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All the Sunday Times GenNext 2021 winners!

The winners across 61 categories of the Sunday Times GenNext survey, conducted by Yellowwood, were announced during a live-streamed online celebration on 9 September 2021.
All the Sunday Times GenNext 2021 winners!

Nike has maintained its perennial popularity with SA’s youth, claiming an 8th consecutive Overall Coolest Brand award, while also bagging the Coolest Clothing Brand and Coolest Footwear Brand awards at the 17th Sunday Times GenNext Awards. Apple placed overall second, while luxury brand Louis Vuitton moved into overall third spot from its 9th place position in 2020.

The Sunday Times GenNext survey remains the leading barometer of what South Africa’s youth find on-trend and aspirational and delivers insights that are valued by brand management, advertising, and marketing professionals. The 2021 survey polled more than 6,000 young people aged 8-13 years (Tweens), 14 to 18 years (Teens), 18 to 24 years (Young Adults), and 25 to 30 years (Young Professionals).

Eben Gewers, head of sales at Arena Events – which owns Sunday Times GenNext – believes the survey continues to deliver value, particularly during the economic uncertainty brought about by the Covid-pandemic. “It’s been a challenging 18 months to say the least, so having knowledge of shifts in youth attitude to products and brands - at a time when many families are economically stretched - is vital for marketers in shaping their future strategies.”

Refilwe Malukeke, MD of Yellowwood, which conducts the Sunday Times GenNext survey, says the behavioural portion of the 2021 research highlights three levers that brands can use to build trust with young people and ultimately drive consideration and preference: accessibility, authenticity and community.

“In addition to availability, brands can make themselves accessible by showing up in spaces where young people are in a relevant way. They can achieve authenticity by being consistent in everything they do, and finally consider the kind of positive impact they can have on communities or tribes that matter to young people,” says Maluleke.

New categories

This year also saw the introduction of new categories reflecting rapid innovation and consumer technology adoption: Coolest Online Store (winner:, Coolest Technology Brand (winner: Samsung), Coolest Digital Learning Platform (winner: YouTube), and Coolest Fitness Device (winner: Apple Watch). For the first time, young people over 18 years of age were polled on their preference for alcohol brands - amongst this cohort, Savannah Cider was the most popular alcoholic beverage.

In addition to polling consumer brand preference, the survey also polls youth on the personal brands of celebrities, entertainers and sportspeople. World Cup-winning Springbok Rugby Captain Siya Kolisi was named Coolest Local Sportsperson, DJ Kabza de Small was voted as the Coolest Local Club DJ, while Cassper Nyovest was awarded as the Coolest Online Influencer, and the Coolest Local Celeb of 2021.

MetroFM once again triumphed as the Coolest Radio Station, with The Queen being the Coolest Local TV Programme.

All the winners

Coolest Banks: Capitec Bank
Coolest Cellphones: Samsung
Coolest Clothing Stores: Mr. Price / MRP
Coolest Domestic Airlines: SAA / South African Airways
Coolest Clothing Brands: Nike
Coolest Hotels - NEW: Sun City Hotel
Coolest Shopping Malls: Mall of Africa
Coolest Online Store – NEW: Takealot
Coolest Companies to work for: Mercedes
Coolest Telecomms Providers: Telkom
Coolest Tinned Food: Woolworths
Coolest Public Transport Brand - NEW: Uber
Coolest Motor Vehicles: Mercedes Benz
Coolest Stationery Store: CNA
Coolest Petrol Stations: Engen
Coolest Local Entertainment Places:Sun City
Coolest Console/Computer Games: FIFA
Coolest Technology Brand – NEW: Samsung
Coolest Weekly Newspapers: Sunday Times
Coolest Ice-Creams: Magnum Ice Cream
Coolest Campaign Targeted at Youth: Nike Campaign
Coolest TV Channels: Nickelodeon (305)
Coolest Local TV Programmes/series - NEW: The Queen
Coolest Cartoon Shows: Regular Show
Coolest Kids TV Channels : Cartoon Network (301)
Coolest Advertising Medium: TikTok
Coolest Music Store/website/streaming: Spotify
Coolest Radio Stations : Metro FM
Coolest Breakfast Cereals : Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
Coolest Grocery Stores : Woolworths
Coolest Fast Food Places : McDonalds
Coolest Restaurants: McDonalds
Coolest Energy Products : Red Bull
Coolest Snacks : Doritos
Coolest Cold Drinks : Coca Cola
Coolest Universities : University of Cape Town / UCT
Coolest Sweets: Maynards
Coolest Chocolates : Lindt
Coolest TV/streaming/content channels/platforms : Netflix
Coolest Online Influencer : Cassper Nyovest
Coolest Gaming Console : Playstation Consoles
Coolest Male Deodorants : Nivea
Coolest Female Deodrants: PlayGirl
Coolest Feminine Hygiene Products : Always
Coolest Specialist Health Stores :Clicks
Coolest Make-Up Brands : Avon
Coolest Social Media Platforms : WhatsApp
Coolest Soap Bars : Dove
Coolest Haircare Products : Dark & Lovely
Coolest Spreads - NEW: Nutella
Coolest Mobile Game: Subway Surfers
Coolest Local Sportsperson – NEW : Siya Kolisi
Coolest Local Radio DJ – NEW: DJ Fresh / Thato Sikwane
Coolest Local Club Dj’S - NEW: DJ Kabza de Small
Coolest Local Celeb - NEW: Casper Nyovest
Coolest Shoe/Footwear Brands: Nike
Coolest Brand Overall : Nike
Coolest Skincare Products: Nivea
Coolest Colleges : Boston City College
Coolest Toy Store: Toys R Us
Coolest Food Delivery App : Uber Eats
Coolest Fitness App - NEW: Nike Running App
Coolest Insurance companies - NEW: Outsurance
Digital learning platform - NEW: YouTube
Coolest Loyalty programme - NEW: Pick ‘n Pay Smart Shopper
Coolest Fitness Device - NEW: Apple Watch
Coolest Sauces - NEW: Nandos
Coolest Hot beverage - NEW: Nestle Hot Chocolate
Coolest Cold beverage - NEW: Coca Cola
Coolest Shower Gel- NEW: Nivea Shower Gel
Coolest Alcohol*- NEW: Savanna Cider

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