Ypulse Essentials: RIP Microsoft KIN, Facebook Fatigue, CW Jump Starts Fall Lineup

kinWhat killed the KIN (Price points? Botched marketing? Functionality issues? Wired says all of the above led to the demise of the social networking phone, which Microsoft says will not launch in Europe as planned as part of a new strategy to focus on the Windows 7 phone. More post-mortem analysis on Ad Age, reg. required. Meanwhile Apple makes meeting Millennial mobile needs look easy, adding a second camera lens for self-portraits to the new iPhone) (ars technica) (New York Times, reg. required)

- Madonna’s daughter turns fashion blogger (to promote the Material Girl line for Macy’s. But is it ‘4 realz’? Gawker says the “tween LOLz patois.. is so rampant it must be fake.” And speaking of the commodification of youth culture, check out this essay on the new-model teen from PopMatters)

- MTV inks deal with Warner Music Group (for exclusive rights to ads around the music videos of thousands of Warner artists. Also Doug Akin of Mr. Youth reports back from the Bonnaroo music festival with lessons on what makes event sponsorship ‘epic’) (Clickz) (MediaPost, reg. required)

- One in five teens show signs of ‘Facebook Fatigue’ (A survey of 600 teens from online gaming site Roiworld show more signs of waning interest. Look for what our own Ypulse Research has to say on this coming soon) (Mashable)

- Mountain Dew taps skate shops (for a chance to have their designs featured on limited-edition packaging and posted on GreenLabelArt.com. And Seth Green teams with Nintendo to appear in new ads for “Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies”) (MediaPost, reg. required)

- CW gets a head start on fall programming (debuting most of its lineup more than a week ahead other networks. And over on Salon, day pass required, tough questions for “Real World” creator Jonathan Murray on returning to New…

 
 

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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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