App Overload: The Friday Don’t Miss List

Your weekly round-up of the topics we’ve covered this week along with all the things that might not have made it in our posts the first time around, but that you should not miss…

1. Back to the Future
The Internet of Things (IoT) has infiltrated domestic homes, turning egg cartons into sensory items and allowing objects to communicate with each other. While smart objects at home aim to make life easier, don’t miss IoT integration in the workplace, where it’s not just about things, but about empowering people. Technology will increase productivity by providing assistance for routine tasks and allowing meetings to happen whenever, wherever, and however, an idea that aligns with Millennials’ idea of a flexible work-life balance. 66% of Millennials are also open to wearable devices in the workplace. Good thing, because by 2025, 1 trillion devices are estimated to be connected worldwide.
 
2. Superheroines Catching Fire
Strong female comic book characters and superheroines are at the forefront of Millennial media, and we let you know how fans are speaking up to put Wonder Woman, Black Widow, and Hit Girl in starring roles. Though production power ultimately falls to movie execs, fans pay tribute with their wallets, so don’t miss media chatter that The Hunger Games’ second installment Catching Fire may beat the first film at the box office by a longshot. The film celebrates Katniss, the lead, for her tenacity, and has also inspired a surge in interest for archery, her signature skill.
 
3. Drinks Drop the Beat
We let you know that luxury is being turned on its side in favor adventure and authenticity when it comes to the tastes of drinking age Millennials, so don’t miss AR Mixer, an app being developed to infuse augmented reality with alcohol to make every drink a hit. Users can…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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