NEW DELHI: Samsung has emerged as the 'most exciting' brand among India's urban youth according to a new study.

The Brand Equity Most Exciting Brands survey was based on a sister survey conducted by the Economic Times into the country's most trusted brands. A total of 1,092 respondents aged 15-24 in colleges in seven cities were asked to evaluate each brand they were familiar with on a set of attributes with a ten point scale.

Samsung topped the rankings overall and was also number one in several categories, including mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

A more interesting development was apparent in cold beverages where mango-flavoured drink brands – Maaza, Slice and Frooti – had leapfrogged colas to occupy three of the top four spots, while also taking three of the overall top ten places. "Traditional leadership paradigms are being challenged and rules of endearment recalibrated," declared the Economic Times.

It noted that colas had set the bar high in terms of excitement and were now facing a problem in deciding what to do next. And Neeraj Garg, vp/Juices and South West Asia Operations, Coca-Cola, accepted that colas might have taken their eye off the ball. "There is a far sharper focus as well as some good storytelling that is happening in the mango category," he said.

Warc subscribers can read an example of this in a case study for Slice that was shortlisted for the 2013 Warc Prize for Asian Strategy.

The big international brands had slipped down the list in the two years since the previous survey, including Coca-Cola (5th place), Pepsi (7th), Fanta (9th) and Sprite (10th); 7UP (8th) was the only such brand to be regarded as more exciting than before.

In another major advertising category, quick service restaurants, Café Coffee Day was the only local brand to break into the top five, in 4th place. Otherwise the US giants – McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC and Domino's – dominated.

PepsiCo India's CEO D Shivakumar observed that "youth passion revolves around sport, music, movies, shopping and hanging out" and that successful brands were able to connect with these activities.

He noted that India had 55,000 brands in the FMCG sector, amny of which regarded youth as their prime target segment. "Yet, few get it right," he said. "Brands fail because they try too hard to be cool."

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc