• Lifeline Quote of the Day: “I would rather call myself a free spirit. I don’t really follow a religious belief.” –Male, 22, CA

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Using throwback hashtags on social media lets Millennials share their nostalgia for memories captured in their photos, but how long ago constitutes a throwback? Today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 if it’s ok to post a #tbt throwback pic for something that happened the week before, and while almost 50% of females gave it a thumbs up, males highly disapproved with 72% thumbs down.

  • Millennials are known for their close, sometimes dependent, relationship with their parents, and some brands are making parents a part of the hiring process for the generation. PepsiCo reaches out to some new hire’s parents, and LinkedIn sponsored “bring-your-parents-to-work day” last fall, with more than twenty companies participating. But not every Millennial is interested in having their parents as a part of their career, so brands might want to consider the action on an individual basis. (HBR)

  • Ladyblog The Toast is profitable after just nine months, and getting about 2 million clicks every month. Its unique positioning may be the key to its success—the site steers clear of celebrity gossip, focusing on literary, pop culture, and “general nerdy” content for young women. (AdWeek)

  • KFC is thinking outside the box to market to Millennials this prom season, offering limited fried chicken corsages in Extra Crispy or Kentucky Grilled Chicken (for those dates worried about fitting in their dresses). Interested prom-attendees can buy a chicken corsage for $20 plus shipping through KFC’s site. (Mashable)

  • After a 14-year-old Dutch teen tweeted a threat at American Airlines yesterday, a slew of teens followed suit, sending bomb threat jokes to various airlines through Twitter. But the trend didn’t last long, and most of the accounts that participated have been shut down by Twitter. (Mediabistro)

  • Just how far has the wall between celebrities and fans come down during the social media age? This weekend Taylor Swift actually attended a super-fan’s bridal shower in Ohio, bearing multiple gifts and impressing the internet with her devotion to the Swifties. (BuzzFeed)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “I would definitely classify myself as a Christian, but I don't associate with any specific denomination or religious order. There's too much judgment and hypocrisy in religious orders and denominations.” –Male, 23, PA

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Moving for love might be a new relationship milestone for Millennials, but how many would actually pack their bags for romance? Today we asked Thumb users ages 18-24 if they would move if their significant other got a good job in a different part of the country. 54% gave a thumbs up and another 13% were neutral.

  • We’ve warned brands in the past that making fun of Millennials is probably not the best way to get their attention, but it continues to happen. In an attempt to reach the generation, H&R Block created a social media campaign called “Hipster Tax Crisis” that paints the young and hip as obnoxious and clueless. The “Hipster Tax Rap” is particularly painful to watch. (Adweek)

  • Is moving for love the new relationship milestone? With the job market difficult, more young people are having to decide whether they will move for their significant other when career opportunities threaten to separate them—often before they have made a legal commitment of getting married. (NYMag)

  • The news that Stephen Colbert will be replacing Letterman on Late Show will create more competition in the Millennialization of late night. But it also presents a hard-to-fill opening at Comedy Central: whoever replaces Colbert will need to appeal strongly to their 18-34-year-old viewers. (Wall Street Journal)

  • The campaign against bullying is continuing in creative ways. Singapore’s Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth created an anti-bullying video that becomes shorter every time it is shared, with the message that the more people who are aware of the effect of bullying, the more it can be wiped out. (Mashable)

  • We’ve been charting the rise of the desire for privacy and secrecy in social media, and there is a new contender in the space. Wickr allows users to send messages that not only disappear shortly after their read, but are encrypted with "military-grade" encryption. (Fast Company)

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: To get a read on smart clothes, today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 if they would wear clothing that feeds them information about their body, and 52% replied with a thumbs up.

