SHANGHAI: Marketers seeking to reach Chinese youth should understand how this generation is embracing optimism, creativity and success, according to a new report.

TBWA\China partnered with 1626, a youth style and design magazine, to conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews with key opinion leaders in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu, while further quantitative research covered 1,000 people aged 16-30 in another 13 cities.

The results are contained in its RED COOL report, which identified ten "levers of cool" that it said will help brands market themselves more effectively to youth.

These ranged from releasing positive energy to persisting in pursuit of your dream.

While the study reported little difference in the perceptions of cool between the different city tiers, it noted some distinct differences between the genders and between the generations straddling the age gap among those surveyed.

A majority of boys said it was cool to have personal achievement and recognition, while girls were more likely to think about quitting their job and taking a year out to travel.

"Boys value career success and money, while girls value beauty and independence," said Kevin Choi, Director of Creative Strategy at TBWA\China and lead on the project.

The post-80s generation cared most about job satisfaction while the post-90s one was more concerned to know what they wanted and to have principles.

Milo Chao, Chief Strategy Officer at TBWA\China, observed that there was a great deal of optimism and creativity among Chinese youth.

"It is not surprising then, that young people say people who radiate positive energy, who are open-minded, take action, lead and influence others, and who persist until they achieve success, are cool," he said.

Data sourced from TBWA\China; additional content by Warc staff