Ypulse Essentials: Blockbuster's Movie Pass, More Nickelodeon Nostalgia, Books On-Demand

Blockbuster is back and ready to battle Netflix and Qwikster (with Blockbuster Movie Pass, a service that lets users stream content and rent movies and games-by-mail. Unlike Netflix which has split into two companies, the Blockbuster Movie Pass will allow viewers to watch content on both mediums through one subscription and for the same price as Netflix. Sounds appealing, especially to Millennials who are likely to want both options without paying two fees. However, we sense a fight as big as Facebook vs Google+ brewing) (TechCrunch)

- In another attempt to cater to nostalgic Millennials (Nickelodeon and retailer Johnny Cupcakes are selling an exclusive line of t-shirts featuring some of Gen Y’s favorite cartoon characters including SpongeBob Squarepants, CatDog, Rugrats, and Ren & Stimpy. We’re not sure if the clothing will be as popular as Nick’s retro programming since wearing animated characters on shirts seems a little childish, but then again, that’s the point of nostalgia, and it’s been working for the network) (Cynopsis)

- It’s a tough time for the book business (but there may be a solution to help bookstores and publishers alike: printing on-demand. Espresso Book Machines enable a book to be printed in a matter of minutes, which means shelves don’t have to be stocked for paperbacks to sell. HarperCollins is making 5,000 titles available in this format and we’re curious to see how consumers respond) (WSJ)

- We bet teen girls will be flocking to theaters this weekend to see ‘Twilight’ star Taylor Lautner in the film ‘Abduction’ (about a teenage boy who finds out his parents aren’t really his. You won’t find werewolves and vampires in this flick, but we think it will be popular nonetheless. Speaking of movies, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit is angered

 
 

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“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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