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Young adults are a paradox for marketers


A portrait of the most educated, most affluent and most tech-savvy generation of 16-28-year-olds has emerged in the latest findings released in the Spin Sweeney Report, with their baby boomer parents regarding them as ‘walking paradoxes'.

While these young adults may consider their lives to be quite balanced, their parents have identified contrasting behavioural traits, with the juxtaposition of hedonism versus health, connection versus isolation, and impatience versus inertia.

Many in this group like to live for the moment, but to balance this binge mentality they are also purgers and are greatly concerned with issues of health. While 49% ate organic food in the past month and 71% read a food and drink nutritional label, 51% got drunk and 31% smoked a cigarette.

Parents interviewed during the survey likened the young group's approach to health to a swinging pendulum and said concerns about their health were driven by trends. On the other hand, 16-28-year-olds view their contradictory practices as a means of striking a balance in their lives.

These young adults have also grown up in an era of constant contact and technical innovation, with 94% admitting to owning a mobile phone and the younger in the group happy to strike up friendships through chat rooms where there is a greater chance of anonymity.

Director of youth marketing agency Spin, Annalise Brown, said anecdotally it has identified relationships based on mobile phones and email, with relationships with friends and brands a lot more immediate due to technology.

"We also found that one in two entered sales promotion competitions in the last six months which is quite high. They're a very tech-savvy and cynical bunch and 65% said they prefer entering competitions through SMS or online.

"And 44% said they'd rather get a small instant prize than a medium to large one. They want instant gratification, so they're more interested in a free ring tone than going into a draw for a holiday," Brown said.

She added that this group has very low "opt-in rates", with 70% saying they would rarely opt in for further information from a marketer.

On the issue of advertising, one in four believe advertising is out of touch with their generation, with 71% saying they are more interested in creative that talks to ********* TEXT BREAK *********them in a non-traditional way, unlike ads that target their parents. "Their favourite ads are the Bundaberg Rum bear ads, the Hahn Premium ‘Bath bomb', and the Toyota ‘Bugger' ads ," Brown said.

The top three brands for this group are Billabong, Sony and Nike respectively.


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