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SXSW 2016: Everything that went down and more


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We went to SXSW 2016 to soak up the atmosphere, to learn, be inspired and network. At that time, we were running 3 side projects/startups - Lensy, Hashably and Freshly Pressed Socks. For Freshly Pressed, we created a SXSW sock "Austin" ( and did a giveaway by running an onground Twitter campaign. We also created an unofficial guide to SXSW using Hashably that leveraged on Instagram to show conference goers the best places to go and things to do around Austin during the festival.

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SXSW 2016: Everything that went down and more

  1. 1. TITLESXSW 2016
  2. 2. NOT YOUR TYPICAL agency digital / tech trends
  4. 4. • Music, interactive, film • Where creatives, makers and geeks converge • Spread over entire downtown Austin WHAT’s SXSW?
  5. 5. All the fuss that happens at sxsw Keynotes and panels SXSW Accelerator Gaming Expo SouthbitesSXStyle Brand HousesTrade Show Parties & Networking
  6. 6. • Long queues everywhere. For food, for sessions, to try out things… • Organised chaos in the entire city, Obama visiting the city didnt help WHAT TO EXPECT
  7. 7. • To learn, to soak up the atmosphere, to network What were we there for?
  8. 8. • VR was just starting out (Game of Thrones) • Private networks was a big thing – Whisper and Secret created a lot of buzz • Meerkat was a huge hit last year TWO YEARS AGO
  9. 9. • VR exploded • Meerkat got trumped by Periscope • Secret closed down • No big shout outs this year Fast forward 2016…
  10. 10. • VR exploded • More brand presence everywhere (Mazda, IBM, Mcdonalds, Samsung, Esurance, Spotify……) Everyone was trying to be a thought leader Fast forward 2016…
  13. 13. POTUS • Government’s role vs. the community’s role - It is everyone’s civic duty and responsibility • Perception of government • Technology to help uphold democracy • The biggest challenge for government • Solving the digital divide • Privacy vs. security “And right now, with all the talent that’s out there, our government is not working and our politics isn’t working as well as it should -- the only way we’re going to solve that is make sure that we’re getting citizens involved in ways that we haven’t up until now.”
  14. 14. CASEY GERALD • Casey Gerald, MBAs Across America • Purpose over profit • Redefining entrepreneurship • The need for a social awakening “What would you do and say if you are not afraid?”
  15. 15. Reimagining transportation
  16. 16. HYPERLOOP • The Hyperloop is a high speed intercity transporter using a low pressure tube train with a top speed of 1,200km/h • Key issues with public transportation • Currently being built using open sourced design and technology • 3 companies building it through a collaborative and crowdsourced model
  18. 18. SOFTWARE AS AN AGENCY Speaker: Cory Clarke, VSA Partners • Technology has the opportunity to transfer the agency business • Fallacy that agencies have a lot differentiation • Work product has changed radically but the agency model hasn’t transformed with it • We have standard inputs - hen you have standards, this is the best opportunity to standardize with software • Software augments the way agencies can design for brands and create marketing experiences and raises the value of work beyond just creativity and intelligence of the team
  19. 19. SOFTWARE AS AN AGENCY • Our business is ripe for change. There is an opportunity to automate standards, augment our adaptability and enhance our creativity • We can capitalize these opportunities by employing • Open source to expand our reach • Machine learning and big data for expertise • Self service to change the calculus of scale • Metered usage to extend our revenue model • What’s next – big 3 agencies vs independents vs consulting firms
  20. 20. EVOLUTION OF ________
  21. 21. WIKIPEDIA • First words • Bringing together the sum of all human knowledge • The importance of being kind and thoughtful • Greatest fear – health of the community • Robots and automation • The people’s operator • Living in London
  22. 22. SEARCH • Accessing the inaccessible - Jelly 1.0 vs Jelly 2.0 • The goal of technology is to amplify humanity’s best traits. • Fire it up and forget search, go back to life • Asking the right question • Jelly vs. Quora
  23. 23. THE MODERN MEDIA COMPANY • Structure of media company – Single brand across multiple verticals or multiple brands • Quality content has a business model • Data informs content and advertising decisions • We need to make the experience as good as the content to do justice to the message
