Colmar Brunton is in the midst of launching its new Youth division, bringing in Spencer Willis of 18 and 18tracker fame to spearhead the initiative. And it looks like he’s brought one of his old habits with him, because he's started producing free reports on youth culture for general consumption and entertainment. And the first of many out of the newly named CByouth camp is 'Baby Boomer Dad’s and Gen Y Sons'.
The study, which was designed to help understand the differences but more importantly, the similarities and commonly held beliefs Baby Boomer males and Gen Y males hold, asks questions of 150 dads and 150 sons on a wide range of topics, including what kind of media they consume and how often, who they’d rather be stuck in a lift with, who their idols are and who’s hotter, Pippa from Breakfast or Samantha Hayes. But more topical and probably more useful right now is the question about what they want for Christmas. And, surprisingly, it doesn’t matter how old the man in your life is, they all want the same thing: cold, hard cash.
The top three gifts for dads and teenage boys alike, in order, are: cash, hobby/sport related stuff and cash for travelling with. Willis was surprised to see the differentiation made between cash, with non-specific cash presumably for someone to pick up what they want, take advantage of January sales, get clothes they actually want etc, while cash for travelling with is about designated monies and the long term plan of holidays.
"For the teens I think that may include summer holiday road trip stuff, whereas for adults is probably more about ‘my spends’ while we’re away. The thing that bonds both responses is independence; the power and freedom of choice," he says.
The only real difference between our Kiwi men and their sons is that after they’ve counted the cash falling out of the Christmas cards and put away their new golf clubs/soccer boots, the dads want a lie in or more sleep, whereas the boys are wondering where their new iPhone or Blackberry is.
For the record, Pippa is hotter than Rachel Hunter for dads but, surprisingly, Rachel Hunter is at the top for the teenage boys, with Gin Wigmore second and Hayley Holt from The Crowd Goes Wild third.
The favourite TVC of Baby Boomer dads is the Lotto (Wilson) campaign, with ANZ second. For boys it’s the L&P campaign followed by Lotto.
45 percent of dads claim to be ‘always doing’ the grocery shopping and 17 percent of boys say the same. And they actually seem to enjoy being part of the weekly shop.
The three companies that sons and dads would be proud to say are ‘A real New Zealand’ brand are: Air New Zealand, L&P and TradeMe.
Some of the oldest generational divides still exist, with both parties disagreeing about how ‘kids today don’t respect their elders’, but they both agree that life is more complicated for today’s generation.
Overall, it’s surprising to see how much the generational divide is closing in some areas of beliefs and attitudes, while it is also refreshing to see some stereotypical behaviour remains. By the way, socks and undies still made the top ten wish list for dads.