What does it take to be sticky? Today I had to ask myself what really stuck out in terms of non-traditional advertising in the SXSW convention hall, and I aimed my focus on one particular area.Tucked into a corner at the hall are groups of tables, covered, no, SMOTHERED by promotional materials for a variety of brands and products for the taking–stuff like postcards, newspapers, magazines, etc, etc, etc. One glance and you want to ask who dumped the paper trash in the middle of the place. While snapping photos, I heard numerous people gasp as they walked by, mumbling to themselves in amazement at the piles of paperstuff. It’s true, there are at least 20 layers of different promotional materials and everything will seem the same if you don’t sift through them. There were a few noble attempts to raise the bar on the typical promotional sign or postcard. But for 90% of those who left something on the table, your materials will be recycled at the end of the week, missing whoever your target market is.What I liked to see were those things that defied two dimension, like this little box Adobe made. The text said, “Find good fortune at SXSW,” hence the fortune cookies inside. Kind of weird, but I thought the packaging was eye catching. It’s more memorable and stickier than almost any business card or postcard. Some advertisers opt for useful items, like highlighters or lanyards. Thanks for giving me something I can use, but from a creative standpoint, you get no congratulations from me. A few colorful glasses peaked through the mass, as well as some stickers, but if the stickers only display your logo and some wacky headline, then I’m passing it by.Am I too picky or closeminded? Maybe. But the interactive, 3D materials really caught my attention, and that is definitely one of the better strategies to use when trying to filter through the other 90% of promotional waste.
SXSW is an Austin event. And Door Number 3 is an Austin advertising agency. We're interested in how new ideas in advertising, media and branding will be presented during these 9 quick days. From inside the lecture halls where top specialists present their thoughts, to out on the streets where advertising is put to the test on tens of thousands of festival-goers. We'll be there with the complete coverage, reports, photos, editorials, and perhaps some tricks on how to sneak into a few sweet afterparties.
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