Ypulse Essentials: Youth Brands @ SXSW, Double Dutch, 'The Greatest Generation'

sxsw2009Youth brands are more than background noise at SXSW (sponsors for the indie music festival clamor to get noticed by 12,000 wallet wielding attendees with music showcases and free parties.  Also, AdRants picks up a discussion on marketers misusing social media sparked by a panel held during the interactive portion of the festival) (New York Times, reg. required)

- Spring Break, not broke (Gen Digital compares college students’ plans for this year with 2008, and the results aren’t as dramatic as expected. Plus, studentactivism.net calls out the student drinking study we mentioned in an earlier Essentials—“College Freshmen Study Booze More Than Books”— for sensationalizing their results. Apparently, the company that ran the study offers online alcohol education programs to colleges)

- Hip to be square (the latest Obama Effect? Black teens who aren’t shy about showing off their smarts. Plus, to get more students involved in competitive sports, New York high schools introduce Double Dutch) (Boston Globe) (Salon, day pass required)

- More on the media-induced ‘sexting’ scare (don’t believe the hype or rather keep it in perspective - Anastasia is quoted. Plus, The New York Times examines the bullying ways of secret societies in prep schools) (San Francisco Chronicle)

- Adults infringe on teen jobs (as unemployment continues to climb, older, more appealing candidates vie for traditional teen positions. Plus, Chinese millennials ask similar questions about employment in the face of the economic downturn) (Chicago Tribune) (WSJ)

-Kids Choice’ (corners the award show market for the kiddie crowd, according to the Boston Herald. Assuming they aren’t aging up and watching the MTV offerings?) (Boston Herald)

- Mobile teens in the UK (Alcatel’s Teen Lab takes a look at how mobile usage…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I don't spend money, really on anything. I enjoy video games and will enjoy getting video games, but I receive as gifts from grandparents, parents”—Female, 14, IA

Airbnb is booming in Africa, where young travelers are “looking for culture rather than comfort.” Over two million people have used Airbnb in Africa to book vacation accommodations in the last five years, reportedly earning African hosts $139 million in just the past year. Wanderlusting Millennials are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones to discover new places, rather than retread old ground, and locales like Africa are getting a boost because of it. (Quartz)

Nielsen says they finally have a way to measure Netflix viewership—but Netflix says they’re way off base. Nielsen claims they can keep track of all viewing on the platform, including originals, “whether or not a studio or network wants them to.” Netflix claims, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.” Ouch. Regardless, Nielsen’s move is a step in the right direction to measure what The Post-TV Genis watching, and has “direct implications for the ad business.” (MediaPostAdAgeFortune)

Influencers are using Instagram’s new polling feature, beating brands to the punch. Influencer network Blog Lovin’ found that 66% of their followers (many of which are influencers) had already used polling, while 87% plan to in the future. Polling is not only an opportunity to engage with customers but a way for brands to “[ask] for feedback about products, creat[e] engagement around topics that are in the media and [conduct] market research.” But brands have been slow to ask influencers to use the new story feature for promotions or to utilize the feature on their standalone accounts. (Glossy)

High school students are increasingly taking college courses—but little is known about whether it will benefit them. Thanks to dual-enrollment programs, which are expanding rapidly, students can get a head start on college credits, cutting down on the cost of higher education. Some also argue that Advanced Placement courses are more rigorous, and worthier of students’ extra effort. However, the impacts of programs on “a diverse set of students” is not yet known. (WSJ)

Kids have online influencers too, and they’re pushing branded toys to devoted viewers. Unboxing videos on YouTube are not a new phenomenon, but kid stars unboxing toys are getting brands’ attention as a way to leverage The Influencer Effect. MGA Entertainment, the world’s largest private toy company, pivoted 90% of their ad spend to digital in 2014 and report the strategy is paying off. Studies show children’s attention is switching from cable to YouTube, and influencers help brands reach a “much more engaged smaller audience” and give them “that potential for virality.” (Bloomberg)

"I love coffee and love the experience of having someone make me a nice latte. I like being around other people and hanging out in restaurants or cafes.”—Female, 20, PA

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