Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Branding

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Can You Trust Me?

    It’s no secret that it’s been a tough time for some of the world’s most trusted brands—BP, Google and Facebook are just a few of the companies that have been recent victims of brand erosion. In the digital age, information (truth and hearsay alike) flows like water, opinions spread like wildfire—one day a brand is synonymous with trust for millions of people, the next day it’s being dragged through the digital mud by a few over a product recall or privacy violation. Unfortunately, it’s happening faster and with bigger implications and greater transparency than ever before. Consumers have stopped basing their trust of successful brands on the mere knowledge that they are financially successful—or because they run ads that inspire trustworthiness. In fact, it seems the very definition of “brand trust” is morphing as rapidly as technology is. More often, an increasingly-skeptical public is flocking to the web for real-time information and social network commentary posted by “officials” or by anyone else with an Internet connection and an axe to grind.

    Paul Parkin, Founding Partner of SALT Branding and expert on brand building, will provide an overview of the ever-evolving “brandscape” and share strategies for building and maintaining brand trust online and offline. He will also discuss how to best redefine and measure brand trust across different generations—Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y—and why consumer collaboration will be key for marketers in the years to come.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center

  • Shine Light On Others To Build Your Brand

    by Robyn Cobb

    The real-time web is quickly becoming a reality that allows your developing online social graph to be recorded into a stream of social activity. These increasingly popular lifestreams show the shifts around the social connections, the ways in which they’re made and the content discovered within each interaction, a unique indicator of the changing ways that consumers are also interacting with brands. Inside this stream of activities is a movement that is starting to take hold beyond just a re-tweet. More and more people are leveraging their social and corporate networks to create change whether in their community or across the globe. Social media and our blogs allow us to help rally our networks around a cause. Shining a light on others - without expecting anything in return - is the surest way to grow, strengthen, and promote your very own brand.

    This panel will address why it is important for brands and individuals to join the pay it forward movement. We’ll give you real examples and ideas on how you can leverage your social capital to rise above the noise, affect change, and get more enjoyment from your social networks.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 11th March

    In Rio Grande B, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Brave New World: Debating Brands' Role as Publishers

    by Gary Kim, Tom Ashbrook, Lora Kolodny, Pawan Deshpande and Joe Pulizzi

    Gone are the days when brands needed to rely on high profile stories to establish credibility –today, brand marketers become content curators by mingling content from trusted sources with their own material. Long gone is the need to purchase ad space in a relevant trade publication—instead, they just create their own site on the topic. At time when the line is increasingly blurred between the role of marketer and publisher, it is a brave new world out there for brands.

    As part of a lively debate on what role brands should play in this brave new world, experts from the publishing, marketing, and internet worlds will come together to address some of the most heated concerns about this changing landscape –including matters of transparency and trust, concern over copyright and fair sharing, and where to draw the line between reporting and selling.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom F, Austin Convention Center

  • Banking on Big Brands/Celebs for the Web

    by Paul Kontonis, David Tochterman, Amber Lawson and Kevin Pollak

    2010 was a pivotal year for Web TV, with more influential brands and celebrities recognizing the creative opportunities that the platform offers. Celebrities like Kevin Pollak and Will Arnett went online to create original professionally produced content to strengthen relationships with fans. Additionally, major brands including Wrigleys and Mountain Dew joined this medium due to the opportunity to exponentially increase its brand reach to a vast global audience.
    With entertainment and advertising luminaries testing the waters of the digital space, this panel examines the most effective ways in which content creators can capture the attention of brands and create content that will not only resonate with its target audience, but be organically integrated so audiences do not feel as though they are watching ads. It will include how digital studios, like Babelgum, provide a unique platform for brands/celebs looking to team up and engage in quality content and matching creators and celebrities with these forward-thinking brands.
    Babelgum is an integrated web and mobile video content platform, available on-demand to a global audience. Its international comedy business develops, produces, packages, programs, markets and distributes original series across its IPTV, fixed and mobile platforms. Babelgum Comedy collaborates with celebrity talent and creators to provide professionally-produced, brand-friendly content and is strategically programmed and curated by Amber J. Lawson.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom F, Austin Convention Center

  • Let's Hook Up: Brands, Celebs, and Non-profits

    by Katie VanLangen, Chris Brewer and Paul Rieckhoff

    Ever wonder how your favorite celebrity became a spokesperson for a national brand? Why your beer of choice is supporting veterans? How your home team chooses the charities that they support? It takes more than a one-night-stand to make these relationships worthwhile. It takes dates, flirting, compromise and commitment. Most importantly, it takes shared goals and vision.

