SYDNEY: Less than a fifth of young consumers in Australia believe they have been exposed to compelling communications from brands, a report has revealed.

Lifelounge Group, the entertainment and media company, and Sweeney Research, the insights provider, polled 1,000 people in the 16–30 year old demographic every quarter, and recently published their latest annual study for 2011.

In all, the survey revealed just 15% of interviewees recalled brand communications that "resonated with them", a figure that had declined from 27% the previous year.

The brands recording the best totals in this area were Coca-Cola, the soft drink, on 9%, in front of Bonds, the apparel chain, on 7%, and Nike, the sportswear specialist, on 4%.

"Coca-Cola, Bonds and Nike have built strong brand equity with 16-30s through a platform that is carefully targeted through mass customisation," said Dion Appel, chief executive of Lifelounge Group.

"They have created a solid emotional connection with experiences that matter to this market, cleverly utilising both digital and traditional channels."

Among those respondents which remembered an engaging piece of marketing, 44% had seen such material on television, the highest reading on this metric.

"It's about getting the balance right, using above-the-line marketing to get your message out, and then following that up on social media to engage people in conversation. And when brands are on social media they have to get their tone and personality right," said Apprel.

Having been asked to name the things they "could not live without", 38% of contributors cited the internet, bettering smartphones on 15% and cars on 11%.

Apple's iPhone beat Samsung as the maker of the most popular smartphone. Facebook, Google and YouTube were named as the leading websites.

Elsewhere, Commonwealth Bank topped the rankings for finance brands, while Jack Daniels and Smirnoff were the favoured alcoholic drinks of men and women in turn.

More broadly, participants said they were "most concerned" about being respected, on a mean score of 7.2 points, ahead of their emotional feelings on 6.9 points, keeping fit on 6.7 points, and how they looked on 6.5 points.

The study estimated that the youth audience controlled 13% of all household expenditure in Australia, equating to A$62bn overall. Some 68% of this spending was also found to be entirely discretionary.

Data sourced from Lifelounge Group, Smart Company, Syndey Morning Herald; additional content by Warc staff