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “I listen to the podcast Welcome to Night Vale because it's a lot of fun—and a little creepy! I especially enjoy listening to it on the bus to school in the morning, when my brain isn't awake enough to read my book.” –Female, 26, CA

  • iPads, cell phones, and SMART boards are changing the way the next generation is being educated, and how they interact with teachers. The technologies allow for new methods of learning, but also present some problems, like in-class distraction. Some students say that, “if you don’t have WiFi you can’t do your homework.” (The Wire)

  • BuzzFeed has launched a new TV engagement feature to help networks “drive audiences to specific shows, with Bravo and IFC as the official partners to start. The Social Tune In program will create posts to plug shows in BuzzFeed’s signature listicle style. (MediaPost)

  • This year, Netflix went to the prom with a 17-year-old. You read that right. High schooler Muthana Sweis tweeted at the brand asking if they would go to the junior prom, and, in a fun personalized marketingmove, Netflix said yes. The streaming service let their “date” choose from three TV-themed rides to the dance and gave him a James Bond tux to wear. The entire date was filmed and shared on YouTube. (Mediabistro)

  • 26-year-old snowboard sales rep Shaun McBride is becoming a star of Snapchat. His elaborate cartoons on the app have amassed him thousands of followers, and show the potential for major creativity on the platform. (Digiday)

  • The Lego Movie may have been a major hit, but the director wasn’t fully satisfied. The sequel—which is currently being developed—will have more strong female characters, and make more of an effort to pass The Bechdel Test. (HitFix)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “My friend's boyfriend asked her to prom by getting it put on a billboard near her house.” –Female, 17, AL

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 if they are nervous about their internet security in the wake of security bug Heartbleed, and 64% replied with a thumbs down. Security holes have become more and more common, and after the Target and Snapchat cyber attacks, this may be just white noise to them, despite its potentially devastating consequences.

  • Sex education in the U.S. varied wildly from state to state, but seems to be missing the mark overall: 80% of young teens who have sex don’t get sex ed beforehand. (The Wire)

  • Chick-fil-A wants to improve their image with Millennials, which took a hit after anti-gay marriage comments made by CEO Dan Cathy in 2012. The brand is going through a “cleaning process” to present more natural ingredients, and attempting to become more transparent in their practices to appeal the generation. (USA Today)

  • Yesterday, teenager Nate Scimio became one of the victims of the Pennsylvania school knife attack, shielding several other students and pulling the fire alarm to alert others to evacuate. Now, he is in the spotlight for a different reason: his “post-stabbing selfie,” shared on Instagram from the hospital, has made him the focus of a major backlash. (Washington Post)

  • NBC is taking an unprecedented crowdsourcing tactic to find new sitcom ideas. Their Comedy Playground campaign is asking consumers for their show concept submissions, which will be judged by a panel of producers and actors. The winners will have their show broadcast on the network. (Entertainment Weekly)

  • Tissue box marketing strikes again. “Unsung Hero,” a tear-jerker spot from Thai Life Insurance showing a do-gooder being rewarded for putting others first, has gone viral. The ad has been viewed over 5 million times in the last week. (The Drum)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “When Starbucks donated money towards pro-LGBT lobby groups. I wasn't surprised…[but] I started buying more coffee from them.” –Female, 26, CA

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Xbox is continuing to innovate with original content, so today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 the same two questions we asked back in November: Do you have or plan on buying Xbox One or PS4. 24% gave a thumbs up to PS4, a decrease from 30%, and 22% gave a thumbs up for Xbox One, an increase from the 16% we saw five months ago. Clearly the console wars are far from over as these two powerhouses continue to battle for Millennial living rooms.

  • Millennials are more likely than Xers or Boomers to say that they believe one parent should stay home to care for children, with 60% agreeing to the statement. The new wave of Millennial parents are setting out with different expectations, and many feel the decision to stay home is a personal, not political, one. (CNN)

  • Xbox One’s launch of original programming will include interactive elements like sub-plots and mini-games that can be unlocked with the console’s controller. (CNET)

  • Frozen madness continues! Official merchandise for the film is selling out everywhere, prompting parents to flood Disney’s Facebook page with complaints. Some items are being auctioned on ebay for more than $1000. (Jezebel)

  • A large number of the young teachers hired in 2007 have stayed in the profession, despite struggles in education. This “new generation of teachers” is bringing energy and tech-savvy to the classroom, including using social media to communicate with students. (WSJ)

