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

“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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