldgroup shared millennial insights that could be good news for today's big brands; with its latest study revealing 87% of young people believe brands have the power to make change, with 84% of those thinking brands have more power to make change than Governments these days.

These findings were among many in 'The Truth About Youth', a new worldwide study conducted by McCann Truth Central, McCann Worldgroup's global intelligence unit. The large-scale study surveyed more than 33,000 people of all ages in 20 countries, including the U.S., U.K., China, Brazil, India, Chile, Mexico, Japan, Spain, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, South Africa, Philippines, Canada and Australia.
McCann's Chairman Ben Lilley leads the panel discussion.JPGAnother key finding that marketers should take note of include the fact that 'adult' used to be a noun, and it is now a verb - a stark reminder that adulthood used to be a thing that happened to youngsters, versus, it now being a choice they make on a daily basis.

This data should be welcomed by big brands says Roshni Hegerman, planning director and truth champion at McCann.

Says Hegerman: "While there are fewer of the old universal milestones marking the path to independent adulthood, there are now new symbols of smaller wins that people around the world are pointing to as adulthood indicators. These aspects of what is being called 'adulting' include new characteristics in youth that we haven't seen previously."

To break this down, the study shows that where key transitional moments in a person's life that defined when they 'used to' become an adult, such as buying your first car or getting married; this has now been substituted by today's youth by getting a fancy coffee mug, having an unbroken phone screen and the ability to wear a white shirt for a day without spilling anything on it. A new trend that has re-defined 'adulting' to today's Millennials.

Says Hegerman: "Brands can use this research to their advantage and be that 'helper' to adulting along the way with today's youths."

The study also found the globally average age when it stops being 'socially acceptable' for people to live with their parents is 32.

Among the countries surveyed, those tolerating the highest still-living-at-home ages were Hong Kong (41), Japan (37) and India (34). Whilst Australia comes in at 31, the higher age bracket in these Asian markets is driven by the tradition of multi-generational households.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, social media and a need to portray themselves in the best possible way online was a high performing statistic with 53% of the global audiences saying they do this, compared to 61% of the Australian audience admitting this is an everyday thought to them too.

Says Hegerman: "With an ever-evolving world of technology and more discerning generations than ever coming through, it is crucial to be at the very forefront of change and to understand what makes these new generations tick. We do these studies for the benefit of our clients and to be thought leaders so we hope the 'Truth About Youth' study has given some applicable insights."

The Truth About Youth study included breakouts that analysed differences within nationalities and globally between people aged 16-20 (the emerging Gen Z cohort that includes people aged 2-20), 21-34 (millennials), 35-50, 51-69 and 70+ years old.  The study included 11,000 Gen Z and millennial interviews with people between the ages of 16 and 30.

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"Brands can use this research to their advantage and be that 'helper' to adulting along the way with today's youths."!!

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