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.
- You just saw her in that controversial ad for Diet Pepsi's new skinny can. Now you can see Sophia Vergara in all her delicious glory in an old ad for Bally Fitness.
- Bennetts insurance company is seeking a collection of new Bennetts Babes with a new video featuring Jennifer Metcalfe.
- Here's the story behind the fake shaving helmut stunt that was developed to promote a real shaving device specifically designed for the head.
- Boston University Adlab students talk about their work for Zipcar and Converse.
- F5, a two day creative conference held April 15-16 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York will explore the intersection of art, design and entertainment.
- Yawn. PETA films hot models fellating vegetables because, well, it's sexy and they're never going to get on the Super Bowl anyway.
- Don't let your partner interrupt your dreams.
- And in more PETA news, the organization wants to put up a Go Vegan billboard in Denver but two outdoor companies have rejected it. Something about cattlemen's inability to come.
- The call for entries is now open for the 2011 international ADC Student Brief competition, part of the ADC 90th Annual Awards. The deadline is March 18.
- UK singer Sophie Jones, who recently went from a B to a D cup courtesy of the Harley Medical Group, will appear in a campaign for the medical center.
- New York Festivals has announced Donald Gunn, Founder of the Gunn Report will Moderate NYF's Executive Jury for 2011 International Advertising Awards.
- BFGoodrich Tires has signed a multi-year deal with Shaun White that will chronicle the 10-time Winter X Games gold medalist' preparation for the Winter X Games.
- Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R has launched The Dislike Petition on YouTube, a promotion against human trafficking. Previous campaign work includes storefront design with women for sale.
- If you're into androgynous men with shaved chests and waif-thin models, you might like the new Versace Spring 2011 ad campaign.
- Susan Sarandon puts on the milk mustache for the Got Milk ad campaign.
- The Paley Center for Media will present the twenty-eighth annual PaleyFest from March 4 to 17, 2011 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.
- Selling cars 101: Illustrate how strong their bumpers are. With a crane.
- Oh and here's that The Ladders spot. Ridiculous. Funny.
- Mashable reports, "Strata, a Chicago-based customized media management agency, polled 100 agency clients this month and found that TV is still the dominant medium - 44% of respondents said they are most focused on television above other media. That's a 24% jump over the previous quarter. Digital was second with 21.1% while radio netted 15.6%, a 75% jump from the third quarter."
- The Career Builder chimpanzees will be back for this year's Super Bowl in a commercial slated to air during the third quarter of the game. Someone call PETA.
On Tuesday, April 12, the second day of ad:tech, the Affiliate Marketing Awards will be held at the W from 5:30PM to 9:30PM PST. Award categories will include Best CPS Network,
Best CPL Network, Best Coreg Network, Best Merchant Campaign, Best Agency and, just for fun, the Hottest Affiliate Manager and the Hottest Affiliate, both of which are open to men and women.
Pivot Conference, launched last year with over 700 attendees, is getting a new editorial leader: Brian Solis. Solis, who is taking over for Guidewire CEO Chris Shipley, is a well known speaker, author and an all around nice guy.
Dubbed the "TED of Marketing" by author Douglas Rushkoff, Pivot Conference is aimed at helping brand marketers and their agencies bridge the gap between themselves and the social consumer.