A new study released by the Havas Creative Group seeks to understand how consumers are responding to intense change and uncertainty in their countries, and how brands can help ease those concerns. 

The study, entitled Pride and Prejudice: Shifting Mindsets in an Age of Uncertainty, draws on the experiences and points of view of nearly 12,000 men and women in 37 markets around the globe. Currently, 48% of South African Prosumers* (see definitition below) feel ashamed of their country. This is a large difference from the global average which is 22%.

“South Africans are living in volatile, uncertain and complex times – the study indicates that 73% of the country’s Prosumers are not confident in the direction the country is headed as opposed to 46% of global Prosumers. This is a huge difference and brands operating in the South African market may have to adjust their communication to provide a sense of comfort to the consumer as their perceptions and behaviour change” says Lou Boxall-Davies, Chief Strategy Officer for Havas Johannesburg. 

The study also records great gaps in sources of happiness for South African citizens compared to the rest of the world. Sustaining strong moral values contributed 77% to the South African Prosumers’ happiness whereas global Prosumers felt that it only contributed 50%. Education and skills development contributed 73% to the happiness of SA Prosumers as opposed to 58% globally.

“It’s imperative for brands to be aware of what general concerns consumers have about their country and what makes their consumers happy as it does ultimately affect their lives, how they spend their time and how they choose to spend their money,” continues Boxall-Davies.

The study reveals other factors linked to the change in people’s behaviour on the back of activities taking place in the country, namely:

  • National Identity: With the Western culture having such a great influence on the rest of the globe, Afrillenials have entered into an era of neo-patriotism where a lot of influence comes from major local cultural, political and economic shifts. Brands are required to keep up in order to maintain relevance.
  • Collaborative Democracy: A majority of people in the nations surveyed believe democracy is the best form of government, but they still see much room for improvement. In South Africa, the Afrillenials showcased their belief in a fair government through the recent municipal elections that surprisingly swayed away many votes from the ruling party.
  • In Pursuit of Happiness: 71% of South African Prosumers consider new experiences to be a contributing factor to their happiness compared to 59% for Global Prosumers.

 *  Who are Prosumers?


Havas uses a proprietary algorithm to break the survey sample into two groups: mainstream consumers (which, in the case of this study, make up 80 percent of the sample) and Prosumers (20 percent).  Why do Prosumers matter? These proactive and informed men and women are today’s leading influencers and market drivers. They have always been important, but they have grown even more powerful thanks to their skillful embrace of technologies and, especially, social media.

(The survey was created by Havas and fielded by Market Probe International. For more information or to download the report, please visit mag.havas.com/prosumer-report/pride-prejudice. )