360i SXSW 2016 Interactive Recap

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    Our Breakdown Report of All Things SXSW Interactive 2016

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    Major Themes

    Personalities

    Brand Activations

    Notable Sessions

    Brand Takeaways

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    BIG DATA USED IN SMART WAYS From panels about using data to predict fashion trends to sessions

    about how social media could be used to predict gun violence – a trend

    we consistently came across was using data in new and smarter ways.

    Embracing “Big Data” and the many smaller, more granular data points has helped marketers achieve measurably better results. Additionally,

    understanding, collecting and managing data, as well as data privacy

    were a big trend at SXSW 2016.

    1-1 MODELING  MESSENGER APPS Scalable communication with consumers is expanding from a pure “1-to-

    many” to a “1-to-1” model, which makes room for more personalized

    and tailored messaging from brands to consumers. As of now, messenger

    apps are one of the very few spaces where ads have not been introduced

    yet and brand activations, for the most part, provide value to the users. Messengers are more personal than social platforms and marketers should

    keep this intimate nature in mind when planning to enter the space.

    ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & ROBOTICS SPOTLIGHT From advanced robots like Jibo and Sophia, to simpler devices like Alexa,

    articial intelligence and robotics were a hot topic at SXSW 2016. Aside

    from technical challenges of developing machines that can recognize

    emotions and respond adequately, human adoption of interacting with machines has also been cited as a challenge. However, the success of

    Alexa among various age groups including kids has bolstered excitement

    around what’s possible.

    IMMERSIVE AUGMENTED & VIRTUAL REALITY Many activations during the conference included Augmented Reality or

    Virtual Reality technology. In contrast to awareness-driving TV spots,

    engagement-based social marketing, or conversion-based direct response

    programs, AR and VR oer users the chance to be immersed in a brand’s

    experience or bring a brand experience into the world around them. This

    can make the experience more personal and build additional trust between

    a consumer and a brand.

    FORWARD PROGRESS FOR LIVESTREAMING Merging TV with social behavior, live streaming was discussed as an

    important trend in a variety of sessions at SXSW. In addition to Periscope

    and Facebook live, niche companies like Amazon-owned “Twitch”

    (gaming) and cooking startup “Nom” oer users a TV channel-like

    experience, adding the value of a community of people who share the

    same interests, and a host who could be a user’s neighbor.

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    MARVIN, ROBOT, IBM 

    He may not be a person, but he may end

    up being your next best friend. At the

    IBM Cognitive Studio, a Watson technol-

    ogy-powered robot named Marvin played

    “Rock, Paper, Scissors” with SXSW at-

    tendees. Throughout the game, spectators could see how Marvin was assessing his

    moves, and were entertained by his jokes.

    The Watson technology which makes him

    not only a source of information, but also a

    source of entertainment, could be the key

    to making people more comfortable with

    robots in the near future.

    DAVID FELLER, CEO & FOUNDER,

    YUMMLY

    It’s not easy to look at the consumer’s

    lifestyle and identify an opportunity to

    simplify and/or improve that life and then,

    on top of that, build a tool or product to

    do so. But that’s exactly what David Feller

    did with Yummly. Interestingly, when he

    came up with the idea for the company,

    he was thinking of how he could invent

    “the equivalent of Pandora for the food

    community.”

    JJ ABRAMS, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT,

    BAD ROBOT PRODUCTIONS

    A creative disruptor in the movie industry,

    Abrams is famous for introducing

    unexpected approaches to creative

    storytelling. At “The Eyes of Robots and

    Murderers” panel, he shared his POV on technology, creativity and the latest trends

    in the context of storytelling.

    ILANA GLAZER AND ABBI JACOBSON,

    CONTENT CREATORS & WRITERS

    Magazine publisher Marie Claire hosted

    Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, co-

    creators and writers of “Broad City” on

    Comedy Central, for a session to share

    their creative process, the latest on

    Season 3, and behind-the-scenes dirt.

