Kids of Today and Tomorrow (2014)

THE KIDS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW (2014)

Nickelodeon have undertaken the most detailed analysis to date of kids around the world. In this truly global exploration, we have reached out to every corner of the world, including several countries we have never before explored in this level of detail – for example, Greece and Egypt. In total we have conducted our research in 32 countries.

KIDS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW builds on a significant heritage of U.S. and international projects undertaken by the Viacom family. Nickelodeon Kids & Family GPS has focused on the family today, painting a detailed global picture of roles and relationships and highlighting, for example, the disappearance of the Generation Gap and the evolution of Family Fusion. Through KIDS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW, we can deepen our insight into the world of kids and families. Our sample includes 6,200 interviews with the 9-14 age group.

KIDS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW has identified 5 key themes shaping their world view and impacting on the choices they make on a daily basis. As well as outlining the main characteristics which define the youngest Millennials today, we examine how brands and services might want to respond, both in terms of communication content and also tone of voice – key learnings for all of us involved in serving the complex audience comprising these “last wavers” of the Millennial generation.

Key Findings

1. CONFIDENCE

A number of factors play into this theme and the first of these is happiness. Today’s youngest Millennials are overwhelmingly happy: 88% score themselves very high on the happiness scale –and in fact our data suggests that happiness levels within this age group have actually increased in the last 6 years. Spending time with family and friends rises to the top as the factor generating happiness in most countries.

Happiness outweighs stress by a factor of over 3 to 1: while almost 9 in 10 young Millennials describe themselves as very happy, only 24% report high levels of stress; and our data shows that reported stress levels have fallen since 2006. Taking these factors together, we suggest that they combine to form a “virtuous circle” of mutual support which helps to create an overall sense of confidence.

• Belief in themselves – 65% believe not only that they are smart but also that they are smarter than other people

• Belief in their future – despite everything, a large majority (84%) believe they will earn more than their parents

 

2. GROUNDED

Authenticity is a key value for them and they live with their feet firmly on the ground. 94% report wanting to be true to the close circle around them and 93% to be true to themselves. This desire to “keep it real” in life extends to the relationships which are most meaningful in their lives. When it comes to the people who inspire them or the people they trust, it’s all about close family and friends. They might feel inspired by celebrities and sports stars, but they know not to trust them. 49% of the youngest Millennials name a member of their family as the #1 best friend in their life – rising as high as 90% in Morocco and 87% in Brazil.

 

3. SHELTERED

Our research shows a pattern in which the last wave Millennials are at one and the same time becoming both more and less sheltered. The difference is very clearly separated: in the real world, they are much more sheltered than in the past – velcro parents are cocooning their children, restricting and controlling their interactions with everything; whereas in the digital world there is often relatively little protection – kids have unprecedented exposure to global ideas and images, which can be a good thing in broadening horizons but raises concerns about what’s appropriate.

 

4. PROUD TO BE

Looking beyond their immediate world, we see that the youngest Millennials are also increasingly expressing a sense of affinity with their country. Their sense of national pride is growing stronger and they are more likely than 6 years ago to believe it’s important to maintain their country’s traditions.

• “I’m proud to be […]” is up to 87% (from 81% in 2006)

• Agreement that “it’s important to maintain my country’s traditions” is up to 79% from 60% in 2006

But this doesn’t mean they want to close themselves off from the world or take a narrow view: 74% think it’s great to have people from other countries coming to live here –an indication of the tolerance which is a key defining trait for this generation.

 

5. MORE WE THAN ME

The youngest Millennials extend the spirit of positivity which we have noted in their actions and attitudes, demonstrating a commitment to community and the wider world around them.

• 88% believe it’s important to help people in the community (and 61% have taken part in an effort to raise money for charity in the last year)

• 94% believe it’s people’s responsibility to protect the environment

Clearly digital media has a large part to play in broadening horizons and helping them to be more outward-looking. It changes the way young people think about the world and inspires them to use the power they have at their fingertips in a positive manner.