LONDON: Achieving control of finance, career and social life in order to take advantage of freedoms and opportunities are key to the happiness of Millennials and brands should engage with them on that basis, a new global report has argued.

Based on a poll of 5,800 participants in ten countries, media agency network ZenithOptimedia said global consumers aged 18 to 34 have a "fundamentally different approach" to achieving happiness compared to previous generations.

Disinclined to adopt the "free spirit" attitudes of the Baby Boomer generation, Millennials seek to gain much more control over their lives to obtain happiness.

Health and wellbeing, financial stability, career, following a dream and pursuing a passion, as well as formal education, are the most important areas Millennials seek to control.

Once in place, Millennials then feel they have the freedom to pursue their passions and they regard "meaningful experiences" and social interaction to be more important than the ownership of material goods – unlike older generations.

This is why social media has become so important for this generation, the report stated, because "it is their primary platform for sharing stories and creative expression".

Understanding how and why Millennials want to live more fulfilled lives has important implications for brands, argued Linda Tan, strategic insights director at ZenithOptimedia.

"Brands that can help Millennials achieve happiness stand the best chance of securing long-lasting and profitable relationships with this important consumer group," she said.

"While Millennials might seem a very care-free audience, obsessed with social media and celebrities, scratch below the surface and you will discover very savvy, discerning and astute consumers," she added.

The global survey questioned Millennials in Argentina, Australia, China, France, Mexico, Russia, Spain, the UAE, the UK and the US while also drawing on the opinions of the company's own staff from that generation.

Data sourced from ZenithOptimedia; additional content by Warc staff