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

“I saw some heartbreaking stories in the internet, and decided to look up some international charities and donate to them.”—Male, 20, WA

Magazine covers aren’t dying in the age of digital—even when publications go out of print. Digital-only covers are “captur[ing] the print magazine's tangible essence” while building hype for media brands on social media (especially Instagram). PorterComplexNylonGQ and more publications have taken on the trend, featuring celebrities like Chance the Rapper to Sophie Turner. For magazines looking for a comeback with young consumers, digital-only covers can “translate their own brand for the web." (Fashionista)

Following “a series of scandals,” YouTube is taking major steps to overhaul its video review process and ad placement policies. The new guidelines “kick tens of thousands of video makers out” of the ad program by requiring anyone who generates ad revenue to produce 4,000 hours of content and gain 1,000 subscribers in one year, upping the ante from the previous requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. YouTube is also promising to manually review every video in its top tier of advertising (Google Preferred), and they’ve hired 10,000 new employees in the last year to get the job done. (recode)

Some Millennial parents are applying their minimalist tendencies to their kids’ toy chests to battle play clutter with “toy limitation.” It’s not a new concept—some schools of thought that have “advocate[d] simple, open-ended toys” include Montessori, Waldorf, and RIE—and today’s advocates say limiting toys can improve focus and happiness. A report from the University of Toledo concluded that toddlers “played ‘better’” when given fewer toys, meaning they played with each toy for longer and in more creative ways. However, some parents worry that they’re “denying [their children’s] self-expression” when they limit toys, and so the debate continues. (Slate)

Tostitos is giving fans their very own personalized Super Bowl ads to invite friends to their game parties. The platform takes a user's name, address, and other invite info and spins it into a video perfect for Customization Nation. Each ad features a different combination of Super Bowl clichés, including a “talking baby, puppies, sassy older women, [and] a celebrity pitchman.” Considering Ypulse data shows 64% of 13-34-year-olds watched some or all of the 2017 Super Bowl with friends and family, it’s a safe bet at least some will be sending out invites, possibly with some Tostitos product placement this year. (Adweek)

Facebook’s new feature lets Groups co-view each other’s content. “Watch Party” allows Group admins to show any Facebook video to members simultaneously, and to comment on a “dedicated reel” for a “shared viewing experience.” The feature is another step towards the platform’s new goal to “encourage meaningful social interactions,” and their new focus on Groups. The push for social viewing could possibly be integrated into other aspects of Facebook and its properties, like group chats. (TechCrunch)

“I plan to go to a free barre class at a local studio that is offering them as part of a New Year's promotion.”—Female, 33, MA

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