Ypulse Essentials: New Nook Tablet And Playstation Vita Debut, Staying Positive Online, 'Hunger Games' Cast Goes On A Mall Tour

Playstation VitaBarnes & Noble is going head to head (in a tablet war. Barnes & Noble is cutting the memory of its Nook Tablet to 8GB and the price to $199 to match the Kindle Fire in cost and capacity. Meanwhile, Amazon seems to have its sights set on Apple with rumors swirling that the online retailer plans to introduce a 10-inch tablet which would be more in line with the iPad. And Apple is reportedly testing a mini version of its iPad that would be competitive with Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s smaller-sized tablets. In other tech news, Sony’s Playstation Vita went on sale today and the portable gaming system — which offers gamers better controls and a more sophisticated gaming experience than smartphones — is already selling well, according to Sony) (CNET) (eBookNewser) (CBSNews) (Time)

- The Internet has its share of trolls, but some websites prefer to focus on the positive (instead of the negative, such as Positively Positive. The site provides a daily dose of good news for users. Similarly, HelloGiggles was founded by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi as an “entertaining and supportive community” for people to interact online in a troll-free space. It even has a “no gossip” policy. With Millennials facing such tough times, they can use all of the positive online inspiration they can get!) (Mashable)

- The cast of ‘The Hunger Games’ is coming to a city near you! (Get ready for malls from Seattle to Miami to be overrun with screaming fans, a la Twilight. At each stop, fans will get a chance to ask questions of the film’s stars in a Q&A session, and they can enter to win give aways from the tour’s sponsors, including Microsoft and China Glaze. Speaking of “Hunger Games,” here’s your friendly reminder that tickets go on sale today for the March 23rd opening) (Deadline…

 
 

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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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