  • To promote the release of their upcoming Family Guy mobile game, Fox is looking beyond in-app ads, and instead has launched an Instagram for protagonist Peter Griffin. The account has gained almost 57,000 followers after just seven posts. (Digiday)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “I never really paid attention to same-sex rights until I became a Girl Scout leader. One of the girls in my troop has two moms. They are both wonderful and are raising two amazing children together. It breaks my heart that a person cannot potentially be there for their significant other if they are injured, etc., and need to be hospitalized, because on paper, they aren't considered family.” –Female, 30, OK

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 if they think keeping their phone in their pocket all day is good for their health—61% replied with a thumbs down. Though Millennials may feel having their cellphones on them at all times is a necessity, the potential for negative health effects hasn't escaped them. 

  • It can be hard for brands to use hashtags right, but turning hashtagging into a competition could be one way to engage young consumers. Adidas is rewarding one high school football team with brand new gear, and students can vote for the most “cleat-worthy” school over Twitter and Facebook with the #adidaszero and #vote hashtags. (Digiday)

  • Sesame Street is getting into Netflix's game, launching streaming service Sesame Go for $3.99 a month, and appealing to families with a lower price than competitors and a child-friendly design. (The Verge)

  • Under Armour has been paying attention to workout trends, and their new line is apparently inspired by gym selfies. Post-workout selfies are all over Instagram, and have been made famous by individuals like #belfie (that’s “butt selfie” for those who haven’t witnessed the phenomena) star Jen Selter. (Racked)

  • Today Uber is driving their service into New York, but this time they're on two wheels. Rather than the peer-to-peer taxis they are known for, UberRUSH will be providing 24-hour same day bike deliveries around Manhattan. Users will be able to track their parcels through the service’s app. (Engadget)

  • Amazon could be changing the future of grocery shopping with one little device. Their newly launched Dash is a WiFi enabled “wand” currently being tested by Amazon Fresh customers. Users can simply scan the barcodes of items that need restocking to add the product to their online cart. (CNET)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: 
    Q: What do you plan to purchase for a Mother’s Day gift?
    A: “I don't f*cking know yet. I completely forgot I had to do that...and her birthday is in April so I've got to buy something for that too. Ugh.” –Female, 21, PA

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 if they have downloaded 2048, the “weekend project” we told you about in last week’s Essentials, and 32% replied with a thumbs up. The app version of the game is currently the top free app on Apple's app store.

  • For Millennials, the American Dream no longer necessarily means the traditional house and car, so some brands have to “forget what you knew” about selling in order to appeal to the demographic. Flexibility, legacy, connection, and creation are some of the new values defining their “new dream.”  (Fast Company)

  • We told you that Vice would soon be partnering with FremantleMedia to create food-related content for Millennial viewers, and now the result is revealed: Munchies, a “multi-channel” food platform, is currently in beta.  (Stream Daily)

  • Heineken is entering their 13th year as a Coachella sponsor and is planning their biggest year of on-site marketing yet. The brand’s Heineken House will provide festival attendees with food, art, and music. Exclusive musical performances will be revealed via Snapchat throughout the fest to those following HeinekenSnapWho. (MediaPost)

  • A recent study from a moving company (of all places) has revealed that Millennial men are more likely than men of other generations to say they would move to a new city to advance their partner’s career goals. More than half of Millennial respondents were willing to relocate, versus 43% of Boomers, and 28% of “pre-Boomers.” (USA Today)

  • As streamed viewing increases in popularity, networks are struggling to play tech-catch-up. HBO Go faltered during last night’s premiere of Game of Thrones, prompting the network to send out apology tweets, and drawing comparisons to the service’s issues during the True Detective finale last month. (

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “For prom this year, a girl asked another girl legitimately and I love that homosexual couples are becoming more accepted and confident—so, uh yes, please do that, marketing people.” –Male, 16, NY

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 if they were tuning in for the season premiere of Game of Thrones this weekend and 1 out 5 replied with a thumbs up. The series has been a Millennial favorite and looks like it will continue to capture the demo.

