Why We Think Cancer Research Is the Most Popular Charity

A survey about young people reveals they care more about charities than people think. According to Voxburner, a marketing company that analyses young consumers’ habits, Cancer Research is the brand they love the most. Jessica Fino explains why.


Youth 100 initiative. Photo: Voxburner

Youth 100 initiative. Photo: Voxburner


YouTube, Google, Apple, Coca-Cola or Facebook: what do these names have in common? They are brands we all love.

A survey carried out with more than two thousand young people last October found that Cancer Research is one of the brands teenagers love the most.

According to the Youth 100 study, Cancer Research is the most loved charity in the country and the eleventh most popular brand on the list. This can be surprising to people who think young people are not interested in charity work.

“Charities are a key part of young people’s lives,” says Olivia Newman, PR of Voxburner, the marketing company behind the study.

“[Cancer Research] generally have high brand awareness across a broad age range and demographic and their presence is a reflection of their all-round presence in people’s lives, whether it’s because they represent a disease that affected a relative or friend or because of the work they do.”

The Youth 100 initiative collected the most popular 400 brands in the UK among people between 18 and 24. From these 400 brands, 250 were shortlisted based on judgement and opinion and with the aim of creating a diverse list that included a mix of best-selling and rising brands. With these 250 brands, they created an online survey to measure sentiments towards the different brands.

They used The Beans group’s UK student database and Cint’s youth panel, an independent market research, to attract the maximum responses possible. A total of 2,569 young people took part in the survey.

For each brand shown to the user, they could choose one of five faces that matched their feelings towards them: Love, Like, No feeling, Dislike or Hate.

To calculate the top brands, the marketing company Voxburner took the combined scores of ‘Love’ and ‘Like’.


Photo: Voxburner

Photo: Voxburner


Once they gathered all the data, they invited around two-dozen young people from all across the UK to an all-day focus group in the Barbican Centre, central London. The marketing group spoke to them for six hours in an open discussion about the results as they sought to dig deeper into some of the stories behind the results.

Although Cancer Research finished in a great position (eleventh), in last year’s Youth 100, the national charity was the tenth most loved brand among young people.

Natasha Hill, Director of brand and strategic marketing at Cancer Research UK, said in an interview for Marketing Week Magazine that she believes the decline doesn’t mean people are losing interest.

“Cancer is something that affects one in three people in the UK, so most people, old or young, will have been exposed to this disease. We are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to talk to people about our work, with a strong focus on social media, which we know to be popular among younger people.”

“It’s not necessary that young people are becoming more interested in charities, but more that charities are offering different ways to engage that don’t necessarily mean giving money,” Olivia says.

“Celebrity support and excellent social media campaigns have helped propel charities such as Comic Relief and Movember to the forefront of 18-24s, even though their message isn’t directly targeting this audience.”

The most loved brand of 2013 was YouTube, and this is because young people visit the website to see something funny, inspiring or creative. It might be a makeup tutorial or the new Rihanna video clip.

In the Youth 100 2012, 43 per cent of the participants confessed to love Cancer Research and 42 per cent said to like it. The percentages of 2013 are still not available to the public, but the full report is available to purchase on the website http://www.voxburner.com/publications/247-youth-100-the-uk-s-top-brands-according-to-18-24s