Every year in March, SXSW Interactive unites approximately 38,000 people in Austin for keynotes, conferences, salons and launches throughout the capitol. The festival has become one of the biggest marketing conferences in the world, with this year’s edition bringing together brands and media agencies to discuss the impact of new technologies in the media and communication industry. Publicis Media attended the event and shared their coverage, and we’ve included a recap for you below!
SXSW Trends and Insights
A report on this year’s biggest takeaways and intrigues, brought to you by Publicis Media.
This Year’s Top Themes
Three top themes emerged at this year’s SXSW Interactive: data transparency and trading, a shift toward no screens and content tunnel vision.
1. Data Transparency and Trading
As technology seeps further into our everyday lives, people are becoming increasingly aware that they’re online activity leaves a data trail. As a result, a discussion arose at SXSW around the need for brands to be transparent about their data use. Participants explored how to explain the use of personal data and best practices for transparency on how that data is being used.
2. A Shift to No Screens
While sensational fear rises around a generation of screen-obsessed zombies, SXSW highlighted an array of screenless innovations. Among them, fashionable wearables, “Fashionables,” explored screenless connectivity, while demonstrations of tabletop touchscreens begged the question, “Why carry a screen in your pocket when you could project one onto a surface?” These demonstrations of new technology led to further discussion surrounding the need for brands to position themselves to engage customers when the technology becomes more widely available.
3. Content Tunnel Vision
You didn’t hear it here first: fake news is one of today’s hottest topics, so participants jumped into the discussion on algorithms and content curation. Since content producers can now hyper-personlize content to finely targeted audiences, the problem with fake news isn’t the volume but the virility. Social media channels allow for targeting of audiences most likely to engage and share fake content, but if those sharers have tunnel vision, they may only be sharing content within the sphere they’ve created for themselves, making new ideas or products invisible.
Best Interactive Experiences:
Pinterest Lens, Gatorate Data-Based Injury Predictions and the New Virtual Reality.
As is inevitable with discussions on new technology, lots of questions came up throughout the duration of the event. So what comes next? MRY decided it was time to turn confusion to action and created “Morning After,” insights to apply what’s happening on the ground in Austin to brand challenges. Insights included: spirits, skincare, hospitality and non-profits. Thanks to MRY, the team was able to turn all the questions SXSW left into actionable answers!