Havas unveils seven codes that shapes the way Asian millennials think, feel and act

Havas Media Singapore has unveiled an extensive two-year ethnography study on millennials living in Asia Pacific.

Havas Media Singapore has unveiled an extensive two-year ethnography study on millennials living in 11 cities spanning across eight countries in Asia Pacific, which explores the nuances of how millennials operate within the context of strong, uniquely Asian, cultural values.

Titled ‘seven codes that shape the way millennials think’, 1,430 millennials from Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Manila, New Delhi, Sydney, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were interviewed by a team of anthropologists, researchers, and strategic planners from Havas to enrich the 130 millennial portraits that formed the basis of the ethnography.

At the Singapore leg of the launch last Friday (17 November), Gayia Beyer, director of applied anthropology at Havas Group APAC, explained to the audience that as Singapore currently has 1.25 million millennials that forms about 22.5% of the population. The Singapore version of the study involved developing 10 millennial portraits and each portrait was done one-on-one. For each portrait, five in the millennial circle comprising of family or friends were also interviewed.

She further explained that the study established seven ‘codes” that provide a deeper understanding on what are the webs of significance in an Asian millennial’s life. They were ‘Meta-Me’, ‘Take Pride in Passions over Profession’, ‘Negotiate Life’, ‘Into the Comfort Zone’, ‘For Squad Eyes Only’, ‘Reformat, Reboot, Delete’ and ‘Trust in the Cloud’.

The first was about identity and the greater self of the Asian millennial, the second was about purpose and fulfilment over life choices, the third was about engaging authority figures in the millennial pursuit of happiness, the fourth was about an exploration for motivation, the fifth was about ways of expression across platforms, the sixth was about the nature of millennial relationships and the seventh was about shifts from physical to virtual transactions.

“The Millennial Codes is an in-depth qualitative study, merging Ethnography and Strategic Planning disciplines to reveal the hidden patterns and cultural dynamics that subconsciously direct Asian Millennials’ life choices and life goals,” explained Beyer.

“Asian millennials are born into strong cultural value systems that affect their interactions in a globally-connected world. In the course of this study we unearthed multiple aspects of Singaporean millennials that struck as unique and different. Take for instance National Service that plays a role in the way millennials consume content and engage with brands.”

The event was also attended by Havas clients, who learned about how to engage millennials in a presentation from Jeremy Heng, chief integration officer at the Vivendi-owned French agency. There was also a panel discussion, where millennials discussed and answered questions about how they expect brands to reach out to them.

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Shawn Lim

Shawn Lim is a reporter at The Drum, covering industry news around the Asia Pacific region with a focus on Singapore and Southeast Asia. Based in Singapore, he has worked across photography, video and online, covering a range of subjects including current affairs and sports.

Before Game of Thrones, he was a huge Breaking Bad fan. He does CrossFit and yoga to stay healthy.

All by Shawn