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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“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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