Ypulse Essentials: 'The Fashion Star' Is Packed With Celebrities, SpongeBob SquarePants Twitter Event, Introducing Paramount Animation

The Fashion StarStyle icon Nicole Richie and menswear designer John Varvatos joined NBC’s ‘The Fashion Star’ (as celebrity mentors and judges in the upcoming style show, where aspiring designers compete for a multimillion-dollar contract to launch their own label. Between the slew of stars — which also includes Jessica Simpson and host Elle Macpherson — and the chance for viewers to purchase contestants’ creations after each episode, “The Fashion Star” is shaping up to be one of the coolest shows yet. Speaking of celebrities, Hewlett-Packard enlisted several young stars to market their TouchPad to young consumers. Russell Brand, “Glee”’s Lea Michele, and “iCarly”’s Miranda Cosgrove are all featured in commercials, and watch for spots with Jay-Z and LeBron James coming soon. Someone in that diverse group is bound to spark Millennials’ interest!) (Entertainment Weekly) (NYTimes, reg required)

- SpongeBob SquarePants is taking over Twitter next week (with the release of a special storyline available exclusively on Twitter. The “episode” is called “The Ice Race Cometh: A Twitter-Tale” and it will run from Tuesday July 12th to Friday July 15th. Each day fans will receive part of the story via tweets and images. This Twitter-event will lead up to a new SpongeBob TV episode called “Frozen Face Off,” which will premiere on Friday July 15th at 8pm. What do you think of this marketing strategy of content built around social media and followers for such a young audience?) (Cynopsis)

- Expect some pretty impressive animated movies from Paramount (since they’ve created an in-house animation division appropriately called Paramount Animation. They’ll focus on CGI-animated movies with budgets of $100 million per film. Their first movie will be released in 2014 and we can hardly…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “When I want relationship advice I usually check out good relationship blogs or online articles.” –Female, 32, TN

E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular with teens, and one reason could be that it’s “ridiculously easy” for teens to get them. A new study asked minors to order e-cigarettes online from 98 different vendors, and 75 of those orders were successful. Of the 23 orders that failed, only five were due to age-verification issues, and in many cases if a website did not accept a minor’s age, teens were able to use their parents’ identities. Kids who have smoked e-cigs are reportedly twice as likely to say they intend to try regular cigarettes, so this ease of access could lead to a larger issue. (The Verge

Millennials are seeing food as the new status symbol and expecting everything on demand. Now a slew of startups areredefining food delivery to cater to their tastes. Gourmet food delivery service Munchery is a player in this trend, and has just expanded from San Francisco to New York City. Unlike services that deliver dishes from high-end eateries, Munchery provides a selection of over 300 pre-cooked meals prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, which are delivered cold and ready to be heated. There is a social good angle as well, as Munchery matches the cost of each order with a donation to City Harvest. (Forbes)

Young consumers have helped to make Scotch and whiskey cool again, and old-school brown spirits have become increasingly popular over the last decade. While the industry might have initially been ”perplexed” by the attention, it has seized the opportunity by targeting Millennial drinkers in new ways. The brand Balvenie is appealing to this new generation of Scotch drinkers by tapping Anthony Bourdain to host Raw Craft, a video series traveling around the country to showcase American craftsmanship. The Balvenie’s parent company has also released new brands, like Monkey Shoulder, that specifically target 20-somethings with lower prices and unpretentious branding. (Fast Company)

YouTube celebrities like PewDiePie’s Felix Kjellberg, Zoella, Alfie Deyes, and Jamal Edwards all made the list of the 500 most influential people in the country, and digital marketers could learn a few lessons from Generation YouTube. “Flawed is the new flawless,” thanks to digital celebs’ realness and transparency, and brands should embrace the authenticity of the medium. It’s also important to note that the stereotype of kids watching YouTube alone in their bedrooms is far from the truth: 90% of users are over 18-years-old, and 39% watch YouTube with their partner. (Marketing

Sonic is planning to play up their retro style drive-ins to appeal to young consumers' nostalgia, while also giving those drive-ins a technological makeover. Soon the fast food spots will feature touch-screen menus, which offer suggestions and internet access, along with the carhop service that has helped to set it apart from its competitors. The brand was slow to launch a digital and social presence, but is ramping up their efforts, including a series of digital only clips that show a significant departure from their traditional TV marketing. The opportunity for Sonic to attract younger consumers could be big, considering their customizable menu and unique experience-driven locations. (Digiday)

Have some lingering questions about Millennials that you need answered for an upcoming meeting? That’s what Ypulse is here for. Silver and Gold subscribers have access to Ypulse's trend and Millennial experts for quick, personalized feedback on any topic. After each insights article, subscribers can submit questions and requests directly to our experts and receive instant responses. (Ypulse)

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