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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



Hammering A Nail Isn't Just Hammering A Nail Sometimes

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Copyranter has called this the best home improvement ever. And we agree 100 percent. When you're mind is on task and you have a job to get done, your mind is focused, your heart is in it. And you derive great pleasure from even the most simple of tasks.

Why? Because they are your tasks. And your tasks and the most important of them all. So it's not a stretch hammering a nail into a piece of wood becomes as big a production as displayed in this Horbach Home Improvement Store commercial.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 9-12    
Topic: Commercials



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It's Raining in Austin But, Dammit, We're Having Fun

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

There's really nothing worse than rain during SXSW. Why? SXSW is in Texas. Austin, Texas. And it's supposed to be warm and sunny here. All. The. Time. Well at least during SXSW when the entire country decides to call it home for five days. Alas, we can expect sun only one of the five days during SXSW Interactive. But we're not going to let a little rain get us down.

And the rain isn't letting the marketers down either. Even more so than last year, the brands are out in full force. Even GE. Yes, GE. Now you might wonder, what the hell does a company like GE have to do with marketing or social media. Well they've set up GE Garages, a hands-on lab filled with their latest technology for people to check out. The Garage will enable people to create personalized products for themselves using laser cutters, 3D printers, metal inert gas welders, computer numeric control mills and more.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 9-12    
Topic: Industry Events



AMEX to Use Twitter Hashtags to Offer Merchant Discounts

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Last night, American Express launched a program on Twitter that allows cardmembers to "tweet their way to savings" by syncing their AMEX card with Twitter at sync.americanexpress.com/twitter and tweeting merchant-specific hashtags to load couponless offers directly to their Card. When the cardmember makes a purchase in-store or online, an automatic statement credit is issued within days.

Of the program, American Express Vice Chairman Ed Gilligan said, "American Express is turning Twitter content into commerce by connecting Cardmembers to merchants and delivering real world value to both. With the continued convergence of online and offline commerce, our closed loop continues to enable us to bring seamless, relevant ways to connect our cardmembers and merchants on the most powerful social and digital platforms."

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 7-12    
Topic: Social



Marketers Overshadowed Geeks Last Year at SXSW But Should Marry Them This Year

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

ClickZ has an interesting piece on B2B brands an SXSW. As we wrote last year, SXSW has overwhelmingly been taken over by marketers leaving the geeks to grumble about their presence. Hey, things change. Go with it. There's really nothing else you can do.

Of the presence of B2B brands at SXSW, Eloqua's Jesse Noyes told ClickZ, "Some people tend to think of 'South By' as more of a consumer-facing event where the next big thing like Twitter gets launched. But you have a lot of B2B brands setting up booths next to B2Cs. You'll go to a panel and see the head of marketing for Adobe sitting next to Pepsi on stage. That's what makes it great."

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 7-12    
Topic: Industry Events, Opinion



Five Reasons Sheetz Really is A Restaurant

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Here's a quirky campaign from Sheetz, a convenience store that's actually a restaurant. With five new commercial created by Tattoo Projects, the brand aims to inform 16-24 year old guys that it's, well, the place to be. And the campaign achieves this with whacky spots that feature oddities such as a beard growing contest, a dude becoming a bird, the Force ripping a girl's clothes off, a guy who becomes a super hero and other oddities. All of which support the tagline, "just because we don't look like a restaurant, doesn't mean we're not one."

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 7-12    
Topic: Campaigns



AshleyMadison Offers to Buy Rush Limbaugh's Canceled Ad Inventory

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As you may have heard, many advertisers have pulled their schedules from Rush Limbaugh following the host's commentary on Sandra Fluke. Never one to shy away from controversy, dating site AshleyMadison, which enables hooks ups for married people, has offered to buy Limbaugh's canceled inventory for three months.

Of the offer, AshleyMadison Founder and CEO Noel Biderman said, "We do not believe Mr. Limbaugh should be penalized for expressing his opinion, especially in America. We are offering to step up and fill the void left by the corporations who have pulled their advertising. Rush has always been a controversial figure and we have always been a controversial service so we can relate."

Biderman sent a letter to Rush Limbaugh's business development director, Michael Soifer, with the offer. The letter, in full, is below.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 6-12    
Topic: Brands, Political, Radio



Richard Branson is Here to Service You. Every Last One of You

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This new Mother-created work for Virgin Mobile takes a look back at Richard Branson's life and his seemingly forward thinking ways. It's a bit creepy but it's also funny. The ad supports the brand's A Higher Calling campaign and touts the provider's $35 all you can eat plan.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 6-12    
Topic: Campaigns



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