This is the percentage of 14-34 year olds in North America surveyed recently who provided top box agreement (giving a “4” or “5” on a scale of 1-5) to the statement “people place too much importance on brands”.
So what’s up with the notion of brands (writ large) with younger North Americans?
Well, for starters, the idea of “brands” has always been a moving target with any consumer.
The public’s interest in, and support of, brands waxes and wanes based on a variety of variables including overall consumer confidence, faith in corporate structure, sense of self as both a consumer and citizen and so on.
Given their ever-increasing control of media, culture and, in turn, brands, younger North Americans, indeed, young citizen-consumers everywhere, are increasingly interested in, and involved with, what brands do and how brands act
Canadians aged 30 to 34 clock up the most TV hours watched: 15 hours per week
Most age groups spend more time online than they do watching TV
All the way from ages 9 to 34, online activity of all types permeates young people’s media consumption
Young Canadians consume massive amounts of media on a daily basis, much of that in an online environment
All aspects of their lives come, and most information they receive or search is, through the Internet
n=2,204 Canadian Youth 9-34, Ping National Study, Summer 2008 Online dominates. Average h ours spent with various media Total 9-13 Total 14-18 Total 19-24 Total 25-29 Total 30-34 Listening to the radio 3.8 5.5 3.1 7.1 8.3 Listening to a radio station with an online broadcast 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.4 1.7 Listening to a online-generated radio station 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6 Listening to satellite radio 0.4 0.5 0.3 0.6 1.3 Reading a daily newspaper 0.5 1.3 1.9 2.0 1.9 Reading a local weekly newspaper 0.4 0.8 0.8 0.9 1.0 Reading a magazine 1.9 1.6 1.2 1.3 1.3 Riding public transit 0.7 3.1 4.8 1.9 1.4 Using the Internet for news and entertainment 4.8 7.8 9.1 8.4 8.8 Using the Internet for work or studies 2.9 7.1 10.4 8.6 8.2 Using the Internet to communicate including social networking 4.4 10.9 10.6 7.1 7.2 Using the Internet to blog 0.7 1.6 1.1 0.7 0.7 Watching television 11.7 9.3 8.2 12.3 14.7
It’s a good thing that technology is changing at the speed of light because 40% of 14-34 year olds either agree or strongly agree that they get really excited when they hear about a new tech gadget. This is driven more by males (49%) than females (32%).
Only 21% of this group feel that technology is moving too fast for them to catch up.
Not surprisingly, there is an inverse relationship between both as people age
Q23. “ Please tell us how much you agree or disagree with the following statements regarding technology, with 1 being strongly disagree and 5 being strongly agree.” Base: N = 2357, 14-34 year olds, Ping National Study, Spring 2009
The popularity of portable entertainment continues to drive increased ownership of mobile phones, ipods, digital cameras, and video game consoles
There is a desire to own technology that has the ability to multi-task. 9-34 year olds either own or prefer to own mobile devices that have more than one function
The DVD player and high speed internet have become the TV of our times, with both saturating Canadian homes
Need it. Want it. Gotta’ have it. Q2. “ There are many sources you can turn to when researching for technology. Please select the three you trust the most?” Base: N = 2357, 14-34 year olds, Ping National Study, Spring 2009 Technology items most wanted by 9-34 year olds include smartphones, PVRs, laptops, and high end TVs. The trend towards preferring laptops over desktop computers remains solid. I own this It’s in my home I want this DVD Player 39% 53% 4% High-Speed Internet (DSL) 28% 61% 6% Desktop Computer 33% 43% 7% Digital Camera 51% 34% 10% Video Game Console 45% 31% 9% Portable MP3 Player or iPod 43% 17% 18% Laptop Computer 29% 25% 24% Digital Cable 15% 37% 16% Satellite Television 7% 24% 20% Personal video recorder (i.e. PVR, DVR, TiVo) 11% 21% 34% Plasma TV or LCD TV 14% 32% 34% HDTV 10% 26% 34% PDA or smart phone (i.e. Blackberry, Treo) 11% 12% 34% VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) 5% 8% 14%
Q4. “ Please tell us which brand comes first to mind when you think of…?” Base: N = 2693, 9-34 year olds, Ping National Study, Spring 2009 48 % 29% 34% 71% 30% 16% 13% 12% 12% 43% 24% 22% Plasma or LCD TVs MP3 Players Laptops Video Consoles GPS Digital Cameras Mobile Devices
Overall 56% of the Ping sample own a mobile phone- the highest percentage of ownership among all the technologies surveyed.
