Ypulse Essentials: A Hunger Games Game, Google+ Is Still Growing, Millennial Women Want & Give Shopping Advice

Hunger GamesGet ready for Hunger Games the, uh, game… (Lionsgate is teaming up with Funtactix to build a social game that takes place in the world of Panem. Debuting the same day as the movie, it will give us the first official map of the futuristic country, which plenty of fans have been trying to divine on their own. In other games news, an Angry Birds K’nex building set — complete with favorite characters and buildable launchers — seems like a brilliant product extension) (Examiner) (Google) (Kidscreen)

- The Super Bowl isn’t just the ultimate sporting event, it’s the ultimate advertising (competition! This year, Google’s businesses are helping us experience it to the max with a YouTube channel created just for the occasion called Ad Blitz 2012 — blitz! get it? — and a Google+ hangout the following day to discuss all this hits and misses. Speaking of Google+, the site has reportedly just hit 100 million users) (Pocket Lint) (Mashable)

- Millennial women are social shoppers (broadcasting their opinions to help friends, family, and perfect strangers make smarter purchase decisions. They also take others’ advice, buying items they’ve heard about via social media and asking their social media friends about what to buy) (eMarketer)

- While the TV industry is struggling with young viewers, some cable companies get Millennials (and what matters to them — justice, authenticity, and connection & community — and focus network decisions based on those principles. Speaking of making moves that would excite a Millennial audience, Viacom might be willing to unbundle its cable channels, including MTV, for a la carte consumption. Such a move might stem the tide of cord cutting among Millennials who don’t see a value in paying a huge cable bill when they don’t watch most of the channels)…

 
 

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“I don't spend money, really on anything. I enjoy video games and will enjoy getting video games, but I receive as gifts from grandparents, parents”—Female, 14, IA

Airbnb is booming in Africa, where young travelers are “looking for culture rather than comfort.” Over two million people have used Airbnb in Africa to book vacation accommodations in the last five years, reportedly earning African hosts $139 million in just the past year. Wanderlusting Millennials are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones to discover new places, rather than retread old ground, and locales like Africa are getting a boost because of it. (Quartz)

Nielsen says they finally have a way to measure Netflix viewership—but Netflix says they’re way off base. Nielsen claims they can keep track of all viewing on the platform, including originals, “whether or not a studio or network wants them to.” Netflix claims, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.” Ouch. Regardless, Nielsen’s move is a step in the right direction to measure what The Post-TV Genis watching, and has “direct implications for the ad business.” (MediaPostAdAgeFortune)

Influencers are using Instagram’s new polling feature, beating brands to the punch. Influencer network Blog Lovin’ found that 66% of their followers (many of which are influencers) had already used polling, while 87% plan to in the future. Polling is not only an opportunity to engage with customers but a way for brands to “[ask] for feedback about products, creat[e] engagement around topics that are in the media and [conduct] market research.” But brands have been slow to ask influencers to use the new story feature for promotions or to utilize the feature on their standalone accounts. (Glossy)

High school students are increasingly taking college courses—but little is known about whether it will benefit them. Thanks to dual-enrollment programs, which are expanding rapidly, students can get a head start on college credits, cutting down on the cost of higher education. Some also argue that Advanced Placement courses are more rigorous, and worthier of students’ extra effort. However, the impacts of programs on “a diverse set of students” is not yet known. (WSJ)

Kids have online influencers too, and they’re pushing branded toys to devoted viewers. Unboxing videos on YouTube are not a new phenomenon, but kid stars unboxing toys are getting brands’ attention as a way to leverage The Influencer Effect. MGA Entertainment, the world’s largest private toy company, pivoted 90% of their ad spend to digital in 2014 and report the strategy is paying off. Studies show children’s attention is switching from cable to YouTube, and influencers help brands reach a “much more engaged smaller audience” and give them “that potential for virality.” (Bloomberg)

"I love coffee and love the experience of having someone make me a nice latte. I like being around other people and hanging out in restaurants or cafes.”—Female, 20, PA

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