Ypulse Essentials: 'Guitar Hero' Unplugged, Pets Get Kids Moving, Cookie Jar Goes Primetime

Guitar HeroFallen (Guitar) Hero (Activision pulls the plug on its “Guitar Hero” franchise, canceling the release of the sixth edition of the game. PSFK, via the Guardian, offers theories for why the billion-dollar franchise failed: selling out and lack of innovation. Also on the chopping block are DJ Hero and True Crime: Hong Kong. So, um, anyone up for a jam session on Rock Band?)  (Mashable) (PSFK) (Ars Technica)

- Kids who have a dog get more exercise than those who don’t. Perhaps the White House’s “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity — which is now a year old — should consider building in a pet component) (TruthDive) (Ad Age, reg required)

- Cookie Jar Entertainment (goes primetime, announcing a slate of projects in development for tweens, teens, and young adults) (Hollywood Reporter)

- College students aren’t being challenged academically and are falling behind their peers in other countries. For when Gen Yers graduate and enter the workplace, Diversity Inc. dissolves a few myths about what they want as employees. Hint, yes, money matters!) (Salon)

- Target will have an exclusive (deluxe edition of Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way, out May 23. Those who pre-order get an immediate free download of the much anticipated title track) (Billboard)

- Nick Jr’s upcoming show ‘Olive the Ostrich’ (will be illustrated by UK students, thanks to a partnership with The Princes Foundation for Children & the Arts. In other “by kids, for kids” news, USA Today profiles a successful teen author whose self-published books are racing up the charts. Perhaps more publishers should consider crowdsourcing) (Kidscreen)

- Single for Valentine’s Day? (new app, Heartbroker, taps the power of your Facebook friends to find you the perfect match) (Social Times)

 
 

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“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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