LONDON, June 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
McCann Worldgroup Global Study uncovers 'The Truth About Youth'
The world's leading marketing and advertising network McCann Worldgroup, today released the findings of 'The Truth about Youth,' a quantitative study of 7,000 16-30 year olds across 7 global markets, including the UK and Spain within the European region. The study examined the motivations of young people around the world and sought to uncover what makes them different from every generation that has come before.
In the UK and Spain, out of 16 motivations tested 'flight' -- (the need to release pressure and find tranquility/peace in a fast paced world) ranked very highly -- being the first and second most important motivations respectively (compared to eighth most important in China and fourteenth most important in India).
In the UK and Spain, youth are feeling the constant pressure and stress of their current situation, with several factors, including struggling economies, university tuition fee hikes in the UK, and high unemployment rates in Spain having a sobering effect. 57% of young people in the UK strongly agreed that they had 'grown up a lot in the last couple of years' -- acknowledgement that changing circumstances had forced them to forgo some of the carefree elements of being young.
This pressure has also led to a real need for escapism amongst youth in the UK and Spain. Given a list of things and told they could only save two, young people in the UK were twice as likely to save their passports versus young people elsewhere, and 54% of Spanish youth strongly agreed that 'sometimes it's nice to escape into a completely different world'.
These findings suggest that within more mature markets like Western Europe, the youth of today are feeling less optimistic about their future, in relation to the job market, the economy, and their overall quality of life. In other countries, such as India, China and Brazil there is a greater sense of optimism for the future -- that these nations' best days are in front of them, not behind them.
Dean Ashraf, Head of Pulse at McCann London, said of the study, "Our headline findings highlight the impact that unfavourable economic circumstances are having on the young people of Europe. With the reality of the current situation so gloomy, the need for escapism has become increasingly important -- finding respite and releasing some of the increased pressure that has developed in their lives."
Further to the European findings, McCann Worldgroup uncovered the following global truths:
TECHNOLOGY AS A FIFTH SENSE While technology has often been referred to in jest as an appendage of today's youth, over half (53%) of 16-22 year olds said they would rather give up their sense of smell than give up their technology. For this generation, technology is not an add-on. It is a tool that enables them to sense the world and make sense of the world.
THE SOCIAL ECONOMY HAS REPLACED THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY In the Experience Economy people became more focused on what they'd seen or done (supposedly valuing memories as much as material possessions). McCann Worldgroup's research found that for young people today it's increasingly all about the Social Economy; who you connect with and what you share. As one respondent put it, "if there are no pics, it didn't happen."
Whereas past generations focused on maintaining a small group of friends, relationships between youth today are much more complex. "Connecting" to a broader network of friends has replaced the singular need to "belong" to a tight knit group of friends. This is the "strategic generation" who effortlessly manages different identities, evaluates the usefulness of specific connections and occasionally strips back those who no longer make the grade.
McCann Worldgroup found that 47% of the youth globally want to be remembered for their connections.
HUNTING FOR TRUTH Asked which values they seek in a best friend, young people globally opted for 'truthful', chosen by 42% and rated nearly twice as important as the next most important value ('genuine', chosen by 22%).
JUSTICE RE-IMAGINED Justice is the second most important motivator for young people (rated as 'very important' by 52% of young people globally). And the thing that young people are most likely to say that they are 'good at' globally is 'knowing right from wrong' (44%). A large percentage of youth say that the thing they most want to be remembered for is changing the world in a positive way.
Young people around the world are very aware of how social media tools can be and are being harnessed in the quest for social justice. They are using these very tools to re-imagine how justice works and how they can take action.
About McCann Worldgroup
McCann Worldgroup delivers marketing solutions that transform brands and grow businesses. The company is comprised of a collaborative roster of best-in-class agencies that emphasize creativity, innovation, and performance, including McCann Erickson Worldwide (the world's largest advertising agency network); MRM Worldwide (digital marketing/relationship management); Momentum Worldwide (event marketing/promotion); McCann Healthcare Worldwide (professional/dtc communications); WGEXP (global production); UM (media management); Weber Shandwick (public relations) and FutureBrand (consulting/design).
SOURCE McCann Worldgroup