Today’s young Asian is a multi-tasking, interactive, digital-driven consumer according to Young Asians, a new study released by leading global research company, Synovate. Synovate Director of Media Research Asia Pacific, Steve Garton, said the survey, a first for the region, threw the door wide open on the lives of young Asians aged eight to 24, exposing their spending habits, favourite brands, dreams and aspirations.
Conducted in conjunction with MSN, MTV and Yahoo!, Young Asians is a study conducted across eight markets aiming to reveal the hearts and minds of Asia’s youth. Speaking more on the survey, Garton said, “A consumption crazy, aspirational, driven generation, they are money-focussed yet moral, school is important and success everything. Their favourite food is fast, favourite drink is soft and preferred birthday gift a mobile phone.”
The study found that while young Asians start off wanting to be doctors, by the time they hit 15 the desire for money develops and the career of choice becomes a business owner.
Their preferred sports to play are badminton and basketball/ netball; while basketball and soccer are the sports of choice for watching or reading.
Garton said that pester power is alive and strong with eight in ten young Asians influencing family shopping for soft drinks and snacks, three quarters influencing the family visit for fast food and six in ten influencing the TV channel watched when sharing the viewing.
“However, it’s not all sport and shopping. Today’s young Asians worry about the future ahead and what being an adult may hold for them. A secure job is the number one concern about growing up for 19 per cent of them, while 16 per cent worry about being financially stable and 9 per cent worry about adult responsibilities.
A cliché that has graced the lips of many a politician and beauty queen still holds true for the group, 18 per cent of whom voted world peace as the number one change they would make to the world. A further 16 per cent are aspiring activists, wanting to change social problems like drugs and corruption.
“But don’t be fooled by this altruistic bunch, for 15 per cent of young Asians named ‘themselves’ as the one thing they would change about the world, wanting to be more popular, better looking, or simply famous,” Garton said.
The Internet and digital technology is fundamental to Young Asian lives, fuelling their desire to stay connected and central to their interaction with peers. 62 per cent have their own mobile phone, 45 per cent have their own desktop computer and half of 12 to 24 years olds name the Internet as the most helpful medium for product and service information over TV (32 per cent) and newspapers (10 per cent).
While listening to their MP3 players (owned by 23 per cent of respondents) young Asians search the web for information, emailing, downloading entertainment and interacting with their friends, and games, online. And this trend will grow, with one third of young Asians indicating that they expect to be spending more time on the Internet next year compared to this year.
President, MTV Networks, Asia Pacific, Frank Brown, was pleased to note that the results identified MTV as the channel attracting the highest young Asian viewership. Besides audience numbers, he said this study “reconfirmed MTV’s leadership and influence among Asian youth and young adults.”
“This Young Asians study helps keep MTV on the on the cutting edge of youth multimedia, with up-to-date insights on the most influential young Asians who lead their peers and are continually at the forefront of technology adoption,” he said.
Regional Trade Marketing Manager, MSN Asia, Sally IP, said the Young Asians survey provided a unique insight into the extent to which digital technology had affected the lives of the world’s first generation of people to grow up with the Internet as an integral part of everyday life.
“A rare glimpse into the life and times of today’s digital generation, Young Asians shows just how extensively digital technology and the Internet have affected their habits and become central to keeping in touch with their friends and the world,” she said.
Head of Sales Yahoo! Hong Kong, Ivy Wong, said, “The results of Young Asians show that teenagers rely heavily on the Internet for product and information sourcing. This reinforces the Internet as essential media for marketers who wish to reach out to the affluent group of potential.”
“To talk to today’s youth you need to communicate interactively and using online surveys enabled us to do just that. Internet portals provide a comprehensive tool for reaching the connected young Asian audience, ensuring our message was heard and responded to,” she said.
The study included a segment of young Asians with the highest household incomes across the region that could be linked with the respected Synovate PAX study of affluent Asian adults.