February 12-13, 2019

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The Folly of Misunderstanding Youth

Room 3 | 10:45-11:15 | Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The latest output in UM’s U.K. by UM study locks in on decoding youth culture today. So far through this series, which is intended to quantify and challenge identity stereotypes in society, we have tackled female, LGBTQ+, socioeconomic, regional, disability and fatherhood stereotypes.

Through various methodological layers, we have identified what motivates and compels 18-to-24-year-olds today – a key target segment for many brands and organizations and a segment that our findings indicate have great spending power and cultural influence.

A 2,000-respondent nat-rep survey has identified:

  • What motivates younger people today; which brands they admire and why; how they’re evolving; what values and behaviors define them (a hint: it’s not snakebites and cigarettes).
  • A disconnect in how young people perceive themselves in comparison to how the rest of society sees them.

A series of online depth interviews have revealed:

  • The complex and often difficult societal atmosphere that young people today are describing themselves as battling in, with fierce competition present in every sphere – from profession to property.

Passive metering shows:

  • That far from being Pot-Noodle-guzzling, sitcom-watching wasters as they were often stereotyped, the younger generation is actually defined by their appetite for content about wellness, education and self-improvement.
  • That this new generation has a constant need for content and stimulus and that downtimes are rarely spent idling but rather learning and exploring the world around them.

These new findings are essential learning for anyone looking to address this audience, from brand managers to parents.

Presentation type:

  • Case Study Presentation

Subjects covered:

  • Data integration/big data
  • Hybrid/mixed methods (qualitative, quant, mobile, SM)
  • New techniques – qualitative and quantitative


  1. Utilizing multi-method techniques.
  2. Understanding how to get insights from passive data.
  3. Breaking stereotypes.


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