  • Video games are becoming a spectator sport. Anyone familiar with knows that online viewing of competitive gaming has been rising in popularity for years—now the trend is moving offline. Last year, 18,000 people attended the live finals of the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship at the sold-out Staples Center. 32 million people watched the championship in total, more than those who tuned in for the MLB World Series or the NBA Finals. (Quartz)

  • Converse has maintained its cool factor with Millennial audiences by putting them first, more notably by giving emerging musicians a helping hand with free studio time in their Brooklyn music space. Famous bands need not apply. Converse is steadfast in supporting young creatives who have limited resources otherwise. (Fast Company)

  • This week, fashion line Marc by Marc Jacobs announced that they will be turning to social media to cast the face of their fall 2014 campaign. Submissions can be posted on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #CastMeMarc, and young Millennials interested in the spotlight have already begun to flood the brand with selfies and headshots. (NYMag)

  • It’s long been suspected that cats and bacon rule the internet, but now there’s data to back it up. This simultaneously cute and tasty-looking infographic lays out why the two continue to go viral. They account for millions of searches a month, and can help “re-introduce your brands to Millennials.” (The Drum

  • The second season of Inside Amy Schumer premiered on Comedy Central this week featured sketches on feminist topics like the sexualization of female athletes, and ratings were higher with male Millennials ages 18-34 than any show that aired that night on any channel. (Jezebel)

  • Lifeline Quote of theDay: “Love is love. People should not be the judge of whom others can or should love. I feel like as one human family we should come together and accept others regardless of whom they love or choose to associate with. I believe it is unconstitutional to take away or forbid equality... Not everyone has to agree, but they should respect other's decisions.” –Female, 25, OH

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 if they would share a video that helped to donate to a cause they supported with every view it racked up. 36% responded with a thumbs up. While many liked the idea, inThe Age of Not BelievingMillennials are skeptical of brands’ motives, with one respondent commenting, "I'm not entirely sure of the credibility of that."

  • Remember when we said 2014 would be the year Millennial stereotypes would be put to rest? Millennial tropes continue to be busted in recent articles debunking misconceptions and even saying they will be the real Greatest Generation. (LATimesEntrepreneur)

  • From being the only QSR brand to advertise on Instagram to conducting a reddit AMA to promote the launch of their breakfast, Taco Bell is taking risks in their digital marketing to stay relevant to Millennials, and be the generation’s “cool friend.” (Digiday

  • For diversity-conscious Millennials, seeing a variety of ethnicities in entertainment is important, but typecasting and stereotype-based characters can be a major disappointment. A recent parody of Lorde’s “Royals” by comedian Tess Paras calls out typecasting, and brings both humor and awareness to the issue. (So Bad So Good)

  • Older Millennials prefer streaming devices to traditional TV, and now Amazon has a new contender in the streaming device battle: Fire TV is a $99 set-top streamer already on the site’s best-seller list that the brand will use to sell entertainment content as they move forward. (The Verge)

  • YouTube is coming to your commercial breaks. The site will be running TV ads to promote creative vloggers Michelle Phan, Bethany Mota, and Rosanna Pansino. The campaign aims to raise awareness of its unique programming, and raise ad revenues at the same time. (AdAge)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “I pretty much only shop at thrift stores and resale shops, except for picking up packages of socks and underwear at random stores.” –Female, 25, IL

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: It’s becoming more common for brands, from Chick-fil-A to Oreo, to make their supporting and opposing stances on LGBT rights known. Today we asked Millennials on Thumb ages 13-24 what they would think of a brand that took a stance against the rights of same-sex couples. 59% responded with a thumbs down, while 20% signified indifference by voting neutral.

