Playing the long game with the Amaze Generation

Playing the long game with the Amaze Generation

Why longevity has been key to Amaze’s latest study.

Longevity can be a powerful thing in any research. Take the Up series for Granada, which has been charting the lives of a group of volunteers at seven year intervals since 1964. When they began, the contributors were 7 years old. By the time the next iteration of the programme arrives, they’ll be 63.

For a business built on understanding human behaviour, you can imagine that the programme has a particular place in our hearts (and a permanent slot on our digital recorders). It was also the inspiration that led us to ask whether there was value in Amaze tackling something similar.

What if…?

It was 2010, and one of those “What do you think about this?”-type conversations was taking place. Was there value in tracking the digital lives of young people? What are we aiming to uncover? How long will the study last? Is it even feasible?

The idea refused to go away, so we started developing the project in earnest.

A generation in context

We wanted to explore the lives of our digital natives through their most formative (digitally speaking) years. So we settled on a 5 year study and began searching for a pool of 9-15 year olds who would be eager to talk to us in 2011, and still be answering our calls come 2016.

We’re now at the end of the study. Like our wonderful Amaze Generation contributors, the project has grown and evolved, and the results have proved just as insightful, fascinating and surprising as the young people who shared their views with us.

It is longevity that has given the Amaze Generation study its weight. What our young people are telling us now is hugely valuable, but viewed in context, their story becomes far more than a 2016 snapshot. It’s the story of relationships, growth, ambitions, frustrations - and shopping habits – all set against a backdrop of Apple’s dominance, the fall of Blackberry, the diminishing power of Facebook and the rise of Snapchat.

So, with thanks to Up for the inspiration, and our Amaze Generation for their dedication, here is the final report from the world of the Amaze Generation.