Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Branding in Austin Convention Center

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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

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

  • 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

  • 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

Monday 14th March 2011

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