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Why Ad Agencies Should Act More Like Tech Startups

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This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency. The agency that also brought you self-promotion.

As the agency world crumbles (a bit too dramatic?), everyone's scrambling to determine how agencies should change to meet the shifting tides of consumer behavior and the radically altered methods agencies use to reach consumers.

In a SXSW panel entitled Why Ads Agencies Should Act More Like Tech Startups, AKQA Chief Creative Officer Rei Inamoto shared some analysis and interviews he has done over the past year that examined whether or not agencies should act more like tech startups. The comparison being, of course, agencies are slow, lumbering ships saddled with bloated, creative-killing process and startups are nimble and free thinking.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-13-12    
Topic: Agencies, Industry Events



Marketers Ball Returns to ad:tech San Francisco

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The Marketers Ball is making its return to ad:tech San Francisco. The organizer's other event, The Affiliate Ball, just had Nelly perform. And Too Short performed at last year's Marketers Ball. For this year's Marketers Ball they've just signed Too Short to come back for an encore performance.

Of the decision to bring Too Short back, organizer Darren Blatt said, "Too Short is a Bay area legend. He's got tons of hits dating back to the early days of hip hop and he's still on the charts today. He's got a new album that just dropped last week with big artists like 50 Cent, E-40, Twista and more on some of his tracks. The crowd loved his performance so much that we had to have him come back to perform a longer set."

Daren hosts great parties. The Affiliate Ball was featured on TMZ last year when other legends showed up and performed alongside Doug E Fresh on stage.

This years event is at the same venue as last years Ball, 1015 Folsom on April 3rd. They are expecting over 1500 to 2000 guests. As Too Short would say, "Get in where you fit in".

You can RSVP here http://marketersball.com/registration.html

Sponsorship's are still available, contact Darren at darren@marketersball.com for details.

by Steve Hall    Mar-13-12    
Topic: Industry Events



How Brands Can Leverage the 'Interest Graph'

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This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency. The agency that also brought you shamelessness.

In a SXSW panel that jumped on the topic du jour, Pinterest, moderator Jolie O'Dell, a reporter at Venture Beat, carefully crafted a discussion that steered clear of the usual social media blather that all too often pervades conference panels.

The panel, while acknowledging the importance of the social graph, advocated consideration of what they dubbed the "interest graph." The interest graph is a focus on, as the title suggest, what people are interested in. And services like Pinterest have brought this to the forefront.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-12-12    
Topic: Industry Events, Social



SXSW: Social Media Comes of Age Without Help From Porn

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This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency. The agency that also brought you headlines about itself.

In a SXSW panel entitled Social Media Comes of Age Without the Help of Porn, moderator Lisa Joy Rosner and panelists Jeremiah Owyang, Dave Evans, Katie Paine and Jason Falls examine the use of social data to determine consumer preference. Oh and that title comes from the well known fact porn invented everything on the internet except social media. Because, after all, do you really want to share your inner most fantasies on Twitter with a porn brand?

Owyang noted the proliferation of social data is causing a fundamental change in the way brands discover consumer preference and buying intention. He also suggested the use of social sign on (using Facebook to log in) will increasingly allow brands to taylor messages to individual wants, needs and desires.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-12-12    
Topic: Industry Events



Porn Star Sasha Grey Advocates Equal Pay For Women

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Wow. Just wow. Very powerful stuff. Very compelling message. Very bold approach. Very daring, in fact. Porn star Sasha Gray, who has made a lot of money doing things most people would never consider doing, can be seen in a commercial for EqualPayDay, an organization that fights to close the wage gap for women. According to EqualPayDay, women make 22 percent less than men for the same job.

Of the disparity in salary between men and women, EqualPayDay says, "One of the main reasons this issue still exists is that too often young women make career choices led by general expectations. Equal Pay Day however wants to motivate them to think about these expectations, and not just follow them blindly. Sasha Grey wants to as well, and to help spark the debate, she's agreed to share the story about her short but demanding career in adult entertainment."

While it's doubtful porn will ever go away, it's sad that, for some women, it's one of the only ways to make more money than men.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-12-12    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Racy



Is Social Media A Bubble And SXSW A Fad?

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This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency. The agency that also brought you startling birds with a brass horn.

