Archive for the 'Austin Harkey' Category
Tags: chirp, Dell, slap magazine
Quote of the Day – Stacy Schwartz
Stacy comes to SXSW Music Festival from Minneapolis for the second year in a row. A photographer by trade, she is also an avid music fan. Here’s what Stacy had to say about branding at SXSW.
What are you excited about this year?
I am so excited for the Reveille Magazine party that’s this Saturday at Moltov. It’s a lot of local bands from Minneapolis playing. And really, I’m just excited for the rest of the music that’s playing this week.
What products have you seen so far?Well, I’ve only been here today, but I’ve spotted Fuze, Dell, Microsoft, and a lot of Spin and Paste Magazine stuff. It’s not as bad as last year though.
Do you think street marketing works?
For particular products, yes. By that I mean products that are less known and need the exposure. I’ve seen a lot of Dell marketing, but I don’t think they need the exposure nearly as bad, so I just pass on by it. The people that attend SXSW are the kind of people who are open to new brands and products, so I think they’re more prone to seeing less known brands and trying them out later.
If you attend a branded party, are you more likely to use the product?
Not at all. It depends on who’s playing. I’m only there for the music! If there’s free schwag, that’s cool, but I’m really there to see the live music.
Jeff Tidwell’s shirt caught my eye immediately. The large, bright orange font drew me in, but, from the angle I stood at, I couldn’t see both words. I thought the shirt said ‘Slap me,’ which would be oddly funny. So when I moved in closer to take his photo, I discovered it was a promotional shirt for his friend’s magazine Slap, a skateboarding, art, and culture magazine based in the San Francisco area. Designed any other way, it might not be as noticeable or as surprising as I found it. Props to the designer.
Daily Namedrop: Chirp
As an aspiring art director, I was quite happy to run into Jeff Tidwell who is Creative Director of this fun little program called Chirp. For those who must know who’s messaging you on all of your online social networking profiles, this is what you’ll need and want to invest time in. Chirp is an interactive mega-networking screensaver (right now, it’s only available for Windows, which greatly surprised me). Download it to your computer, install, and voila! When Chirp opens, it displays your latest messages and photos from Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. It also allows you to interact with it, letting you manage your comments, message replies and friend requests. Combined with Utterz, all I can say is social networking capabilities have improved at the speed of light.
Daily Signage: Dell
Oh, here I go again—knocking on Dell. Two days ago, I said the Dell Lounge looked snobby and didn’t have nearly the charm of the Ikea Lounge. And today, I’ll take another pass at the giant computer corporation by saying that this poster really doesn’t cut it. I swear that I don’t despise the company (I don’t have an Apple at home, and I actually own a Dell monitor), but really, adding a model to your ad is too Bud Light. And I don’t like cheap beer ads for that reason –added to the fact that a lot of their print ads rely on lousy strategy. And this strategy is lousy, too. I don’t really understand the point of the monitor repetition. And I only guess that the monitor is comparable in beauty to the model at the right. What is nice, though, is how simple the design is. But other than that, I wouldn’t quite call this a beautiful strategy.
Quote of the Day – Matt Gipson.
Returning for the second year from Indianapolis, Matt Gipson spent this SXSW in the Interactive side. But while he got a heavy dose of tech speak, Matt kept a keen ear to the music side of SXSW too. Here’s what Matt had to say about the branding of SXSW.
What are you most excited about this year?
What products have you noticed?
The first thing I saw when I got to town was the Monster Truck. I saw Microsoft Silverlight, but I hated it. Then I saw Zappos giving out the panchos. It was a little weird since it’s not anything related to shoes, but I thought it was smart.
Do you think the street marketing is effective?
No, not really. I just notice it for the most part, unless it’s really interactive and involves me somehow.
If you attend a sponsored party, are you more likely to use the product?
Maybe. It depends if the product is new or not. If it’s like iMeem, I just go for a good time. But if it’s something I’ve never used before, then I’m more likely to try it out, especially if it’s a good party.
Zappos didn’t get a lot of press with the panchos today because the sun was out for all to see, and so were the great t-shirts. Today my find was Alan Levine, Vice President of New Media Consortium, an Austin-based non-profit organization. Simple and clean, his t-shirt was from Northern Voice, a blog and media conference in Vancouver. His shirt spoke to the inner desire of small companies, bands, and party goers alike. Who hasn’t been or doesn’t want to be featured on a blog? You could say he got what the shirt asked for.
Daily Namedrop: Bloxes
It definitely pays off to pay attention to your surroundings at the Convention Center. While moseying around, I found a guy waiting at the SXSW merch table with a load of oddly geometric cardboard pieces attached to his bag. Though he escaped getting his photo taken, I did find exactly what he had hooked to his backpack in the Interactive Playpen. I present Bloxes, corrugated, locking pieces of cardboard that lock together into this geometric shape. When folded together, these lightweight and strong Bloxes can fit into other Bloxes, making a coffee table, wall, bench, tunnel and potentially much more. The pristine white and modern shape looks like a lamp sold at either Ikea or Design Within Reach, so I am very excited about them, even if I’m not sure I would get a lot of use out of them.
Daily Signage: Bristol
These small pieces surrounded the Interactive Playpen if you happened to look behind the Legos in the windows. They promote the city of Bristol, England, a place that wants to position itself as very cutting-edge and dynamic. Small and intriguing, each one of these unfolds to poster size, detailing the culture of Bristol. Normally advertisements for cities and countries are spotty, but I thought these ranked much higher than the status quo. These mini-posters say just the right thing to intrigue the SXSW crowd. With SXSW Music starting tomorrow, we might even ask a British band to confirm this.
Note: Remember the Fuze posters from yesterday that were attached to Stop signs? Yeah, they were removed. Attaching anything to traffic signs is apparently illegal.