Samsung, Xbox and DStv are among the coolest brands in South Africa, as voted by the country’s youth. The Sunday Times Generation Next Survey Awards, in partnership with HDI Youth Marketeers and sponsored by Waltons, has returned for the 11th year to celebrate the most influential brands amongst the youth today.
The annual event was held at the Sandton Convention Centre this year to accommodate the enormously growing platform that the Awards have become for marketers, brands and celebrities alike.

The survey, conducted by HDI, recognises South Africa’s most-loved brands, products and celebrities in 72 categories voted for by over 5 400 youth aged between 8 and 23. Popular South African comedian, Riaad Moosa, hosted the event with a live performance from local rapper, Cassper Nyovest, who pulled out all the stops. Nyovest was voted both Coolest Local Music Star and Coolest Local Celebrity of 2015.

Trevor Ormerod, GM: Group Sales at Times Media said, “The Awards have received a massive response each year and highlights the relevance that these insights hold for both marketers and brands. We’ve seen some impressive shifts in position amongst some brands, especially those that have come out on top this year challenging their competitors to stay on top of their game.”

The big winner of the night was Nike who has always been a front-runner in the Awards and went home with the coveted Coolest Brand Overall, Coolest Clothing Brand, Coolest Footwear Brand and Coolest Brand Slogan awards.

New winners this year include Mercedes Benz who won the Coolest Motor Vehicle award, Cape Town was voted Coolest Holiday Destination and KFC claimed Coolest Fast Food Place. Samsung took this year’s Coolest Cell phone category from the Apple iPhone and DStv was voted Coolest Company to work for beating last year’s winner, Google. Xbox moved into first place for Coolest Hi-Tech Gadget taking over from the Samsung Galaxy Tablet.
Skeem Saam on SABC 1 was voted the Coolest Current TV Programme and Coolest TV Soap, out-doing Generations’ in both categories.

The Protea’s Cricket Captain, AB de Villiers, was voted Coolest Local Sportsperson. TV personality, Minnie Dlamini scooped the Coolest Local Female TV Star for the third consecutive year while DJ Black Coffee once again dominated the Coolest Local DJ category. South African comedian and new Daily Show presenter, Trevor Noah, won the Coolest Male TV Star and Coolest Local Celebrity titles.

Nestle Milo won the Coolest Breakfast Cereal category and Pin Pop moved into number one in the Coolest Sweets category. Soul City won the Coolest Community Programme category while Soulbuddyz shifted into second place and Save the Rhino into third.

Whatsapp remained the leading Coolest Social Media Platform and Coolest Cell phone Application amongst the youth. Monster Energy won Coolest Energy Product/Drink for the second year running.

Jason Levin, MD at HDI Youth Marketeers said, “This year’s crop of winners shows us, again, that youth are and aren’t fickle. Coke, Dorito’s, Vodacom, Spur, Trevor Noah and Minnie Dlamini are all still on the podium. But BMW surprisingly was toppled, and there are some other fresh new faces on the winners’ list too. But more importantly, every year has been amazing to see the awards platform and the event itself really springboard to the next level.”

Brand winners who retained their number one position in the survey include: Metro FM (Coolest Radio Station); SAA (Coolest Domestic Airlines), FNB (Coolest Bank), Protea Hotels (Coolest Hotel Group),Vodacom (Coolest Telecomms Provider), Engen (Coolest Petrol Station), Spur (Coolest Eat-Out Place), Pick ‘n Pay (Coolest Grocery Store), Doritos (Coolest Snack) and Coca Cola (Coolest Cold Drink).

The survey was conducted across seven regions including Eastern Cape, Free Sate, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and Western Cape.