    We'll show you how Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), a national non-profit, non-partisan group supporting our nation's newest generation of veterans has established a multi-year partnership with Miller High Life, the San Diego Padres, and celebrities that support their mission. Together, they are literally changing lives through a program that will give up to $1 million in experiences to veterans.

    In a world where everyone is online and new technology, websites and companies are cropping up everyday, brand loyalty is difficult to maintain. It is critical for brands to ally with the organizations and people that support their ideals, and give their audiences a reason to believe their messaging.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Room 6AB, Austin Convention Center

  • Marketing in the Moment

    by Rob Garner

    While brands have become increasingly networked, they fail to maintain the fluidity and agility of the average user, many major brands are at risk at failing in their marketing efforts, or succumbing to more agile competitor. This session lays out the new marketing landscape, and demonstrates how brands will need to reinvent themselves.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Salon E, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Brand Journalism: The Rise of Non-Fiction Advertising

    by Bob Garfield, David Eastman, Kyle Monson and Brian Clark

    Hard to believe it's been 11 years since The Cluetrain Manifesto, and we're still doing the same f***ing panel. And we're still trying to teach big companies and ad agencies how to communicate like humans, how to listen, and how to use transparency as a messaging tactic.

    Brand Journalism is a way to take those decade-old ideas and incorporate them into actual campaigns (we know, we've done it). The first step is to teach agencies and clients to think like publishers instead of marketers--it's not a new idea, but it's one that is rarely executed well.

    In this panel, Brand Journalism pioneers will share some of the secrets, successes, and obstacles of their award-winning campaigns.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom F, Austin Convention Center

  • All Grown-up: Brand Mascots in the Digital Age

    by Emily Reid and Derek Fridman

    Why doesn't Toucan Sam Twitter? Where's the Pillsburry Doughboy to poke on my mobile phone? And which one of the Snuggle Bear Facebook pages is real? Join us for a pow-wow on how you take your brand characters out of the 1980's TV commercials and place them in the social and interactive world.

    There's no napping when your characters are in the digital age. We'll talk about preparing your characters personality, environment and lingo for the demands of the "always-on" consumer. And what about the character's of tomorrow? We'll look at concept to completion, how a brand creates and introduces a new cast of characters ready for today's digital stage and beyond.

    Similar to my grandmother who doesn't understand these "crazy kids and their internets", mascots need to take up residence in the digital world, make some friends, and tweet about their day.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Salon E, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Brand Consistency Is Killing Digital Advertising

    by Justin Cox

    Companies often stress the importance of consistency—a consistent image, voice, strategy, etc. Countless models and presentations have been created to help brands maintain continuity. But, does consistency really equal success? It certainly can for things like product quality or customer service. When it comes to the world of marketing, however, consistency is overrated and overused. This issue is most apparent in the digital space, where print and TV campaigns are routinely repurposed as banner ads and pre-roll videos. Compounding the problem, marketers often duplicate digital ads across sites that have little in common with one another, ignoring the fact that consumers behave differently as they move around online. New disciplines and technologies have emerged, giving the industry unprecedented ways to reach consumers. Digital advertising should reflect these changes and inspire brands to be flexible, schizophrenic even. An argument could be made that no two ads should ever be the same. To achieve this, the industry must embrace a new order of advertising—one that champions inconsistency. One where publishers and agencies work together to create custom marketing content. Where ads for Heineken can’t be replicated as ads for BudLite. Where consumers experience advertising that is inextricable from the place where they are experiencing it. And where the goal is not to keep a brand on track, but to create unique experiences that compel consumers to engage on a deeper level.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom F, Austin Convention Center

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • How Brands Are Using Entertainment & Social Media

    by Rami Jabaji

    Entertainment is the key to attracting attention – in the age of online videos, the coolest and funniest content can draw millions of views and turn into memes that generate awareness around the world. Brands are always on the lookout for the freshest, most creative, and most entertaining ideas and influencers to help them spread the word about new products and campaigns in a way that breaks through the clutter and sticks out in the minds of consumers.

