The finalists across each of the 69 categories of the 16th annual Sunday Times Gen Next survey have been announced. The winners will be celebrated during an online Awards event on 21 August 2020.


The Sunday Times Gen Next survey is considered 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 survey conducted by HDI Youth Consultancy (now incorporated into Yellowwood) has previously been limited to South African youths between the ages of 8 and 23, but for the first time also includes a sample population of Young Professionals, aged 25 to 30 years. More than six thousand youth and young professionals across the country were polled during the 2020 survey period which concluded ahead of the national Covid-19 lockdown.


However, the Gen Next survey has not been insulated from the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown, says Bonolo Molale of HDI: “The greatest impact has been in our inability to reach the full desired sample of 12 000 youth and young professionals. Despite the challenges faced, we have reached 6000 youth and young professionals which is a significant sample size and represents a large and relevant population from which to draw insights on youth.”


Eben Gewers, Head of Advertising Sales and Trade Marketing at Arena Holdings – which owns Sunday Times Gen Next – says: “The 2020 survey results will serve as the most accurate ‘before’ snapshot of youth brand perception from a pre-lockdown, pre-Covid-19 period. It gives marketers a unique benchmark for measuring attitude shifts that may happen because of the hardships many will face, and how these will shape their spending priorities in a post-lockdown economic recovery period.”


The survey also recognises youth perception of personal brands of sports and entertainment celebrities. “High profile individuals like sports stars, musicians, and actors play a huge role in youth culture, and it will be very interesting to see which of those celebrated in the 2020 survey results will maintain their good favour and continue to serve as responsible role models during this crucial time for our country,” says Gewers.


The finalists in the 2020 celebrity, sport and entertainment categories (in alphabetical order) are:


Coolest TV Soaps

7de Laan, Empire, IsiBaya, The Queen, Uzalo


Coolest Radio Stations

947, Jozi FM, Lesedi FM, Metro FM, Ukhozi FM


Coolest Local Sportsperson

AB de Villiers, Percy Tau, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Siya Kolisi, Thembinkosi Lorch


Coolest Local DJ (radio or club)

Black Coffee, DJ Maphorisa, DJ Tira, DJ Zinhle, Kabza de Small


Coolest Local Male Celebrities

Cassper Nyovest, Kaza de Small, Kwesta, Nasty C, Trevor Noah


Coolest Local Female Celebrities

Boity Thulo, DJ Zinhle, Lady Zamar, Minnie Dlamini, Sho Madjozi


Coolest Online Influencers

Bonang Matheba, Kim Kardashian, Lasizwe, Mihlali Ndamase, Somizi


Sunday Times Gen Next is presented in association with HDI Youth Consultancy.


Register to watch the Sunday Times Gen Next Awards online, by clicking here.

Below are all category finalists in the 2020 Sunday Times Gen Next survey (in alphabetical order). Only those categories marked with an * will be announced during the online awards event, however all category winners will be published in the Sunday Times:


*Coolest Banks 2020   *Coolest Computer Brands 2020
Absa   Apple Mac
Capitec Bank   Hisense
Nedbank   Microsoft
Standard Bank   Samsung
*Coolest Cellphones 2020   *Coolest Campaign Targeted at Youth 2020
Apple iPhone   LoveLife
Hisense   Save the Rhino
Huawei   Soul Buddyz
Samsung   Soul City
Sony   Speak Out
*Coolest Clothing Stores 2020   *Coolest TV Channels 2020
Markham   Cartoon Network (DStv 301)
Mr Price   Disney Channel (DStv 303)
Sportscene   M-Net Movies All Stars (DStv 111)
TotalSPORTS   Mzansi Magic (DStv 161)
Woolworths   TRACE Urban (DStv 325)
*Coolest Clothing Brands 2020   *Coolest TV Music Channels 2020
adidas   Channel O (DStv 320)
FILA   MTV (DStv 130)
Gucci   MTV Base (DStv 322)
Nike   TRACE Africa (DStv 326)
Redbat   TRACE Urban (DStv 325)
*Coolest Dairy Drinks 2020   *Coolest TV Soaps 2020
Nestlé Hot Chocolate   7de Laan
MILO   Empire
Tropika   IsiBaya
UltraMel Custard   The Queen
Yogi Sip   Uzalo
*Coolest Hotel Groups 2020   *Coolest Radio Stations 2020
City Lodge / Town Lodge / Road Lodge   947 (Highveld)
Hilton Hotels & Resorts   Jozi FM
Protea Hotels   Lesedi FM
Sun International   Metro FM
Tsogo Sun   Ukhozi FM
*Coolest Shopping Malls 2020   *Coolest Breakfast Cereals 2020
Gateway Theatre of Shopping   Jungle Oats
Mall of Africa   Kellogg’s Coco Pops
Mall of the South   Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
Sandton City   Nestlé MILO
*Coolest Online Fashion store/app 2020   *Coolest Specialist Health, Beauty, & Accessory Stores 2020
H & M   Avon
Mr Price   Clicks
Superbalist   Dis-Chem
Takealot   Edgars
Zara   Woolworths
*Coolest Companies to work for 2020   *Coolest Make-Up Brands 2020
Apple   Avon
BMW   L’Oréal
Mercedez-Benz   MAC
Nike   POND’S
Samsung   Revlon
*Coolest Telecomms Providers 2020   *Coolest Social Media Platforms 2020
Cell C   Facebook
MTN   Instagram
Rain   Tik Tok
Telkom/Telkom Mobile   WhatsApp
Vodacom   YouTube
*Coolest Tinned Food 2020   *Coolest Haircare Products 2020
KOO   Avon
All Gold   Dark & Lovely
Bull Brand   Dove
Lucky Star   Easy Waves
Rhodes   Sofn’free
*Coolest Motor Vehicles 2020   *Coolest Local Sportsperson 2020
BMW   AB de Villiers
Ferrari   Percy Tau
Lamborghini   Simphiwe Tshabalala
Mercedes-Benz   Siya Kolisi
Range Rover   Thembinkosi Lorch
*Coolest Stationery Store 2020   *Coolest Local DJ (radio or club) 2020
Checkers   Black Coffee
CNA   DJ Maphorisa
Game   DJ Tira
Pick n Pay   DJ Zinhle
Shoprite   Kabza De Small
*Coolest Petrol Stations 2020   *Coolest Local Male Celebrities 2020
Caltex   Cassper Nyovest
Engen   Kabza De Small
Sasol   Kwesta
Shell   Nasty C
Total   Trevor Noah
*Coolest Local Entertainment Places 2020   *Coolest Local Female Celebrities 2020
Gold Reef City   Boity Thulo
Nu Metro   DJ Zinhle
Sun City   Lady Zamar
The National Zoo   Minnie Dlamini
uShaka Marine World   Sho Madjozi
*Coolest Console/Computer Games 2020   *Coolest Shoe/Footwear Brands 2020
FIFA   adidas
Candy Crush Saga   Gucci
Grand Theft Auto (GTA)   Jordan
Need for Speed   Nike
Subway Surfers   Vans
*Coolest Grocery Stores 2020   *Coolest Colleges 2020
Checkers   College of Cape Town
Food Lovers Market   Damelin College
Pick n Pay   Rosebank College
Spar   South West Gauteng College
Woolworths Food   Varsity College
