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#SXSW 2015 Branding: Lowe’s Hires Sci-Fi Writers to Envision the Future

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 18, 2015 11:07 AM

Science fiction can be a powerful tool. After all, what we consider standard today was pure fantasy not too long ago. It contributes to the look, feel and sound of virtually every item we own today, from Bluetooth-enabled toothbrushes to vacuums controlled by smartphones.

Lowe’s understands the power of science fiction. At SXSW this week, it is showcasing its partnership with SciFutures, an organization that works with move than 100 science-fiction writers, to help create what customers want.

Since 2013, Lowe’s has shared its consumer research with the sci-fi writers, who then churn out comic books with the info, Canada's Marketing Magazine reports. Lowe’s Innovation Lab then turns some of those ideas into reality.Continue reading...

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#SXSW 2015 Branding: Vitaminwater Contest Funds Entrepreneurs' Dreams

Posted by Dale Buss on March 17, 2015 01:02 PM

What's in the water at SXSW? Why, entrepreneurial spirit, of course. Coca-Cola’s Vitaminwater has decided to bottle that spirit and launch a crowdfunding-inspired contest, dubbed Project Hustle, to support entrepreneurs.

Ten finalists can win a combined total of up to $500,000 to bring their startup ideas to life. They can either submit their concepts online or make an actual in-person "elevator pitch" at SXSW.

"Vitaminwater hustled its way from a small startup in Queens," said Ryan Robertson, Vitaminwater’s Senior Brand Manager, in a press release. "So we understand that hard work is the only path to success, and now we want to support those at the beginning of their journey."Continue reading...

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#SXSW 2015 Branding: Toyota Makes Its Mark With Tweet-Activated Paintball

Posted by Dale Buss on March 16, 2015 11:08 AM

Given all the competition for attendees’ eyeballs at SXSW, auto brands are still trying to figure out how to strike the right chord without seeming too old school.

Toyota is jumpstarting its interactive experience with a combination of paintball and Twitter. The automaker is teaming up with Sean "Diddy" Combs' REVOLT music and pop culture digital network for a contemporary art installation called "Make Your Mark" taking place March 20-21.

The installation will feature a glass-encased 2015 Toyota Corolla and a canvas backdrop. Instead of using paintbrushes, however, the artwork will be created using Twitter-generated paintballs during a REVOLT-sponsored event. Continue reading...

event marketing

#SXSW 2015 Branding: Pop-Ups, Parties, Panels, Pitch Sessions and More

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 15, 2015 12:48 PM

As Billboard's Andrew Hampp points out, South by Southwest is a little more subdued on the brand sponorship front this year, with a 25% reduction in permits and roughly 100 fewer official events, but that doesn't mean brands aren't ubiquitous at SXSW. They are.

There may be fewer parties, but there are still 550 companies exibiting at SXSW 2015, "up 25% from 440 last year," according to USA Today, not to mention invite-only private events taking place in and around SXSW and recruiters at the job fair portion of SXSW Interactive.

As Shiv Singh, Visa's head of digital and marketing transformation, tweeted, "Sometimes the private events or the brand-sponsored events can be just as good if not better than the regular panels."Continue reading...

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GE Brings BBQ Science and First Creator in Residence to SXSW

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 14, 2015 01:28 PM

GE is bringing a smokin' turn on experiential marketing to South by Southwest as well as introducing its first ever creator in residence: British biologist and Oxford University doctoral student, Sally Le Page.

Look for Le Page, who already hosts her own series on YouTube (Shed Science), at GE's SXSW BBQ pit, which examines the science (and art) behind Austin's favorite treat: smoked meat. Think of it as delicious brisketucation.

SXSW is part of her month-long taping in the US that will become a three-month new Popular Science-type series on GE's YouTube channel, produced in partnership with Fullscreen.Continue reading...

event marketing

Treading Carefully, Brands Head to Vegas for a Different Kind of Show

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 17, 2014 07:32 PM

CES wasn't the only big trade show to take over Las Vegas this month.

The hordes of tech-loving geeks that took over the city earlier this month have been replaced by a flock of Duck Dynasty-loving show-goers at an event wrapping up today: the 16th largest annual trade show in the United States, with 12.5 miles of exhibitors accounting for a multi-billion dollar industry with a lucrative lifestyle attendance that has gone from just 5,600 in 1979 to a record 630,000 last year.

Brand sponsors, however, have tread lightly this year to court attendees. That's because the US National Shooting Sports Foundation's Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, better known as the NSSF SHOT Show, has had a rough go of it in the past year. Indeed, its 2013 trade show took place just a month after the tragic 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Conn.

Several longtime, non-firearm industry partners begged off partnerships this year, citing the show's heavy presence and promotion of the kind of "assault" rifle used at the Newtown incident.Continue reading...

event marketing

Kid Rock Puts Money Where His Mouth Is with Cut-Rate Tickets this Summer

Posted by Dale Buss on June 7, 2013 03:39 PM

He may not yet make the pantheon of Detroit business innovators that includes Henry Ford and Mike Ilitch of Little Caesars Pizza fame, but local music icon Kid Rock is making his concert tour this summer as much about the economics of the music business as the music itself.

Kid Rock is working with promoter Live Nation Entertainment to price most tickets for his summer concerts at just $20 and make them available for purchase at Walmart. He hopes the good old-fashioned price discount will spur buying and, so far, he told the Wall Street Journal, that is exactly what has happened at his concerts.

Instead of taking a big upfront fee from Live Nation, Kid Rock has shouldered more risk by sharing ticket sales but also should benefit from an unusual arrangement with Live Nation in which he gets a cut of revenue from food, drinks and other "house earnings."Continue reading...

event marketing

Big Brands Take Over SXSW to Mixed Fanfare

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2013 03:30 PM

SXSW epitomizes how the cutting-edge becomes the status quo and eventually (but not yet) borders on the edge of passé. This year, “the event has a different feel, nearly as much a marketing event as it is about tech,” notes Digiday

The week-long festival in Austin, Texas is ever more a breeding ground for flashy campaigns, giveaways and concerts, a far cry from the festival's roots as a geeky tech meet-up. Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group told CNET, "The original posse is probably aghast at what [SXSW] has turned into." While there is still plenty of tech and start up presence, the event is now, more than ever, a joint digital venture between the marketing teams of the biggest brands and emerging tech stars peddling cool products and innovations.Continue reading...

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