BEIJING: Brands seeking to engage Chinese teenagers could benefit from adapting their media and marketing plans during holidays and weekends, when habits and preferences among this group change.

MediaCom, the agency, polled 300 people aged 12-19 years old, and found 60% regularly "stayed at home" in the holidays because it was hard to find "ideal companions" to do things with.

"The teenagers born under one-child policy are often lonely and lack of sense of security," the study said. "It will be a good opportunity for brands and advertisers to build relationships with these teenagers ... by establishing social platforms for them to connect with their peers."

On a typical weekend, 74% of participants used online chat services, rising to 78% for holiday periods, figures standing at 61% and 71% respectively for watching video.

Such a gap was more pronounced for gaming, as 28% of teens pursued this pastime on an average weekend, hitting 60% when they were on vacation.

Similarly, 30% of young consumers normally shopped online on Saturday or Sunday, climbing to 55% in the holidays, totals coming in at 29% and 47% regarding social networking.

Overall, members of the panel used the web for two hours per day at the weekend, more than doubling to 4.5 hours when on vacation.

Turning to mobile, 86% of teens usually make calls at the weekend, 85% send text messages, 60% log on to QQ, the instant messaging service, 54% listen to music and 44% play games.

Each of these scores was higher than during the holidays, with the size of the gap ranging from 3% for gaming to 11% for listening to music.

More broadly, 97% of teens watch TV every day in the holidays, when 93% access the web, 91% visit stores like supermarkets and 88% use mobile phones, all up by around 5% measured against a regular weekend.

Exposure to outdoor ads also increased by 7%, to 75%, with newspapers on 56% and magazines on 48%, both up by 3%, while radio was essentially flat on 33%.

Hunan TV is typically the top TV channel among teens, posting a 41% daily penetration, ahead of CCTV's sports station on 24% - reaching 38% for boys - and CCTV's films network on 23%.

Data sourced from MediaCom; additional content by Warc staff