*Coolest Fast Food Places 2020   *Coolest Yoghurt 2020
Burger King   Clover Classic
Debonairs   Danone NutriDay
KFC   Parmalat
McDonald’s   Woolworths Brand
Nando’s   Yogi-Sip
*Coolest Eat Out Places 2020   *Coolest Toy Store 2020
Mugg & Bean   Game
Nando’s   The Crazy Store
RocoMamas   Toy Kingdom
Spur   Toys R Us
Wimpy   ToyZone
*Coolest Energy Products 2020   *Coolest Food Delivery App 2020
Dragon Energy Drink   Eat 24
Energade   Mr D Food
Monster Energy Drink   OrderIn
Powerade   Uber Eats
Red Bull Energy Drink    
*Coolest Snacks 2020   *Coolest Universities 2020
Doritos   UNISA
Lay’s   University of Cape Town (UCT)
Oreo   University of Johannesburg (UJ)
Pringles   University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)
Simba Chips   University of Witwatersrand (WITS)
*Coolest Cold Drinks 2020   *Coolest Advertising Medium 2020
Appletiser   Facebook
Coca-Cola   Instagram
Fanta   Television
Sparletta Creme Soda   Twitter
Sprite   YouTube
*Coolest Sweets 2020   *Coolest Male Deodorants 2020
Jelly Tots   adidas
Mentos   AXE
Pin Pop   English Blazer
Smarties   NIVEA Men
Smoothies   Playboy
*Coolest Chocolates 2020   *Coolest Female Deodorants 2020
BAR.ONE   adidas
Cadbury Dairy Milk   Avon
Ferrero Rocher   Dove
KitKat   NIVEA
Lunch Bar   Playgirl
*Coolest TV/streaming/content channels/platforms 2020   *Coolest Gaming Console 2020
DStv   Nintendo 3DS XL
GooglePlay   PlayStation 4 Pro
Netflix   PSP
Showmax   Xbox 360 E
YouTube   Xbox One X
*Coolest Online Influencer 2020   Coolest Skincare Products 2020
Bonang Matheba   NIVEA
Kim Kardashian   Avon
Lasizwe   Dove
Mihlali Ndamase   POND’S
Somizi   Vaseline
Coolest Feminine Hygiene Products 2020   Coolest Toothpaste 2020
Always   Aquafresh
Kotex   Close-Up
Libresse   Colgate
Lil-Lets   Oral-B
Stayfree   Sensodyne
Coolest Soap Bars 2020   Coolest Entertainment Channel 2020
Dettol   Cartoon Network (DStv 301)
Dove   Disney Channel (Dstv 303)
Lux   MTV Base (DStv 322)
NIVEA   Mzansi Magic (Dstv 161)
Protex   WWE Channel (DStv 128)
Coolest Cartoon Shows 2020   Coolest Mobile Game 2020
Family Guy   Candy Crush Saga
Mr. Bean   FIFA Mobile
Teen Titans   Fortnite
The Regular Show   Minecraft
Tom & Jerry   Subway Surfers
Coolest Kids TV Channels 2020   Coolest TV Programmes/Series 2020
Boomerang (DStv 302)   Black-ish
Cartoon Network (DStv 301)   Kulfi The Singing Star
Disney Channel (DStv 303)   Lockdown
Disney XD (DStv 304)   Ridiculousness
Nickelodeon (DStv 305)   The Big Bang Theory
Coolest Music Store/website/streaming 2020   Coolest Chewing Gum 2020
Google Play Store   Chappies
iTunes/Apple Music   Infinity (Stimorol)
JOOX   Mentos
MP3 Juices   Orbit
YouTube   Stimorol
Coolest Brand Slogans 2020   Coolest Community Programmes 2020
All In (adidas)   Add Hope (KFC)
I’m Lovin’ It (McDonald’s)   ChildLine
Just Do It (Nike)   Khumbul’ekhaya
Off the Wall (Vans)   Save the Rhino
So Good (KFC)   SpeakOut
Coolest Ice Cream 2020   I cannot live without…2020
Magnum   Family
Nestlé BAR.ONE   God
Oreo   Money
Polar Icecream   Music
Woolworths Tin Roof   Parents
Coolest Birthday Wishlist 2020   Coolest Job 2020
Cake   Actor/Actress
Car   Doctor
Laptop   Engineer
Money   Lawyer
Smartphone   Soccer Player
Coolest Spread/Sauce 2020    
ALL GOLD Tomato Sauce    
Melrose Cheese Spread    
Nando’s Sauces