Almost 1/3 (29%) of 9 to 13 year olds even own a mobile phone!
Surprisingly, even with the popularity of smartphones (blackberry, iphone), more respondents own a traditional mobile phone – although the desire to own a smartphone is quite high (34% overall) with those under 18 driving this.
Q1. “ We are interested in finding out what kinds of technologies you own or use. ” Base: N = 2693, 9-34 year olds, Ping National Study, Spring 2009
“Smartphones” are still aspirational but what they offer now, as our studies continue to show, is destined to become minimum standard soon
The transfer to mobile devices, rightly heralded by telcos, cell phone manufacturers and app developers as the "next frontier" of content, is also showing strong corroborative evidence, with a quarter of teen and young adult cell phone users including "browsing" and "playing downloadable games" as features they employ on their roving squawk boxes.
Still, this mobile transfer is not as developed as one might think. When asked what cell phone feature is used "most," it is still texting that wins the day with only a tiny fraction saying "browsing" or "downloadable games" (at 1% and 2% respectively).
Hear that? That's the sound of younger mobile users cautiously considering expanded access.
Mobile content is becoming a pillar of mass communication, but how quickly it's happening is still up in the air.
Of all the features available on their mobile phones, Canadian youth (14-34 years) mostly use texting (73%) and the built-in camera (7%).
Ringtones (62%) and games (46%) were dl’ed the most frequently, with females dl’ing ringtones more and males dl’ing games more often.
Q13. “ Please let us know what items you download regularly to your mobile device. Select all that apply.” Q15. “What features do you use on your mobile phone? Please select all that apply.” Base: N = 2357, 14-34 year olds, Ping National Study, Spring 2009 DL to Mobile Female Male Ring tones 70% 55% Games 43% 49% Music 34% 37% Pictures 33% 32% Apps 19% 24% Videos 7% 10% Trailers 4% 10% Software 3% 14% Books 3% 12% TV shows 3% 4% Movies 3% 9% Commercials 1% 3% Essays 1% 3%
As with our last Ping Technology Report, respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that they do not care how they view their content, just as long as they like it.
Interestingly, the overwhelming majority (90%) still watch TV the traditional way (cable, non-cable, digital, satelite) even though a good portion of respondents (37%) strongly agreed or agreed that the future of TV is with broadband/ internet networks
Q5. “ In the last week, which ways did you watch TV programs?” Q6. “ Please tell us how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about streaming video” Base: N = 2357, 14-34 year olds, Ping National Study, Spring 2009 Top 2 Box Female Male It doesn't matter whether I watch it on TV, at the movie theatre, on my computer or on my mobile phone it just matters that I like the content 46% 52% I'm more likely to download or stream a television program than watch a program through video-on-demand (VOD) 33% 42% The future of television and video content is through broadband / internet networks 31% 43% I really don't mind seeing more product placement in television programming if it means being able watch shows over the internet for free 31% 38% Television networks are behind the times in terms of keeping up with how young Canadians watch television 25% 38% I am more likely to watch a user-generated video (like something uploaded on Youtube) than a programmed show that can be 21% 29% Assuming they are both of the same quality, I would rather watch a television program streamed on the computer than on my television set 18% 23% I regularly watch programs that air only over the internet 8% 15% I watch content streamed to my mobile device. 4% 10%
n=1,762 Canadian Youth 14-34, Ping National Study, Summer 2008 Now. Where to reach them. Best Places to Advertise to People Your Age Total 14-18 Total 19-24 Total 25-29 Total 30-34 On television 76% 82% 74% 73% On popular web sites or portals 61% 69% 64% 58% In stores and other venues where younger-oriented oriented products are sold 57% 66% 61% 51% In your school or on your campus 56% 70% 69% 46% In popular magazines 55% 64% 53% 54% Before movies at a cinema 50% 61% 51% 44% On public transit 50% 53% 59% 42% On the radio 46% 44% 40% 49% In your local free daily newspaper (i.e. Metro) 38% 30% 38% 42% Outside (billboards, on garbage and recycling containers) 37% 40% 37% 32% In your local free entertainment weeklies (i.e. NOW Magazine in Toronto, See Magazine in Edmonton or Georgia Straight in Vancouver) 34% 27% 34% 38% On television 76% 82% 74% 73% On popular web sites or portals 61% 69% 64% 58%
Ladies and gentlemen, effective immediately and for the foreseeable future, please banish any and all lingering assertions that video-gaming or, as the good folks at E3 call it, “electronic entertainment”, is still some sort of bastion for a “certain type of young person”.
To the contrary, it is about as bonafide a mainstream diversion, pursuit or passion as can be found in contemporary society.
Only 7% of Canadian tweens (9-13) “do not play video games”. Basic engagement levels for 9-34 year olds in Canada stands at 75%.
And, yet, this potential horn ‘o’ plenty for those of us striving to consistently weave communications goals into a given modern lifestyle and pop cultural landscape is still being treated as some kind of weird and foreign place by many of our kin, clients and colleagues alike.
Whatever the reason, I think the answer lies most in a still-persistent general misunderstanding of the genre writ large
This attitude is surely going to change as the lines continue to blur between the consumer and the creator, the imagined worlds of Hollywood and the imagined worlds of gaming and, of course, between the “virtual” and the “real”
Those who now start to integrate the gaming world more into their list of potential media and lifestyle vectors stand better equipped for the inevitable future. Boot up and enjoy.
89% of respondents stated that they belonged to facebook, followed by myspace at 29%
For the 9 to 13 year old crowd, the biggest competition for facebook is Disney’s Club Penguin – they are a member of both in equal amounts, but still spend most of their time on facebook. Boys are more likely to be members than girls (33% vs 24%)
Overall, Canadian youth spend an average of 33 minutes a day on social networking sites/communities
This particular Ping Technology survey was fielded just as Twitter exploded on the social networking scene. Since then, we’ve seen celebs, CEOs, and corporations join the ranks of membership along with many, many youth in our community.
With major national telcos allowing working deals with Twitter to allow updates via SMS (among countless other corporate and public initiatives) it will be very interesting to see official Twitter numbers next year
₁ From The Oprah Winfrey Show Oprah Twitters with Ashton Kutcher "This is a commentary on the state of media. I believe that we're at a place now with social media where one person's voice can be as powerful as a media network. That is the power of the social Web." "You can create your content through a collaborative effort, you can edit your content and you can consume your content all in one place. I thought it was almost like an uprising of the Internet.“
Though it’s nowhere near a major trend (for now) it’s important to consider that our studies in 2008 and 2009 have witnessed an unprecedented amount of comment from millennials related to “social networking burnout”
There’s a developing sense that updating all the myriad tools out there is becoming more drudgery and less fun
Are we going back to pen and paper? Probably not. But it begs a discussion.
This natural and shared shift towards more control of content and culture means:
They challenge ALL top down models not born from their own culture
Organized religion, traditional corporate culture, the traditional workplace, traditional education, government, the family, and brands are all being challenged.