  • In the last few years, brands have aired their points of views on LGBT rights in a variety of ways, from ad campaigns to CEO interviews. But this week OKCupid took the concept a step further with a consumer call to action: in a strongly worded message, the dating site is asking members not to use Firefox because the new Mozilla CEO is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. (Uproxx)

  • For years, YA blockbusters have been high-stakes, high-action, and fantasy-driven. But, perhaps thanks to concern that Millennials are suffering from "supernatural exhaustion," Hollywood could be starting to move in a “more realistic direction” with their young adult fare. Recently optioned Eleanor & Park is a love story between two regular 16-year-olds, and could help usher in the return of the normal teen movie. (The Wire)

  • Upworthy, a leader in social good content and hybrid activism, is about to integrate advertising into their site. Upworthy Collaborations will included promoted brand posts and sponsored topics, though the startup promises it will not work with every brand and will avoid those companies that “greenwash” to help their image. In a blog post announcing the change, transparency and retaining reader trust were emphasized. (TechCrunch)

  • Disney’s $500 million acquisition of YouTube network Maker Studios will provide the media giant with a new path to reach consumers who are shifting from watching TV to watching online content—a trend that is hitting the next generation at very young ages. But Maker will also give them access to the young creatives who could be the rising stars and future of entertainment. (Wired)

  • Google has rolled out a top 10 YouTube brands leaderboard to track what companies are receiving the most watches, likes, and shares. In a blog post the site explained, “As brands continue to blur the line between advertiser and creator, we want to recognize those brands that…build an engaged fan base.” GoPro is currently in the No. 1 spot. (Adweek)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “I know many same-sex couples who are in stable, committed relationships—more stable than some heterosexual unions.” Female, 31, AZ

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Freshly made pizza, cupcakes, and burritos may be coming soon to a vending machine near you, but is fresh food and vending too far a stretch for Millennial foodies? We asked Thumb users ages 13-24 whether they would buy fresh made food from a vending machine and 45% of females gave a thumbs up compared to just 19% of males. Pizza and sandwiches were the most requested for ATM eats.

  • American Beagle Outfitters was pegged as an early April Fool's joke, but it gained so much positive attention from fans that American Eagle will be producing a limited edition clothing line for dogs this spring. The prank was created to raise money for the ASPCA, so its social good backbone and delivery on promises (no matter how fake) signal reliability to Millennials. (American Eagle)

  • Though this generation is having hoax fatigue, April Fool's jokes appeared in spades this year catering to Millennial slang and interests, including a worldwide Pokémon hunt, photobomb application, nap spot finder, and emoji web translater—all from Google entities. (BuzzFeed)

  • Fed up with the diminishing organic reach to Facebook fan newsfeeds without paying extra, Eat24 decided to end their relationship with the social network in a hilarious Dear John break-up letter. For companies with more than 500,000 fans organic reach has dropped to 2%, a factor that might move other young and social companies to follow suit. (Fast Company)

  • Only 20% of adults ages 18-29 are currently married, compared to 59% in 1960. Some say this delay on monogamy is ushering in a sexual revolution among Millennials filled with open relationships, polyamory, and casual sex where young adults are gradually viewing sex as the first step towards a relationship. (Rolling Stone)

  • Texting comes with caution for Millennials who can't take their eyes off of their screen while walking, so Apple is considering the development of "transparent texting" which will show typers what is in front of them on their screen as they text on-the-go. (The Drum)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “It's an adrenaline rush [on anonymous social networks] when you talk to strangers and you may not know them or maybe you do, but they don't know that.” –Female, 18, CA

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: It's Opening Day for America's pastime…or is it? Today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 if they think that baseball is still America's pastime and 37% replied with a thumbs up. As one commenter put it, "Idk anymore, I know I've definitely lost interest in watching it."

  • If baseball is losing its footing with Millennials as America’s pastime, maybe their culinary-obsessions and the growing cult of food will get them to the game. Each year, stadiums introduce new, outrageous food items to tempt customers, and this year’s roster includes the Detroit Tigers’ Poutine Dog, and the Arizona Diamondback D-Bat: an 18-inch corn dog stuffed with bacon, cheese and peppers. (The Wire)

  • Many Gen Xers and Millennials were raised on Shel Silverstein, but children’s poetry might be endangered as publishers have veered away from the category and bookshops aren’t sure how to sell it.  (The Guardian)