    This panel provides an opportunity to connect with brands and leading online entertainment outlets that are constantly changing the game in the world of “brandertainment” as they share their insights into what makes these campaigns hit the mark with consumers.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 4:15pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • Interactive Branding and the Built Environment

    by Jamie Monberg

    In architecture and design, form traditionally follows function, but we need to stop pretending that you can build a room without thinking about what you’re going to put inside it. The company website as a singular destination is being rendered obsolete by an avalanche of 5-star scale ratings. The 30-second spot is the proverbial dead horse of the branding/advertising world. How can we as designers and technologists embrace this blurring of the line between physical and virtual? Why can’t form and function evolve together, informing and mutating each other along the way?

    How do consumers engage with your brand when the smart-phone goes in their pocket? How can we reinvigorate the digital age through actual physical interaction? What kind of team do you need to do it? Explore the power and promise of interactive branding in the built environment.

    Hornall Anderson’s Chief Experience Officer Jamie Monberg will talk about successes and lessons learned integrating digital interactive into environmental experiences for clients like The Empire State Building, The Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, The Space Needle, and Microsoft.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 4:30pm to 4:45pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • How Brands Are Monitoring Your Online Conversations

    by Michael Fisher

    It’s a reality that digital word of mouth is here; and it is here to stay. Millions of online conversations are happening, yet until now, brands have struggled to find a way to measure the quantity or quality of those interactions. Did you post on your friend’s Facebook wall asking if they want to grab a burger at Red Robin? Or tweet about what awful service you received while waiting on hold for 15 minutes with your credit card provider? Or comment on a blog a post about your desire to buy a new pair of True Religion jeans? Well, people are listening. And reacting -- more than ever before. Unlike in the past, brands are now faced with the ability to harness word of mouth via social media. Consumers are helping to shape that brand perception, whether they know it or not. So what are brands tracking today, and what should they be tracking? Knowing how advertising dollars successfully translate to the social world can be tremendously powerful information, for example. Is Snickers or Bud Light most successful with its SuperBowl commercial? Plenty of conversations happened online -- were you one of them? Michael Fisher will leverage his deep expertise on this subject to reveal how the content and conversations happening online today are often coordinated, measured, and analyzed across all channels. How can the consumer leverage this channel to connect with brands in a more one-to-one manner. and how can the brands successfully communicate back?

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 203, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage slide deck

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Apps, APIs & Syndication: Creativity in the Post-Website Era

    by Oren Michels

    The days of consumers sitting at a full-sized monitor browsing a website populated with your content alone are quickly evaporating. In order to succeed you need to take your experience and your brand to where your users are – mobile devices, collaborative applications and mashups, gaming consoles and third-party platforms. Branded websites as we know them are fast being replaced by mashups of content from multiple sources layered together or targeted experiences that take advantage of the immediacy, location awareness and ubiquity of mobile apps.
    This change is no cause for panic. In fact, for those that remain innovative, nimble, and open to new ways of developing business it can be one of the best opportunities to come along since the web itself.

    This session presents how to engage end users with your brand when designing online experiences means placing your data or functionality on others’ web properties (ones you don’t control) and vice versa.