Control = Challenge VS. 22.4% Going to Church, Synagogue or Mosque 35.3% Finding your own religion/defining your spirituality 74.8% Having a lifelong partner VS. 57.9% Getting formally married Topbox Results n = 1693 “ Ping” Quarterly National Study Summer 2008 – 14-34 year olds
New ways they look at brands… n = 1693 Canadian youth 14-34, Ping national survey, Spring 2008 topbox totals 12.5% A celebrity s endorsement of a brand may influence my opinion of that brand 24.8% I consider what other people think of me when I wear / use certain brands of clothing or products 38% I would choose a small / local brand over a large well-known brand (assuming similar price) 40.5% Brands help me make decisions on product purchases 57% I am loyal to my favorite brands 57.2% I will purchase a brand if it stands for something that I believe in 65.8% People place too much importance on brands
New factors joining the decision making matrix…
New factors joining the decision making matrix… n = 1693 Canadian youth 14-34, Ping national survey, Spring 2008 38.2% Consider products with reduced packaging 40.3% Consider if the company is Canadian 37.4% Consider buying in bulk to cut down on packaging topbox totals 29% Consider if an item was ethically manufactured 30.1% Consider buying organic-produced products when possible 30.3% Consider the general values of the company you get involved with or buy from 40.4% Consider buying products made from, or packaged in, RECYCLED materials 41.1% Consider buying products that are made of, or packaged with, RECYCLABLE materials 41.4% Consider buying locally-sourced and/or produced products when possible 47.1% Consider buying environmentally friendly products (contain no pollutants and no pollutants in manufacturing process)
The Rise of the Creative Citizen Consumer Direct young Canadian (aged 14-34) participation in various cultural activities across the country aggregates down to approximately 15% 52.9% of Canadians aged 14-34 agree with the statement “graffiti is a form of art”; 22% disagree and 25% are on the fence coming in with “I have no opinion”.
Today’s generation is more engaged in the actual creation of culture and media than any previous generation
Of the roughly one in seven young Canadians directly involved in creating culture we see the likes of photography (28%), playing a musical instrument or DJing (20%), creative writing (17%),running a personal zine or blog beyond the omnipresent facebook or myspace (14%),traditional visual arts and singing (both at 12%), dancing (11%) and poetry (10%)
In the end, these cues, and many others, paint a picture of a young citizen consumer who is more engaged in, and more discerning of, cultural output than previous generations ever were and they expect the organizations, brands, icons and anything else that they let in to their lives, to follow suit.
The Rise of the Creative Citizen Consumer
The Commoditization of Experience 51% of 14-34 year olds “typically save for a vacation or a special occasion”. On the face of it - a relatively benign statistic. However, when you consider that vacations and special occasions are, far and away, the number one most typically saved for items amongst this age group and that the next most “typically saved for” items are “technology purchases (i.e. computer, PDA, MP3 or DVD player, etc.)” , at 30.1% and “rent / food and other basics” , at 29.4%, then this figure provides a much more compelling picture of today’s emerging citizen-consumers. Saving up for a car, incidentally, lags behind significantly at 21%
Young Canadians today continue to put an unprecedented amount of focus on, and effort towards, the procurement of experiences.
The visceral and the memorable, now diligently documented and transferred to whatever social networking sites one may be a part of, have grown to become truly commoditized products that are quested after in an evolving and ongoing basis in today’s new reality.
It goes to show that as much as things have changed (and boy have they!) in the relatively newborn digital mediascape, some basics of sustainable human relationships will continue on, ad infinitum, into the future
The further one goes down the rabbit hole of cultural context and contemporary communications insight the more familiar a lot of what we’re talking about here becomes
Is getting to know your local farmers really modern? You’re telling me at the end of the day a real, live person at the end of a customer service line can still make or break a brand relationship? Isn’t facebook just an updated photo album and public diary combined? MEET YOU AT THE BAR. Isn’t “crowd-sourcing” kind of how all companies are formed?