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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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “New wedding traditions I’ve noticed are the return of the wedding band (not just DJ), and weekend activities even if the wedding isn't a destination.”—Female, 30, DC

The election inspired Millennials to start reading (some) major newspapers again. According to a Pew Research Center study, 44% of 18-49-year-olds received their election news from The New York Times, 37% received it from The Washington Post, and 27% went to The Wall Street Journal—compared to 23%, 19%, and 15% of those 50 and older respectively. Local newspapers did not get as much love from the younger generation, with only 23% turning to them compared to 67% of older consumers. (Fortune)

How did Vans get on every “cool kid’s radar?” They have their exclusive Vault line to thank. In the early 2000s, the shoe line was struggling to reach young consumers with their classic styles, so they were reimagined with collaborator-inspired designs and sold in limited quantities at higher price points in partner stores only. The strategy was “a marketing exercise for boosting energy and brand affinity,” and helped bring the brand to international levels, most likely driving a 7% increase last quarter. (Glossy

PepsiCo reports that almost half of its revenue now comes from healthy foods. With young consumers not drinking sweet carbonated beverages the way they used to, the brand pledged to cut calories from their sugary drinks but has been moving at a “glacial pace.” Almost half of their revenue is now coming from their “guilt-free” product category, like Baked Lay’s and Naked juices, 25% from “everyday nutrition” like water and healthier snacks, and the brand is admitting soda is “becoming a smaller part of” their future. (Grub Street

An app bringing tech to pre-K just secured $10 million in venture funding. Brightwheel helps pre-K teachers and daycare providers manage their business, while updating parents on their child’s status throughout the day with photos and messages. Along with premium access, it is available for free with limited features which the founder hopes would appeal to lower income communities: “Something like 85% of brain development happens in the first 3 years of life…Access to good pre-K care is low in the US, we’re ranked 26th globally. And we think tech can help to change that.” (TechCrunch

Over nine in ten of Millennials say the post-grad job hunt was difficult. The insight from a recent Job Applicator Center study reflects employers’ tendency to hire skilled workers for entry-level positions while overlooking recent graduates. The study also found that 18-34-year-olds have already had 2.7 jobs on average and 41% only plan to be at their current job for two years or less—most likely because they are looking for employers who invest in them beyond just salaries and benefit packages. (Job Application Center

Quote of the Day: “I want my wedding to be authentic, joyful and audacious.”—Female, 30, NE

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