Génération Quoi ? Web

The major survey of 18-34 year-olds in France

A Yami 2 and Upian co-production

Alongside a documentary series of 3 x 70-minute films directed by Lætitia Moreau, Génération Quoi? is the first mass Internet survey of young people. An interactive sociological self-portrait developed with sociologists Cécile Van de Velde and Camille Peugny.


It's a 3-part web campaign

A questionnaire containing 140 sociological questions, it can be consulted online, on all screens: computer, mobile and tablet.

Portrait lets you watch interactive documentaries 8 to 12 minutes in which young people answer the questionnaire, alone or in groups. "Every man for himself", "X-rated", "Pôle emploi", "Indignés", "Addicts", "Death to the old"... Faced with parents or society, faced with the future or a mirror... These are just some of the themes on which users can consult the other answers and see where they stand in their generation in real time. Synchronised with these videos, Internet users have access to statistics, prompting reactions, debates and discussions. They can also consult all the responses in a data-visualisation tool, filter them or compare them against historical and European benchmarks.

An observatory has been set up to report on debates and events linked to the 'campaign': the Youth Observatory is a blog dedicated to the operation on the francetvinfo website. It reports on the debates, news and events taking place among the partners and elsewhere in society (online chats, radio and TV programmes, articles, interviews, conferences, books, screenings, etc.).

Unprecedented Web-TV synergy

Initially conceived as a complement to the documentary in 3 parts broadcast on France Télévision, Génération-quoi.fr quickly became a programme in its own right, turning the paradigm of the series on its head. While the films were intended to be a qualitative portrait, the fruit of an author's (Lætitia Moreau) view of around twenty young people from Cergy-Pontoise whom she followed for more than a year, the Web wanted to do the opposite: allow an entire generation to look at itself, to see itself as it is. A quantitative 'self-portrait'. Conceived with the sociologists who had already collaborated on the documentary, the web feature also includes the characters from the series, who we meet up with to watch them answer the questionnaire too.

A questionnaire, but so much more

We knew that the key challenge for the system would be its ability to engage its audience and generate mass participation. This is no easy task for a questionnaire that asks questions on subjects as varied and 'personal' as relationships with friends and family, sexuality, money and so many others. And in an age of attention-grabbing and 2-minute videos, offering 143 questions was quite a gamble. In the end, 92 % of participants answered all the questions, bringing the average consultation time per visit to over 20 minutes (!).

There are 3 main reasons for this: A simple, warm and extremely engaging interface. This may seem self-evident, but it is a sine qua non for the success of such a project. A tone that breaks with traditional surveysThe aim is to put ourselves on an equal footing with the target audience, by adopting their language and expressions. Short, sharp, hard-hitting questions, sometimes off the beaten track. Yes, some of them may have surprised or even shocked, and that's one of the reasons why so many Internet users responded again and again: to find out what the next question was. The opportunity, from the very first answers, to compare oneself to others, to "situate" oneself within her generation, as the site displayed the raw figures gathered by a question, highlighting the surfer's answer: "Like X % of other girls aged 18 to 34, you answered like this."

Giving a voice to an entire generation

We didn't collect all these answers and store them in a database. The 'portrait' area of Generation What?  has been designed to put them on stage. Firstly, in a series of themed videos featuring young people in the same situation as the Internet user: answering the questionnaire. We see them questioning, reflecting, reacting and debating. And the mirror effect is immediate: as well as identifying themselves, web users ask questions, reflect and react all the more - and debate with others on the discussion areas of the site or the broadcast partners. Enriched in real time with the results of the survey, these videos provide an initial portrait of the Generation What? At the same time, there is an area that aims to be exhaustive: all the figures for the answers to each question are accessible here, often accompanied by elements of comparison (extracts from previous surveys, in particular).

Unprecedented impact

First, some figures. As of 16 September, Generation What? these are 260,404 people who gave more than 23,865,364 responses. And always close to 90 % of people who start the questionnaire and complete it 143 questions. But statistics aside, Generation What? has had a tremendous impact. Firstly, because the launch campaign was conceived as a storytelling exercise. Mobilisation operations were carried out at a very early stage, culminating in an invitation to France Télévisions headquarters to the 140 biggest youth associations, in the presence of the French Minister for Youth. All coordinated with Europe 1 and the websites of each media partner. With the release of the first results of the survey in early 2014, the phenomenon of Generation What? is gaining momentum and putting the generation issue at the heart of public debate. In mid-February, Matignon brought together the ten largest youth associations to discuss the results of the survey, which has become a major reference point for journalists, researchers and politicians. The scale of its success is extinguishing all criticism, whether methodological or media-related. The term "Generation What" became part of everyday language.

In partnership with Le MondeEurope 1, FTV Info, Animafac

With the support of CNC

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