    Revealing more of their true feelings about

    the world than most people can in front

    of their own families and friends, they

    were candid and authentic in a way which

    brought much value to the session.

    ASHLEY MAINZ, SOCIAL BUSINESS

    MANAGER, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

    During an era when many consumers take

    to Twitter to comment on poor travel

    experiences, Ashley has great insight into

    the brand/consumer relationship in this

    capacity and nds that, by focusing on

    building the 1:1 relationship versus trying

    to achieve positive sentiment at scale, she

    can convert “agitators into advocates.”

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    MASHABLE + QUALCOMM’S INVISIBLE MUSEUM Mashable partnered with Qualcomm to host an “Invisible Museum” –

    taking the technology of augmented reality and using it to educate. When

    a guest walked into the room, they were given an iPad. As they walked

    around, they could hold the iPad up to dierent, all white structures and the iPad would transform them into interactive scenes that the guests

    could click on to learn more about Qualcomm services.

    ANALOG FROM AMERICAN GREETINGS American Greetings created “Analog” – an activation that reminded

    guests that interactive and digital are not synonymous. Through a

    printmaking and pop-up card workshop called “paper engineering,” guests

    were encouraged to create messages for friends. In one experience, those

    who love GIFs could dance in front of a camera that recorded 28 sticker pictures, which the guest could then print and tape onto a rolodex-type

    wheel and spin to make a GIF ipbook.

    SONY’S INTERACTIVE TABLETOP Sony’s Future Lab gave SXSW visitors an inside look at beta technology

    with an “Interactive Tabletop”. One new tool shared was an interactive

    projector that could recognize objects, such as characters in a children’s

    book. The user could then interact with the characters in the book, i.e. “move” them around, to literally make the story come to life.

    USA NETWORK’S MR. ROBOT FERRIS WHEEL Client USA Network re-created part of a key location from its hit show ‘M

    Robot’ for an eye-catching SXSW experience. The activation took the form

    of a giant Coney Island Ferris Wheel. This activation managed to be highly

    visible to everyone at SXSW, while staying highly relevant to the show an

    its fans.

    CASPER’S NAP STATION The mattress company Casper turned heads with an easy pop-up nap

    station in the middle of SXSW. Playing up their simple, straight forward

    design and seamless delivery and return policies, the experience helped

    attendees understand what their brand is all about, and provided

    everyone a space to nap (which many people appreciated). On top of that,

    the Napping Spot was a relaxation oasis with lemonade, napping goodie

    bags and seating where people could wait for or recover from their naps.

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    “GEN Z: THE MOST INFLUENTIAL

    CONSUMER”

    MICHELLE CASTILLO, STAFF WRITER,

    CNBC DIGITAL; ANNA FIELER, EVP

    MARKETING, POPSUGAR INC.;

    SHIREEN JAWAN, CHIEF BRAND

    EXPERIENCE OFFICER, LUCKY BRAND;

    JACLYN LING, DIRECTOR OF FASHION

    & RETAIL SERVICES, KIK

    This panel explored the mentality behind the youngest spending

    demographic on the scene: Generation Z. The panelists talked about

    consumer approaches to fashion, noting that gone are the days of wearing

    the same “loud” brand (i.e. Hollister), as Gen Z prefers to mix and match

    brands that are lesser known and better aligned to the identities they

    are trying to convey. The main takeaway: Gen Z is buying brands that are

    catering to the things they care about: individuality, ease of experience,

    and relationships. Brands that have strong/authentic brand positioning,

    allow for easy purchase, and employ responsive messaging to build 1:1

    relationships, will connect best with this consumer segment.

    “THE HOLY GRAIL: MACHINE

    LEARNING AND EXTREME ROBOTICS”

    BEN GOERTZEL, CHIEF SCIENTIST,

    HANSON ROBOTICS; DAVID HANSON,

    FOUNDER, HANSON ROBOTICS INC;

    ERIC SHUSS, FOUNDER, COGBOTICS;

    STEPHANIE WANDER, PRIZE

    DESIGNER, XPRIZE

    This panel was not like the others –