Canadian Pizza Magazine

Canadian millennials cynical about branding: survey

By Canadian Pizza   

Features Business and Operations Marketing

Feb. 16, 2015, Toronto – Young Canadian adults are
optimistic about the future, fiscally responsible and save a good deal of their
cynicism for brand communications, according to a new international study.

Feb. 16, 2015, Toronto – Young Canadian adults are
optimistic about the future, fiscally responsible and save a good deal of their
cynicism for brand communications, according to a new international study.

Initiative, a global communications network within IPG
Mediabrands, conducted the study, entitled “The Reset Generation,” by surveying
10,000 millennials aged 25 to 34 in 19 different markets: Canada, U.S., Mexico,
Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, UK, Italy, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Russia, India, China and Thailand. They answered questions
about their lives, their mindset, how they use technology and how they feel
about brands.


"There were many surprises for us in Canada, but the
biggest was how negatively predisposed young Canadians are toward brand
communications," said Sarah Ivey, global chief strategy officer for
Initiative Worldwide, in a news release. "We're finding that this is a
generation for which marketing and brands are less and less relevant. It's
becoming harder and harder to connect with them, so clearly we need to go

Canadian millennials’ their relationship with brands:

  • 37 per cent find brand communication annoying
  • Only 26 per cent agree brands are an important part of their
    lives (second lowest score after Chile’s 24 per cent)
  • 27 per cent say they're cynical about the way brands
    communicate with them
  • Only 26 per cent say they enjoy the way brands communicate
    with them (lowest of all countries measured)
  • Country most likely to agree that brands should get involved
    in donating to good causes (68 per cent)
  • 55 per cent agree that brands have potential to be a force
    for good
  • 57 per cent believe brands should be active in improving
    worthy causes, for example, health and education

The Reset Generation was first coined as a term in 2010,
during Initiative's first study of this generation, when speaking to them just
after the worldwide recession. Ivey said that in many ways they have had to
continually reset their life expectations. They've dealt with a degree of
change that few generations have ever experienced.

"To market effectively to this generation, we must
continually reset our expectations," says Ivey. "We found this is
2010 – and we believe it's more valid than ever."

The study lauds millennials around the globe for their
ability to adapt, collaborate and create. Canadians surprised again in these
three areas.


Coming out of the recession, Canadians are more emotionally
and financially stable than most countries measured in the study. They have a
fairly confident outlook in terms of their, and Canada's, economic future.

  • 67 per cent are confident they'll be financially better off
    in the future, they're confident they'll adapt
  • 73 per cent are employed full time, part time or
    self-employed and they're 59 per cent more likely than average to continue on
    their current career path
  • 51 per cent say they're happy in their current job
    (increases to 57 per cent of women)
  • 39 per cent have bought/ are buying a home (compared to
    average of 26 per cent across all countries measured)
  • Canadians are the most likely to have a mortgage (36 per

Only Germany and China have more of the Reset Generation
saving for a pension (Canada = 35 per cent, Germany = 48 per cent, China = 43
per cent)

"Given the pressures on this generation we need to
recognise that millennials must be treated differently to the generations that
came before them,” said Adam Luck, president of Initiative Canada, in the
release. “Rather than pushing them along the well-trodden career path, it is
better to keep your high performing employees by allowing them to grow at their
own pace. As a result employers need to learn to adapt too."


While millennials are inextricably linked to technology, the
study finds Canadians aren't trailblazers when it comes to technology.

  • Canada is least likely to “show room,” that is, use their
    smartphone in store to get the right price (33 per cent compared to 24 per cent
  • 43 per cent worry about making big purchases via their
  • But 47 per cent use their smartphone for banking and
    finance, the highest of all countries measured
  • Canadians less likely than average to turn to social media
    connections for advice (Canada = 24 per cent, all country average = 33 per cent)


Reinvention is a strong theme amongst the Reset Generation,
but Canadians are less likely than other countries to shake things up a lot.

  • 38 per cent want to further their education (versus 51 per
    cent worldwide)
  • 23 per cent want to set up their own business (versus 43 per
    cent worldwide)
  • 62 per cent would like to go travelling (versus 67 per cent

There are 4.9 million millennials in Canada, which is
roughly 17 per cent of the population, the company said in the release.

Print this page


Stories continue below