Friday, March 13, 2009

SXSW Interactive: Day One

Well I left work around 12:30 and had to deposit my paycheck and then headed downtown to the Austin Convention Center (ACC). It took me awhile to find a place to park, and walk to the ACC. I walked and chatted with two guys who flew in from Australia, and would of stuck around with them if it wasn't for the fact that I still needed to check in and get my badge. So there was this HUGE virtually endless line that I had to get into. Two hours later I had my badge and my bag of swag and was on my way to my very first panel (what should of been my second) "Oooh, That's Clever! (Unnatural Experiments in Web Design)" by Paul Annett of Clearleft Ltd.
Paul gave a very entertaining and inspirational presentation. He started out by showing a video he made and posted on YouTube (as seen below)

He froze paused it and showed a clip that caught a lot of peoples attention of a part in the trick where it appears that he is holding two cards in one hand (when he should be holding one). So people began to feel like they figured out the trick and knew this little secreat.

He then compared that to little secrets in design such as "the arrow" in the "FedEx" logo (in the white space created in between the "E" & "X").
His next example was how his company Clear Left threw up this landing page for an idea they had for some software called Silverback. If you resize your browser window on their site, you will notice an interesting 3-D effect with the vines. This small little detail (that most people would never noticed) caught the attention of a few web designers who twittered about it and in one day their site received over 20,000 hits and half of the people signed up to receive updates. All this happened before they even had an actual product.

He then went on to show a ton of other examples of small little hidden gems people place on their websites that when found become these little secrets that people can't help but brag about knowing and spread the word.

My second and last panel of the day was AWESOME! It was a panel by Alex Bogusky of Crispin Porter+Bogusky (they are the advertising firm behind such things as "The Truth" campaign, Burger King ads, Volkswagen, & Mini) called, "Plan B: Can an Ad Guy Bring Bike Sharing to America?" It was kicked off with a FREE red or blue T-shirt that were passed out right before he grabbed the mic.
So he started out by talking about his company and how they are different from other advertising companies. how many offices & employees they have, and went through different solutions they came up with for companies. He started with "The Truth" campaign and how up until that point whenever people would market or advertise to kids negatively about cigarettes they would focus on 2 things, "They are un healthy" and "Gross." After questioning their target market they started to realize taht the youth didn't care if cigarrettes can kill you, and they didn't think they were gross. So they had to had to convince these people to take a different approach without actually proving to them that their idea would REALLY work. The main theme of his presentation was, "Sticking your nose where it doesn't belong."

The meat of his panel consisted of him telling us how the idea of bringing "Bike Sharing" to the US came about, and how it was very humble beginnings, and how after just talking and throwing out ideas with different people, that lead to getting in contact with someone else who lead to another person and now they have started the program in 4-6 cities as B-Cycle.

Two of the more interesting things Alex Bogusky said came in the question & answer portion after he was done with his presentation. Someone asked where he felt marketing was headed in the future. He then candidly said, "I have no clue." He went on to say that back in the day people were telling him that in 5-10 years there would be NO MAGAZINES (something I still here today) and that VHS was going to take over, because people would much rather watch something that read it. Here we are in 2009 and although magazine subscriptions are declining, they are still very much around, with brand new magazines still popping up all the time. Anyways he then said something that was right in line with my personal philosophy not only on marketing/advertising but also life which is, "I only look 15 minutes into the future."

Because in all reality it is virtually impossible to try and predict what is going to be happening in 5-10 years. There are far too many variables involved in these types of things. I mean for all we know Global Warming is going to swallow us all up in 5 years and there won't be ANY marketing at all...

Anyways I always try to stay grounded in the present. I don't want to spend my life looking in the past at, "what could of been." Nor do I want to look too far into the future at, "what could be waiting for me in the future." But rather I would like to just enjoy TODAY (I could go on and on with this subject so I will stop now).

The other thing he said was an interesting quote,
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
So that was day one of SXSWi (south by southwest interactive). I'm looking forward to a full day tomorrow jam packed with some potentially inspiring panels as well.

1 comment:

  1. What a great place for you to be- I bet you learned a lot- that is so cool about the fedex thing- I've never noticed that! Awesome! We always noticed the Big Y in front of one of the BYU buildings made an arrow pointing out- but that is awesome!


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