    We’ll explore how others have been able to build their brand while embracing the concept of platform and how you can redefine partnerships and engage developers creating the apps that define the next wave of digital engagement. The session will cover concepts critical to online success like web services, platform development and APIs including a tour of some of the best examples of brands and pervasive experiences proliferating the digital network.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Salon K, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Getting ‘Em Online & Off-Their-Ass

    by Jody Rones and John Wiseman

    Building a Brand by Activating Your Audience from the Inbox to the Real World: what does it take to motivate your audience to better engage with your content and your advertising partners? Learn successful ways to add real-life magic to online campaigns with unforgettable events and buzz-building promotions that will add value and new consumer touch points for your brand. From branded takeovers of $25 million mansions to weekend-long pool parties, we’ll share best practices – along with tantalizing party photos – showcasing how you can bring your sponsors and readers together to drive both results and revenue through: a) IRL (“In Real Life”) activation of digital campaigns (e.g. Hotel Thrillist’s takeover of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach). b) Holistic social media and mobile tie-ins to broaden the reach of your cross-platform campaign. c) Effective sweepstakes for building interest and additional audience for your content.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Rio Grande B, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Creativity, Celebrity and Brand Strategy

    by Danny Trejo , Ian Kovalik, Robert Rodriguez, Frank Rose and Jamal Henderson

    A Brisk discussion of Ozzy and Machete With Special Guests Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo.

    This flash panel will explore the new model of branded entertainment and consumer engagement as highlighted by the innovative Brisk campaign. Discussion includes behind the scenes of this unique style of stop-motion animation, celebrity endorsement, and content distribution in the new media landscape. For artists, filmmakers, marketers and social media engineers.

    At 4:30pm to 5:15pm, Monday 14th March

    In Meeting Room 2, Austin Convention Center

  • Fashion Blogging: Capturing and Keeping Readers Who Buy

    by Indiana Adams

    There’s no mistaking that new media has changed the landscape of marketing, commerce, and fashion. It seems that everyone these days has a blog, and the fashion blogger subset has become an industry force to be reckoned with: they sit on the front row of Fashion Week, they appear in national publications, they guest design for major brands, and companies hire them to wear their clothes. Trends are now influenced from the bottom up, with more fashion bloggers dictating what people buy rather than what's seen on the runway. Let's discuss what makes a fashion blogger a taste maker and why brands are sitting up and taking notice.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Big Bend, Hyatt Regency Austin

Tuesday 15th March 2011

  • Unwritten Rules: Brands, Social Psychology and Social Media

    by Kate Canales and Ben McAllister

    When a friend invites you to dinner, you bring wine or flowers – not $100 cash – as a gesture of thanks. That goes without saying. But if a brand comes to dinner, what should they bring? When it comes to social media, there are unwritten rules for how to behave that many brands simply aren't getting.

    Brands are grappling with social media as they try to find a place at our virtual dinner table. Some brands get it, some gaffe it. The rules, it turns out, are hidden in basic social psychology. The established behaviors of friendship are the prevailing rules of the road in social media: sharing valuable information, entertaining one another, support in a crisis, celebration of a personal achievement. But the established behaviors of transactions (the way we historically interact with brands) can feel awkward and forced in social media. So how can brands build trust with their networks while being social like a friend? This session will look at social media behavior and what brands can do to become a delightful guest and valuable contributor at our virtual dinner party.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 15th March

    In Ballroom F, Austin Convention Center

  • Branded Entertainment: Do Brands Hurt Good Storytelling?

    by Matt Di Paola, Kristin Jones, Shira Lazar and Jesse Albert

    Once upon a time, good content was the domain of traditional broadcast. Trouble is, broadcast models are proving incapable of adjusting to a world that now offers free distribution methods, ubiquitous production and infinite consumer choice. Bad for broadcast, but an unprecedented opportunity for makers and marketers alike.

    This panel is for anyone who lives to tell a story. Content producers will learn how to assess brand participation in their project, navigate new funding models, and bullet proof their elevator pitch. Brands will get the goods on how to identify the next hot content property, and how to leverage it beyond boring old advertising, sponsorship and product placement.