  • Older and younger Millennials could be developing different viewing preferences. According to a new study, 25-34-year-olds are the largest users of set-top boxes/devices like Apple TV and Chromecast while 18-24-year-olds tend to use devices like gaming consoles to access their entertainment. (MediaPost)

  • Thanks to binge viewing, Millennials can spend hours (ok, days) watching multiple seasons of their favorite shows—and now they can find out how much of their lives they’ve devoted to each one. New site allows visitors to search for a show and choose the number of seasons they have watched, then calculates exactly how much time they spent watching it. (

  • Disney is back on top. Frozen has become the highest grossing animated film of all time, surpassing Toy Story 3 in global earnings. But the (somewhat unexpected) success is not over, and the film could soon overtake The Dark Knight Rises spot on the all-time box office list. (Hollywood Reporter)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “I don't care about brand names, I just look at how and where products are made. And of course I have to read the reviews and price.“ –Female, 18, FL

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Today we asked Thumb users ages 13-24 for their thoughts on Facebook buying out Oculus Rift. Just 22% replied with a thumbs up, with many responses expressing concern over how they will use the anticipated VR device. One commenter stated: "What is Facebook going do with it? The one virtual reality game that actually looked like it was going somewhere is gonna get ruined."

  • Boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to be diagnosed with ADHD, and almost 20% of all American boys are diagnosed by the time they are in high school, a 37% increase since 2003. But many of those diagnoses are false, and millions of boys are taking prescription drugs for a disorder they don’t have. (Esquire)

  • The single “Rather Be” by the band Clean Bandit is blowing up all over the world. It has been streamed almost 37 million times on Spotify, and viewed 24 million times on YouTube. It could soon become a hit in the U.S., and is a potential “summer breakthrough.” (Buzzfeed)

  • 58% of 13-17-year-olds believe they will be worse off economically than their parents. The recession, high unemployment for young graduates, and the prospective of massive student loans have made the financial pressures on young Millennials significant, and their outlook more pragmatic. (CBS)

  • 19-year-old Gabriele Cirulli created the game 2048 as a fun weekend project. Less than one month later, the browser-based puzzle has been played over 100 million times, and gaming-analysts are saying it could be “the next Flappy Bird.” (CNBC)

  • The Walking Dead is one of the most popular shows currently on television, and now fandom for the show has produced an unusual product for the season finale. Dock Street Walker is a beer made with actual smoked goat brains. (Cool Material)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “Even the super organic brands are owned by profiting companies.“ -Male, 22, CA

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: In response to Seventeen launching their own line of clothing, today we asked female Thumb users ages 13-24 if they would buy clothes from a line a magazine started: 30% responded with a thumbs up. 

  • One aspiring intern has made headlines by reaching out to advertising agencies with a resume consisting of a Lego-esque model of herself along with instructions on how to "Build the perfect Account Service intern." (AdWeek)

  • Seventeen Magazine is getting fashionable off the page and will be launching a clothing line for teen girls. The line will be sold in store-within-stores in Sears, and the retailer hopes the partnership will help it appeal to the young consumers. (Jezebel)

  • Gmail’s recently introduced promotions tab could soon be transformed into a Pinterest-like image stream. The new layout should encourage readers to scroll through promo content more eagerly. (Racked)

  • Some Millennials should get ready for a new label: “Yummy” is a term recently coined for young urban males with money. Though the term “Yummy” is new to us, we segmented the Millennial generation and found The Beta Dogs, a majority male segment with a penchant for spending. (USA Today)

  • Millennials don’t shy away from incorporating social media into major events. The W Hotel is hoping to cash in on that trend, offering a “Social Media Concierge” for weddings for the hefty price tag of $3,000. (NYMag)

  • Lifeline Quote of the Day: “A lot of major companies are linked and it's hard to distinguish what is real. They work to make a profit, not for the best interest of the customers.” –Female, 25, NJ 

  • Thumb Stat of the Day: Festival season is going to start heating up soon, and 37% of Thumb users ages 13-24 told us they would travel to a different part of the country to attend a music festival. One factor preventing Millennials from travelling to participate is the price tag attached, as one commenter stated: "If I had the money, yeah totally." 

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