NEW DELHI: India's youth regards WhatsApp and Facebook as the two most exciting brands in the country, with six other tech/comms brands also making the top ten, as compiled by the Brand Equity team at the Economic Times.

The study was based on a survey, carried out by Nielsen, of 15-26 year olds belonging to SEC A households in seven cities, with interviews conducted in colleges and offices and respondents being asked to rate those brands they were familiar with on six different attributes.

As well as WhatsApp and Facebook, the top ten also included Vodafone (3), Airtel (4), Google (5), Samsung (7), Apple (9) and Idea (10). YouTube just missed the cut in eleventh place.

These are all typically used multiple times daily, but familiarity has yet to breed contempt.

"What makes them exciting are actually the people on it," said Karthik Srinivasan, national head, Social@Ogilvy, in reference to the top two. "The medium isn't directly communicating to the end user."

Samyak Chakrabarty, chief youth marketer, DDB Mudra Group, offered a different take. "The excitement comes from continued utility and these platforms' ability to constantly reinvent the product or aspects of it."

This shift is something that more traditional brands will have to address – not just their own reinvention but also how they connect with their audience via networks such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

According to Chakrabarty, youth regard these as "an intrinsic function of daily life", rather than a brand. "People don't perceive them the same way they do Pepsi or Airtel, for instance," he said.

The top ten was rounded out by Mercedes (6) and BMW (8), two auto brands that are hardly within current reach of most of those surveyed but which are clearly seen as brands to aspire to.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff