What unites young adults in mainstream Britain?

Millions of young adults engage with ITV, in fact 73% have already used ITVX.  Young adults are a core part of ITV’s audience and an audience ITV is actively investing in. The ripple effect of ITV’s influence is felt throughout mainstream youth culture from Love Island to TOWIE and I’m A Celebrity to Big Brother.

We worked with Crowd DNA, a cultural consultancy, to uncover what makes this generation of young adults tick. We used a blend of cultural analysis, qualitative and quantitative research to gather perspectives from a broad swathe of young adults and identify four cultural truths for this audience.

Catch up now

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Our Findings in a Nutshell

69% of young adults believe that they will be worse off than their parents' generation. But they are refusing to feel powerless. When asked how they were feeling, young adults were more likely to say they felt ‘hopeful’ than any other emotion.  

A prolonged era of uncertainty has this generation of young adults focusing on themselves by consciously prioritising doing the ‘right thing,’  by practising self-awareness, self-control and self-determination. This constantly conscious mindset is influencing their behaviours, beliefs and most importantly how they are engaging with content.

For young adults there’s been a real increase in uncertainty about the future. There is a broken social contract for young people who have seen their parents going to university and getting a job but this promise has not been delivered Professor Kim Allen, Leeds University

We identified four uniting cultural truths

1.Young adults are being selective with who and what they spend their energy on in order to minimise rejection.
“I do more things I love everyday, say no to the plans that don’t fulfil me, and stay away from toxic people. I’d rather spend time alone and protect my peace than be with fake friends” Grace, 24, Loughborough

2. With pressure to make the most of their 24 hours, even downtime has to have a clear purpose.

“I spend 2 hours at night scrolling reels and TikTok whilst doing my face routine and chilling. It is so important to me to have this time. I try my best to pigeon hole it into my routine.” Rob, 34, Glasgow

3. Constantly living life through lens means they are struggling to be themselves when the whole world is watching.
54% of young adults rarely feel comfortable expressing who they really are.


4. In response to economic pressure young adults have developed a growth mindset.

6/10 Believe that young adults today are not as career driven as previous generations 


Sound interesting? If you'd like to chat further on the research drop Lucy Irving a line at lucy.irving@itv.com.


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