If you attended SXSW this year, you know it was very different than prior years. How was it different? Marketers and agencies finally gave the conference credence and attended in droves. BlogAds did a bit of follow up analysis and concluded agency presence at SXSW has increased 1,000 percent.
Of the 100 or so agencies BlogAds found in attendance at SXSW this year, Leo Burnett tops the list with 56 (updated to 65) people at the conference. Rounding out the top 10 are Saatchi, Digitas, JWT, SapientNitro, BBDO, HUGE, Ogilvy, DraftFCB and R/GA.
The list also examines attendance in 2009 and draws comparison. The numbers are stunning. Two years ago, there were literally no agency personnel at the conference. This year, attendance was in the hundreds.
So here we go again with another brand caught lying. Or so it would seem. Samsung debuted a new video at CTIA Wireless touting its new 10.1" Galaxy Tab. The video includes "true life stories of Galaxy Tab users." But just how true can these stories be if they are delivered by actors. That's what Technologizer's Harry McCracken discovered when he viewed the video and did a little research about the "real" people in the video who shared their "true life stories."
McCracken discovered two of the supposedly real Galaxy Tab users are actors. In the video, Joan Hess is passed off as being a freelance travel writer. In reality, she's a New York-based actress. CEO Joseph Kolinski is actually New York actor Joseph Kolinski. A third character in the video, Karl Shefelman, plays the role of a filmmaker. In real life, Shefelman is, indeed, a filmmaker who - surprise, surprise - has done work for Samsung.
If you're heading to ad:tech San Francisco in April, good for you. It's a great conference. Good content. Good networking. And plenty of exhibitors to visit. But let's not forget about a very important component of ad:tech...or any conference for that matter...the parties. The list is growing so it's time to share.
On Monday night April 11, between the first and second day of the three day conference, Moss Networks will host its VIP Mix + Mingle event at Supper Club beginning at 10PM.
On Tuesday night, things get a bit busier. Criteo will host a gathering at Roe from 4PM to 7PM. Advertise.com will hold its tenth anniversary party at Ruby Skye from 9PM to 1AM. Also beginning at 9PM, FriendFinder Networks will present The Marketers Ball at 1015 Folsom.
There are several other invite only parties occurring over the three day event which we'll leave unpublished. Though we'll continue to add to the list ans things are announced. Make sure you bookmark our continuously updated party calendar so you don't miss anything.
In an effort that both pokes fun at and solicits panel ideas for Internet Week, a video featuring Alex Blagg from A Bajillion Hits and Best Week Ever encourages people to let their mind fill with meaningless buzzwords in hopes some combinations result in workable panel topics for the upcoming conference.
The video is part of this week's kickoff of Make The Stage, an online campaign that allows any individual, company or organization to submit and vote on panel ideas for the main stage at Internet Week New York 2011. Two entrants in six categories will be awarded a one hour slot on the stage, one chosen by the public and the other by a team of experts, which include Blagg, Suroosh Alvi (Vice), Jared Hecht (GroupMe), Soraya Darabi (Foodspotting), Ashley Granata (Fashism), David-Michel Davies (The Webby Awards), Scott Belsky (Behance) among others.
Some of the top panel titles Blagg's exercise comes up with are The Future of DIY Bieber, The Social Media Curation Innovation Revolution and Next Lev Viral Deals 3.0.
In a brilliant, Urgent Genius-created parody about how things have changed over the years at SXSW, we have Hitler, in a scene from some movie we've seen but can't quite place, lamenting the changes SXSW has seen over the years.
Everyone gets trashed in the spoof. Pete Cashmore, Mashable, Foursquare, the iPhone, the TRON Lounge, the Samsung Blogger Lounge, Chevrolet's Tweet House, the Pepsi Max Playground, the iPad2 pop up store, the Sobe Lizard Lounge.
If you were there, you can see the humor in all of this. If you weren't then just witness the changes you've seen in the conferences you have attended over the years. They get bigger, more corporate and brand presence proliferates. But SXSW has the seen the biggest changes in the shortest amount of time. Which is what makes this video so funny.
In a SXSW panel entitled Branded Entertainment: Do Brands Hurt Good Storytelling Proximity SVP Matt Di Paola said there is a fine line between selling and story telling. Each can't cross too far over the line of the other. Branded story telling must align with the brand's business, not a creative brief. The partnership is much bigger than a simple creative project.
Making a distinction, Di Paola said Product placement is not story telling. Product placement is a media buy. Story telling is a deep partnership between brand and content.
Disrupt Group Co-Founder Shira Lazar Says ad agencies are the new studios. For content creators, Lazar said the relationship must go beyond just business. Successful creative relationships require more than the simple exchange of money.
In a SXSW panel which took on a refreshing discussion-based approach entitled Bend Over? Surprise! Agencies Are Screwing You, one of the attendees made the point brands should be wary of paying an agency to use a free tool to speak the brand's voice calling it a slippery slope and a waste of money.
Agencies are paying good money for the so called social media guru who, if just a little bit of background research were done, could easily be found to have no experience at all. Be wary of the sharks was the advice given.
Day one at SXSW in Austin delivered on all expected fronts. Throngs of people descended upon the Austin Convention Center to pick up their badge and attend sessions which began at 2PM. But before sessions began, there was much mingling and plenty to do thanks to brand like Pepsi which set up an entire "playground" area called the Pepsi Max Lot adjacent to the convention center. There attendees could check out bands on a stage, play foursquare (the real kind), drink tons of Pepsi product. enjoy the sun on couches and generally mingle with friends.
Sony took over an entire bar and converted it into Playstation Central. CNN took over an entire restaurant even replacing the restaurant's sign with a fully branded one of their own. And Fast Company took over the Moonshine restaurant and served up a delicious lunch to those lucky enough to have been invited.
Inside the convention center, the Samsung-sponsored TechSet lounge was a happening place for bloggers who were treated to a live performance by He is We, given the chance to play games, drink and eat and hang with their fellow blog mates.
SXSW starts today and if yesterday was any indication, brands will have the biggest presence ever at the five day interactive conference in Austin. Historically, the gathering has always been for uber geeks and super techies but in the past few years brands have taken an increased interest in SXSW and what it has to offer. Which is a lot. From content, to connections to thousands of impressionable souls, the geekfest is, well, no longer a geekfest. Rather, it's become an full blown marketing event. And not just an industry event either. It's a chance for brands to get in front of actual consumers.
A stroll through the Austin Convention Center and surrounding areas made it clear, the conference is no longer a conclave for widget heads. Oh, they're all still here...and grumbling about the "invasion" of "marketing people" but they, perhaps for good, have been silenced by the deafening size and scope of an increasing number of brands who have decided to stake a claim here in Austin.
From Sony to Samnsung, to Chevrolet to Pepsi and many, many more, the ACC and surrounding areas have been plastered with some of the most elaborate brand statements we've ever seen. Yes. SXSW is no longer the geekfest it once was. And as we've said, it's been heading away from that cute little anachronism for some time now but this year, well, this year the brands have taken over every last square inch of Austin.
With the popularity of Groupon, LivingSocial and others, the daily deal space is quickly becoming a market unto itself. And when that happens, there's sure to be a conference to follow. Enter the Daily Deal Summit.
Held April 6 at New York's Grand Hyatt, the conference will dive deep into the topic with speakers such as LivingSocial's Jake Maas, SailThru's Neil Capel, BuyWithMe's Andrew Moss, RapLeaf's Auren Hoffman, Thrillist's Mike Rothman and many others.
Check out the conference here and use this link to get 20 percent off the price of registration.