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tech in the spotlight

SXSW 2013: How Sponsors and Attendees are Adjusting to the Festival's Changing Landscape

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2013 04:23 PM

As this year’s South by Southwest—running March 8-17 in Austin, Tex.—gears up, brands and agencies are pulling out all the stops to catch the attention of thousands of trendsetters that attend the yearly event. Nearly 25,000 people, about 7 percent more than in 2012, are expected to register for the interactive part of the festival alone. 

Some SXSW pioneers question the growing popularity as lessening the value of the event, which started out mainly as a music festival. “What was once an under-the-radar affair has become a trendy, mainstream gala, raising concerns that going may no longer be worthwhile for entrepreneurs looking to meet investors, potential co-founders or others who could potentially have a significant impact on their businesses," the Wall Street Journal reports

John Frankel, partner at ff Venture Capital in New York, which backs two to three startups a year disagrees. “If you just stick with companies recommended to you, you can miss out on some amazing [investment opportunities]. I’m a great believer in happenstance.”

For brands looking to make a connection with tech-savvy millennials, (who isn't?) SXSW is a feeding ground for viral campaigns and unique marketing stunts. Here's a sampling of what some sponsors and participants have in store for attendees: Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

SXSW Offers a Bigger Tent for Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 7, 2012 02:30 PM

The South by Southwest festival is eighteen years young, and more than 20,000 are expected to attend this week in Austin, where the SXSW Interactive and Film conferences kick off on Friday. The festival has grown from its alternative roots as a confab for a tightknit group of musicians and fans who flocked to Texas to catch the next Michelle Shocked to encompass corporate sponsors and corporate types. It's now a must-attend mainstream event and a hotbed of innovation, which makes it a must-attend for companies in the digital and tech space, especially startups.

"Some people tend to think of 'South By' as more of a [consumer-facing] event where the next big thing like Twitter gets launched. But you have a lot of B2B brands setting up booths next to B2Cs. You'll go to a panel and see the head of marketing for Adobe sitting next to Pepsi on stage. That's what makes it great," said Jesse Noyes of Eloqua. "Unlike other conferences, it's where you can get in front of both up-and-coming and established players. You want to be in that."

Twitter made an explosive debut at SXSW in 2007, followed by Gowalla and Foursquare in 2009. Last year Apple stole the spotlight with its pop-up iPad store, and this year’s star contenders include ‘people discovery’ applications Highlight and Glancee.Continue reading...

tech wars

Going Mobile: Does The Future Belong To Apps Or WAPS?

Posted by Tim Fielding on March 15, 2010 03:55 PM

Competition is heating up between smartphone applications and mobile browsers, prompting brands to rethink the future of portable devices and software platforms. Some techies say that applications popular with the youth market will displace search engines. Others claim the future belongs to APIs that allow browsers to adopt the best features of applications.  
“For smartphone users, mobile web is the killer app,” says Nielsen’s David Gill at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference in Austin, TX. Given the popularity of the smartphone, mobile web – formerly known as WAP – is back in a big way.

Smartphone applications have been the darlings of digital media the past year. Apple has transformed the mobile user experience with its highly successful iPhone App Store, opening the way for advertisers and publishers to engage consumers in a meaningful way that WAP sites had failed to do.Continue reading...

Chevrolet Surfaces At SXSW For Push Into Social Media

Posted by Dale Buss on March 10, 2010 04:57 PM

There were a few good reasons why Chevrolet and General Motors’ other surviving brands admittedly came late to the social-media table. There was that bankruptcy thing last year, and the worst sales environment in decades. And when GM first began sniffing around online networks a few years ago, it began at the corporate level.

But now Chevrolet is leading GM into a determined new surge in social media, and the brand’s coming-out party is going to be its heavy participation in South by Southwest, one of the nation’s largest and most influential interactive conferences. Chevy will be asking SXSW attendees in Austin, Texas, to help it evaluate three emerging applications.Continue reading...

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