  24. 24. THE MODERN MEDIA COMPANY • Expansion in media companies • Vox creative services. • Vox influencers + Chorus • Biggest issues in the industry • Ad blockers, ad fraud, CPM lowering, ad quality getting worse. • Question of quality vs quanity • Focus on first party advertising vs third party (like programmatic)
  25. 25. MASHABLE • Importance of consistent engagement and relationship-building with your audience over one-time success. • Mashable studio was set up last year - serialised mashable content • Video most impactful way to tell a story, fastest way to consume lots of info and get across feel and emotion • Big data – Velocity
  27. 27. ADVENTURES IN DIGITAL 1.Human centered approach will continue to be critical for designing in a digital world. Data will be key 2.Companies will have to embrace the continuous design to meet the liquid expectations of customers. Instead of designing one experience for many, they will need to design many expectations for each consumer 3.Products and services will no longer stay the same for very long 4.Emerging Tech like VR will mean that we can immerse customers in an experience wherever they are in that point of time.
  28. 28. GETTING UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL • Personalization of content and experiences • The 4Rs – Recognise, remember, recommend, relevance • Key challenges – multiple identifiers • SXSWgenome
  30. 30. ANTHONY BOURDAIN • “I joke about ‘not giving a fuck’ as a good business model – but it’s true” • “I never had a reputation to lose. It’s an advantage.” • I’ll go back to brunch, motherfucker. I don’t care.” • Sometimes when you’re eating, you have to acknowledge the elephant in the room.” • Aims to “[make] an artificial process less artificial” • Authenticity in shows – never had a meet and greet reshoot “We know what people like. If we cared about that, every show would be about barbecue.”
  31. 31. BRAND WATCH
  32. 32. UNDER ARMOUR • Brand story: The feeling I can do better • Company origins and success • The string of athletes
  33. 33. UNDER ARMOUR CONNECTED FITNESS • Brand story – The feeling I can do better • The string of athletes – all the reigning MVPs • Foray into their digital and their digital strategy • The company that will win are those who use data to their advantage • Don’t forget to sell shirts and shoes • UA connected fitness - helps predict health, macro trends • Map vs. Terrain • Four pillars - Make a great, tell a good story, service the business, build a great team
  35. 35. SOCIAL COMMERCE • How do you hold visual storytelling across all different networks and platforms? • Each channel lends itself differently and not everything is meant to be shop-able. Some need to be inspirational. Some needs to be UGC driven. • Content creation is expensive so it’s tempting for brands to try to crowdsource content from customers • Importance of lifestyle images vs product shots
  36. 36. SOCIAL COMMERCE • What’s holding social commerce back • Mobile commerce needs to improve • Marketers focusing on outdated metrics (brand recall etc). Need to be able to look at high value actions • No social commerce story has gone viral • What social platforms will be the winners • Snap chat with time sensitive offers and deals • Facebook Messenger for brands (think operator and magic) • Oculus rift for VR
  37. 37. THE NEW MENSWEAR CONSUMER • Ethan Song, Founder of Frank & Oak • Get your customers to buy into your culture and values, and they will become loyal paying customers. • It’s about creating a lifestyle right to the products. Sell culture, not products • New products all the time just like a blog. • No overstock and products are deliberately left out of stock • Strictly no wholesaling “Woman buys the pieces. Men buy the lifestyle.”
  38. 38. HEADS + HEARTS – Consumer engagement whEre it counts • Christina Binkley (WSJ), James Thompson (Neuroscientist), Melody Lee (Cadillac) • Goal is to set as much hardwiring as we can • Rational touches on value and emotional touches on value • Expected value vs experienced value • High expectation of a really nice experience in retail stores (where SG is lacking) “Woman buys the pieces. Men buy the lifestyle.”
  39. 39. Designing Happiness • Bruce Vaugn (Walt Disney Imagineering), Gabby Cohen (Soulcycle), Randall Stone (Lippincott) and Mark Wilson (Fast Company) • All three brands strive to create happy experiences, not as an afterthought, but as the first step in what they do. • Everyone wanna feel their life is special. • Happiness designers must consider the beginning, middle, and end of an experience “Happiness is mostly the anticipation of the event and memory of it”
  40. 40. TRADE SHOW
  41. 41. TRADE SHOW • Focus on food tech
  42. 42. TRADE SHOW • Focus on VR
  43. 43. TRADE SHOW • Gamification
  44. 44. Trade SHOW • What caught our eye
  45. 45. Trade SHOW • What caught our eye
  46. 46. Trade SHOW • What caught our eye
  47. 47. Trade SHOW • The weird
  48. 48. BRAND HOUSES
  49. 49. SNEAK PEEKS