NEW DELHI: Economic growth, the rise of Facebook and a heightened concern for the environment were among the trends that defined last year for Indian consumers.

The Economic Times, the newspaper, and Dentsu, the advertising agency, conducted a survey of 2,191 people across the Asian nation in order to produce the Top Hits 2009 report.

Overall, the continued expansion of the economy, in spite of the global economic crisis, took first place, having been mentioned as a key feature of the last 12 months by 32% of respondents.

Facebook, the social network, took second position on this measure, on 22%, and was ranked at number one by participants in the 16–25 year old age group.

As previously reported, Twitter has been strengthening its standing in India in recent times, but the microblogging portal only took 40th place on the ET-Dentsu list.

Popular support for the country's government came in third, with the high-profile IPL cricket tournament in fourth.

"Going green" was in fifth, and climbed to second for the 16–25 year old demographic, a result said to be indicative of the heightened prominence of issues linked to sustainability in India.

Vodafone, the telecoms specialist, has achieved considerable success in the rapidly-developing market with a campaign based around animated brand mascots known as Zoozoos.

These characters closed out the top ten "hits" of 2009, meaning this communications campaign was the best-regarded among consumers in 2009.

New "pay per second" mobile plans also registered in the top 20, and are expected to contribute to the further development of the Indian mobile sector going forward.

Social gaming also seems to be another area of considerable interest, as demonstrated by the appearance of Farmville, an application linked to Facebook, in 14th position.

The Nano, the low-cost "people's car" manufactured by Tata Motors, was the premier auto brand in the ratings, in 19th position.

Sandeep Goyal, the chairman of Dentsu India, argued "positivity is really the top trend of 2009."

"Despite the negative press and overall negative sentiment globally, and in India, the Indian citizen and the Indian consumer both retained their faith and trust in India's future and its present," he added.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff