Quote of the Day – Brian MacDonald.
A University of Texas Radio Television and Film school alumni and former Austinite, Brian Macdonald traveled from Vermont to hear all the latest trends and products heralded during the Interactive side of SXSW. Now a web developer, Brian is interested to see the merging of videos to the Internet. Here’s what Brian had to say about the branding of SXSW.
What are you most excited about this year?
The Interactive Tradeshow had a lot of great stuff to see and the panels also had good speakers. I was happy to see the Canadian film commissions here, too.
What products have you noticed?
Mainly, I’ve seen brands I’m already familiar with. I am aware of the Dell Lounge and the Ikea lounge, too. One thing I thought was very smart and very appropriate was seeing Zappos giving away rain ponchos outside. I mean, they are a shoe company, but you know that the marketers thought ahead and made a very useful, very smart product for SXSW.
What do you think of the street marketing?
Well, the lines between marketing and everything else are increasingly blurred. Nothing is really pure anymore. But, we’re not isolated – we are not without brands, so they’re here showing us what they’re all about. Take the Ikea lounge. Everyone wants a place to sit, so why not set up a lounge area and show us how comfortable your products are? It’s what it’s all about.
Because of the rainy weather most SXSW patrons were bundled in ponchos (mainly the free Zappos ponchos) and jackets, but I was able to find this guy, Varick Rosete, sporting his own company’s t-shirt. nGen is his design company based out of Jacksonville. It’s a cool design and a conversation starter and a good way to get your name out there, especially if you’re hanging around the Austin Convention Center.
Daily Namedrop: Utterz
While talking to Brian, I found out about this website called Utterz. This online tool allows users to post a multi-media blog (or an “utter” as they call it) straight from their mobile phone, from anywhere. Users can “create an utter” by voice, picture, video and text. Friends can even respond using their mobile phone. Users can also opt to update using their computer, which, seems to me, is apparently becoming old fashion. (Note: Fellow blogger MK Woltz found them utterly overexposed at the show).
Daily Signage: Fuze Walk outside the Convention Center and you’ll find these guys, giant cardboard replicas of Fuze bottles placed in points of high foot traffic. While I’m not too keen on the placement (attached to a stop sign just seems silly to me – and possibly illegal), I do love the simplicity. I’d much rather see a simple replica of the bottle than some massive poster with far too many Photoshop effects.
Anything can happen on 6th St during SXSW. For example, a cool young kid with some sweet dance moves.