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Crowdsourced Advertising at SXSW? Reporting from Austin, Part 1

 

Greetings from a brisk and rainy Austin!  I arrived last night by RV, having flown into Houston from earlier in the day. I'm embedded with members of University of Washington's Master of Communication in Digital Media program through next Tuesday. I'm here to hearing how today's brands are integrating technology into the production of advertisements and the design of marketing strategies.  

Photo Mar 09, 9 03 08 AM

To call SXSWi overwhelming would be an understatement. For now, I'm planning to take it day by day in order to carefully make the most out of the hundreds of events that attendees have to choose from here.  

On deck for today, I'm really interested in checking out the following to panels:

Brands As Patterns

Brands today exist in multiple mediums, defined by multiple voices. The media brands inhabit is iterative, with no beginning, no end, and little permanency. In that context, adherence to a big idea and endless repetition of centralized, fixed rules can make a brand seem unresponsive and out of step with its audience. But without repetition, how does a brand create consistency? And without consistency, how does a brand maintain value? This panel will debate, show examples and outline a new model within which experience designers show how brands should behave.

We Made This, and It's Not an Ad

What if agencies and marketers created products and services, not just ads? And what if they made these things for themselves, not just for clients? They do. But tackling things like product design, creating new businesses or building complex real-world experiences requires a creative, technical, managerial and entrepreneurial spirit more associated with Silicon Valley than Madison Avenue. It demands new roles, agile approaches, external partnerships, technologies, investments and compensation models that can drive even the most hardened finance director crazy. And in some cases, it may even require a complete reboot from the ground up. The ability to make something that isn’t an “ad” is no longer optional in modern advertising. But it's certainly not easy, either. So what can we learn from the makers, technologists and agencies already playing in this space? Turns out, a whole heckuva lot.

I look forward to seeing where crowdsourced advertising fits into all of this and to sharing insights gathered from the speakers in future posts. In the meantime, I'll be doing my best to live tweet these events - you can follow me on Twitter at @CrowdCreativity.

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