Ypulse Essentials: 'The Fashion Star' Is Packed With Celebrities, SpongeBob SquarePants Twitter Event, Introducing Paramount Animation

The Fashion StarStyle icon Nicole Richie and menswear designer John Varvatos joined NBC’s ‘The Fashion Star’ (as celebrity mentors and judges in the upcoming style show, where aspiring designers compete for a multimillion-dollar contract to launch their own label. Between the slew of stars — which also includes Jessica Simpson and host Elle Macpherson — and the chance for viewers to purchase contestants’ creations after each episode, “The Fashion Star” is shaping up to be one of the coolest shows yet. Speaking of celebrities, Hewlett-Packard enlisted several young stars to market their TouchPad to young consumers. Russell Brand, “Glee”’s Lea Michele, and “iCarly”’s Miranda Cosgrove are all featured in commercials, and watch for spots with Jay-Z and LeBron James coming soon. Someone in that diverse group is bound to spark Millennials’ interest!) (Entertainment Weekly) (NYTimes, reg required)

- SpongeBob SquarePants is taking over Twitter next week (with the release of a special storyline available exclusively on Twitter. The “episode” is called “The Ice Race Cometh: A Twitter-Tale” and it will run from Tuesday July 12th to Friday July 15th. Each day fans will receive part of the story via tweets and images. This Twitter-event will lead up to a new SpongeBob TV episode called “Frozen Face Off,” which will premiere on Friday July 15th at 8pm. What do you think of this marketing strategy of content built around social media and followers for such a young audience?) (Cynopsis)

- Expect some pretty impressive animated movies from Paramount (since they’ve created an in-house animation division appropriately called Paramount Animation. They’ll focus on CGI-animated movies with budgets of $100 million per film. Their first movie will be released in 2014 and we can hardly…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“[Anna Victoria is] a good role model to women and is changing the way the world looks at fitness and body image.”—Female, 21, CA

Abercrombie & Fitch is going gender-neutral for their new kids’ clothing line. The “Everybody Collection” features “tops, bottoms, and accessories” for five-14-year-old boys and girls. A&F’s Brand President explained their decision to appeal to The Genreless Generation: "Parents and their kids don’t want to be confined to specific colors and styles, depending on whether shopping for a boy or a girl.'' The line of 25 new styles will be rolling out online and to 70 stores, starting this month. (Today)

Millennials & Gen Z already think the Nintendo Switch is cool, and now the brand is giving them more ways to use it. They’re introducing Nintendo Labo, “cardboard-based, interactive DIY experiences” for the Switch, tapping into the “toys-to-life” trend. The variety kit lets players construct five different “Toy-Con” experiences that include turning the Joy-Con controller into a motorbike handle complete with a throttle that can be twisted to accelerate, and creating a piano that senses which keys are pressed to produce the correct musical note. (Kidscreen)

YouTube is pulling Tide Pod Challenge videos from its platform. Teens started eating Tide pods when memes showcasing their Gusher-like colors went viral. The brand has since issued warnings not to eat the pods, and some stores have even begun locking up the product. YouTube has explained the decision to take down the popular pod-eating videos as a continuation of their policy to “prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm." Some are suggesting that pressure from parent company Procter & Gamble may have also been a factor. (Mashable)

The streaming wars are continuing, but audiences are turning to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for very different kinds of content. Hub Entertainment Research found original content is winning users' time on Netflix, while over half watch Hulu for its syndicated collection, and movies are most popular on Amazon Prime. The study also found that most Americans overall spend their entertainment time watching TV (40%), but 18-24-year-olds are most likely to engage with gaming and online video, like YouTube. (Quartz)

Outdoor Voices embraced Millennials’ minimal moment to break onto the athleisure scene. The brandless brand goes for a minimalist aesthetic with pops of color, and sees itself as an anti-Nike of sorts. The founder explains that they’re “a recreational Nike” because “With Nike and so many other brands, it’s really about being an expert, being the best. With OV, it’s about how you stay healthy—and happy.” Whatever they’re doing, it’s working: the company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2013, climbing a startling 800% in 2016 alone. (Vogue)

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

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