When you peruse the SXSW panel listing prior to making your way to the annual nerd-fest in Austin each year and you come across a panel entitled Social Media is a Bubble and SXSW is a Fad, interest is piqued. The panel aimed to explore if, in fact, social media is a bubble about to burst and whether or not SXSW has simply jumped the shark and become too large.

The panel, which was moderated by Attention Founder and CEO Curtis Hougland, kicked of with what, for a second, seemed like the introduction of some kind of new killer app that would ensure that your social media activity would always rise to the top. A few seconds in, it was clear the app was a joke but, because of the app's "boom! there it is" approach to popularity was an integral component, it did get everyone to shout "boom" before they asked a question. Which, of course, was funny. But even funnier was one woman who came to the session late and had no idea why she had to say "boom" before she asked the question.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-11-12    
Topic: Industry Events, Opinion



Digitas Has Largest Agency Presence at SXSW

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This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency. The agency that also brought you chicken for breakfast.

Each year blog ad network BlogAds takes a look at the number of agency personnel attending SXSW. And each year they crown an agency The Agency King of SXSW. This year the honor goes to Digitas which sent 79 employees to Austin this year. Congrats, Digitas.

Last year saw a huge increase over 2010 in the number of ad agency people attending SXSW. Reason? Agencies finally realized this annual geek fest in Austin was worth their time, ponied up the money and sent ten times the number of agency personal than they did in 2010.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-11-12    
Topic: Industry Events



SXSW TechKaraoke: The Beautiful People Edition

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This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency. The agency that also brought you chicken for breakfast.

Friday night at SXSW, TechKaraoke was held at The Stage on Sixth. TechKaraoke makes its appearance each year at SXSW and at BlogWorld. It the one time when you can see your co-workers get on stage and make complete idiots of themselves. OK, well, some co-workers are actually good. Really good.

We were there to take pictures for the event so we can share a few with you. The others have to go to TechKaraoke and we'll share those when we can. But we're going to share the good ones. The important ones. The ones you want to see. You know. Pictures of beautiful people. Because we all wish we were as beautiful as some of the people in these pictures. Come on, you know you wish it.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-10-12    
Topic: Industry Events



SXSW: The Panel That Never Happened

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This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency, the agency sponsoring that banner ad over there.

OK so where are we? Austin, Texas. For SXSX. Got confused there for a minute. Can we just talk about how crazy busy it is here for a minute? Some poor suckers had to wait in line for over an hour to register. The conference is spread across 12 locations all over Austin. And it's raining. Which sucks because, ya know, you have to go outside to get to the hundreds of panels on the program.

Speaking of panels, we headed to the Hotel Intercontinental earlier today to attend a panel entitled How Brands Build Advocates by Anticipating Needs only to find out that not only was that panel full but all the branding and marketing panels were full and no one could get into anything. Glad we walked 7 blocks for that! Apparently, overcrowding has been an issue with branding and marketing panels all day. Gee. Who knew there were so many marketers here at SXSW? Wait, we know. We told you so.

But we're not going to let a little overcrowding stop us. After all, we're here to deliver you important news about the latest trends in advertising. And since we've been to so many panels just like the one we couldn't get in to, we're going to tell you what the panelists said even though we weren't there.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-10-12    
Topic: Industry Events



Condom Brand Helps Sluts Unite Against Rush Limbaugh

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With a new campaign that unapologetically leverages the Rush Limbaugh situation, Sir Richard's Condoms offers support for the "Sex-Positive movement" in the form of an online "Slut's Oath" and 24 slutty, free-for-the-taking avatars. The campaign is created by advertising agency TDA_Boulder, Boulder, Colo.

Visitors to the slutsunite.org are invited to take and to tweet the five-part oath:

- "I believe that sex represents more than just the creation of children.
- "I believe it is an enjoyable, healthy and a profound part of the human experience.
- "I believe that the responsible use of birth control is an essential component of a mature, civilized society.
- "And if these beliefs make me a slut in some people's eyes, so be it.
- "I will stand united with my fellow sluts, now and always."

They can also select as their own any of 24 ready-made avatars, such as "In Sluts We Trust," "My Dad Is A Slut," "Slut Is My Co-Pilot," "Lil' Slut," and "I Think Therefore I Slut."

by Steve Hall    Mar- 9-12    
Topic: Brands, Online, Political, Racy



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