    Help us kill the outdated pilot season model once and for all, and make the ideas that originate in the digital world sing even louder.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Ballroom F, Austin Convention Center

  • How Brands Respond to Facebook Attacks

    by Laura P Thomas, Michael Lazerow, Bryan Person and Ekaterina Walter

    What should brands do when their reputations are taking a beating in front of millions of eyes on the world's largest social network?

    If they're smart, they won't go the way of Nestle, which chose sarcasm and silence on its Facebook Wall in confronting an attack from Greenpeace earlier this year.

    Instead, brands will follow the lead of companies like Capri Sun, which responded to a major customer complaint by regularly sharing the facts and then truly listening to their fans, ultimately averting a crisis.

    From discussions on striking the right tone, moderating fan comments, and planning content, our panelists will share stories and best practices that demonstrate how brand marketers can answer and engage their Facebook critics.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In TX Ballroom 1, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • Landing Your Next Job Through Unconventional Personal Branding

    by Anna Tauzin and Maira Garcia

    Finding a new job or making a career change can be daunting and is becoming more competitive with the current economic climate. Using the web to market yourself through personal branding is well-known idea, but how do you rise above the rest and get an edge on the job market? This panel will discuss trends, tried and true methods, and provide expert opinion on making the most of your job search. Job seekers have to examine the online and offline, conventional and unconventional means of promoting oneself. Online personal branding means more than just having a Twitter account with a few followers. You have to think outside the box when it comes to making a big impression on web. These steps include making effective social media profiles that get you noticed, commenting on blogs of companies you are interested in working for, having your blog and site stand out, and using Google and Facebook Ads to target potential employers. Offline impressions are just as important. Know what a creative resume and portfolios specific to your industry looks like, use unconventional tools to promote yourself, learn how to make the great elevator pitch, and get tips on networking etiquette.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Rio Grande A, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • The Luxury/Digital Paradox: Taking Luxury Brands Digital

    by Phillip Jackson

    Luxury, by definition, is built on exclusivity. The web is inherently democratic.

    In the past, this contradiction caused luxury brands to be hesitant about moving online – but in the face of the internet’s ever-increasing ubiquity and print advertising’s decreased returns, more and more luxury brands are making the transition to on-line advertising and e-commerce.

    While many luxury brands have accepted that a digital presence is essential, they are still figuring out how to maintain the cache, allure, and exclusivity that underpins their brand perceptions while simultaneously balancing the “democratic” rules of the digital landscape.

    This presentation will show how luxury brands can participate in the digital-sphere through case studies of luxury brands that have effectively communicated their 'brand story' online by leveraging the following territories:

    1. Communicate the dream of the luxury brand
    2. Digital as a piece of the larger puzzle
    3. Tell a great story
    4. Be a cultural tastemaker
    5. Provide a trusted guide to lifestyle enhancement
    6. Use history as a way to push forward
    7. Encourage the spirit of competition
    8. Talk to younger luxury consumers
    9. Offer incomparable service
    10. Use digital to convey exclusivity

    By using these strategies, luxury brands will gain just as much, if not more, from embracing digital than any other category.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Salon E, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • The Death of the Brand Website

    by Gary Nelson

    It’s likely that your consumers check Facebook, Twitter, newspapers and other online sources every week, if not every day. But how many times a week are they coming to your website? Today’s brand sites do a great job of communicating a message, but what most sites lack is fresh content that keeps visitors coming back. Major brands can take a lesson from blogging sites that do an excellent job of keeping content fresh by creating stories around their products, adding video, and integrating social networks like Twitter and Facebook. This session will examine the smaller brand sites that are already starting to structure their sites more like blogs, and the audience will walk away with actionable ideas for turning their big-brand site into a place where people want to keep coming back to. The session will also explore how to carefully add on-brand community features to your site in order to your consumers a place to interact with one another and with the brand.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Salon E, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Rebranding: Tales of a New Identity

    by Maureen Sullivan and Christian Dwyer

    Strength of brand is potentially just as powerful as the product itself. In this discussion, we'll talk about the ups and downs to refreshing a major brand and share opinions on when and why it's appropriate to create a new identity.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Salon E, Hilton Austin Downtown