Channel 4

UK Tribes

Where to start with UK Tribes? Eight years in the making, it's the definitive resource for understanding youth culture

The recipient of multiple awards – most recently Marketing Week’s Data Storytelling prize – UK Tribes ( seeks to understand youth through the lens of tribal identity. It acknowledges that youth have always gathered around passion points, but whereas the tribes were once monolithic and relatively limited in number (think mods, punks, casuals etc) now they are numerous, with identity fluid and transition between them commonplace.


It’s hard to keep count of the number of different research methods we’ve used over the various phases of this project (we estimate that, qualitatively and quantitatively, we’ve spoken to in excess of 200,000 young people). They’ve included online research communities, video blogging, an influencer network, expert interviews, co-creation and several major quantitative studies.

At the last count, there’s 25 tribes and five cultural planning segments (within which the tribes sit). Having fused the findings with TGI, created film, print and digital material to bring the insight to life, in the last two years the work has centred on our Tribes Live community – 400 young people, representing the various tribes, and reporting back via a mobile optimised platform that also feeds in their social media activity.

UK Tribes is used by Channel 4 for product development (including Skins and The Inbetweeners) and in planning and strategy by a huge host of partner brands and agencies.

Having now spawned a Global Youth Tribes Framework, it really is a significant body of work, of high relevance both culturally and commercially. To find out more please shout.