Nike continued its winning streak with its sixth win in a row as the Overall Coolest Brand at the 16th annual Sunday Times Gen Next Awards. The winners were recognised during an online announcement on 21 August 2020.  Winners across 71 categories were celebrated based on the outcome of research conducted by Yellowwood

The Sunday Times Gen Next survey has established itself as the leading barometer of what South African youths find on-trend and aspirational, and delivers insights that are valued by brand managers, advertising, and marketing professionals.

The survey had previously been limited to South African youths between the ages of 8 and 23.

Next Gen

Youths and young professionals across the country were polled during the 2020 survey period which concluded ahead of the national Covid-19 lockdown.  

Eben Gewers, Head of Advertising Sales and Trade Marketing at Arena Holdings – which owns Sunday Times Gen Next – believes this year’s results will be a key metric of pre-Covid youth preferences and attitudes towards brands.

Covid-19 is undoubtedly going to have a dramatic effect on numerous areas of life in the short and long terms. Things are going to change and capturing a ‘before and after’ snapshot of youth brand preferences will provide huge benefit to the South African advertising and marketing industry about how priorities and perspectives may shift in the face of huge socio-economic upheaval.

Sunday Times Gen Next winners in 2020 include: 

Next Gen

Always, Apple (2), Avon, BAR.ONE, Capitec Bank, Cartoon Network (DStv 301) (2), Channel O (DStv 320), Clicks, Coca-Cola, Colgate, College of Cape Town, Dark and Lovely, Doritos, Dove, DStv, Engen, Facebook, FIFA (2), Game, Gold Reef City, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, KFC’s Add Hope, KOO, Lockdown, Magnum, Mall of Africa, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz (2), Metro FM, Mr. Bean, Mr D Food, Nando’s, Nestlé Hot Chocolate, Nike (4), NIVEA, NIVEA Men, Nutella, Parmalat, Pin Pop, Playgirl, PlayStation 4 Pro, Protea Hotels, Red Bull Energy Drink, Speak Out, Sportscene, Stimorol, Takealot, Telkom/Telkom Mobile, Toys R Us, University of Cape Town (UCT), Uzalo, WhatsApp, Woolworths Food, WWE Channel (DStv 128), and YouTube.

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Apart from evaluating consumer products and brands, the survey also recognises youth perception of the personal brands of sports and entertainment celebrities. 

Next Gen

 For many years, DJ Black Coffee and comedian Trevor Noah dominated the Coolest Local DJ and Coolest Local Male Celebrity categories respectively.

However, 2020 saw new category winners announced:  Kabza da Small (Coolest Local DJ) and Nasty C (Coolest Local Male Celebrity).

For the second year running, Bonang Matheba took the crown as Coolest Online InfluencerSho Madjozi was recognised as Coolest Local Female Celebrity. The 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning captain, Siya Kolisi, is this year’s Coolest Local Sportsperson.

Sunday Times Gen Next is presented in association with Arena Events, Yellowwood, and Shell.

Other partners of the Sunday Times Gen Next digital series of events include Mall of Africa, Proudly South Africa, and The Financial Mail Redzone. The polling results and analyses across all categories will be published in a supplement accompanying the Sunday Times on 23 August 2020.