Ypulse Essentials: Mattel's Monster High, Ford Fiesta @ Bonnarroo, Neo-Frugalism

Monster HighMattel to unveil ‘Monster High’ (this summer in a major launch featuring dolls based on the teen characters, an apparel line, a series of books, an interactive website/webisodes and a movie expected in 2011 or 2012) (Los Angeles Business Journal)

- Ford Fiesta @ Bonnaroo (targets Gen Y music lovers with experiential elements like the “Fiesta Garage,” a ‘70s themed performance space. Also auto care company Midas and SPIN magazine are teaming up to launch the “Rock the Highway” sweepstakes for young musicians. And a look at Millennials’ changing attitudes towards car culture) (MediaPost, reg. required) (Brandchannel)

- ‘MTV’s True Life: Resist the Power, Saudi Arabia’ (brings potential legal trouble from the country’s religious police for the Saudi youths featured in the episode. Also religious groups in America are not surprisingly less than pleased with Comedy Central’s plans for a cartoon featuring a Jesus Christ character) (Reuters) (THR)

- Sony Online Entertainment launches ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ (as a free, browser-based virtual world. And good news for Moshi Monsters fans—Penguin is publishing a children’s series based on the world. Plus over on Gamasutra, Sony’s John Koller talks PSPs, price points and piracy) (Virtual World News) (Forbes)

- [Bare]feet first (a Canadian teen launches a campaign to go barefoot to raise money for impoverished children. While a teacher in the Midwest sets out to eat and anonymously blog every school lunch served in her school’s cafeteria over the course of a year)  (BBC News) (PSFK)

- Summit Entertainment and Mastercard debut pre-paid ‘Eclipse’ gift cards (to coincide with the release of the  third “Twilight” film. Also it looks like Batgirl fans will have to apply some muscle if they want to see the girl wonder in her own comic book movie)…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“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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