For the past three years, everyone has been bitching about the fact that SXSW sucks and has sold out. Well, of course it's sold out. Every entity does at one point, but that doesn't make it suck. You know what's still epic about SXSW? Marketing firms like MRY and Rocket Fuel hosting amazing all-expenses-paid parties featuring awesome acts like Rev Run and The Jot Formidable, respectively. Agencies like Barbarian Group and JWT doing the same. Social media firms like Expion hosting "unofficial" panels featuring the likes of Gary V and Bonin Bough who, together, are a sight to see. Fast Company hosting its, yes, all-expenses-paid Fast Company Grill where the chosen ones can go to relax, grab lunch and a drink and chat with friends. Oh, and let's not forget the awesomeness of George Tekai, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Sure, it's not the quaint gathering of the tech elite anymore. But isn't the point of an event like this to meet new people and expand your horizons? SXSW still does it -- so quit knocking it.
I've chastised Long Island-based Web design company fishbat (yes, that is their name, despite it sounding like they club fish
for lunch on a daily basis) before for sending out pointless press releases
that do nothing but make people like me share with the rest of the world how idiotic they are and how they can't seem to learn a lesson. This particular press release, like all others before it,
latches onto a popular Mashable article, offers commentary from someone at the agency and then proceeds to pimp the agency throughout. This time the agency is commenting on the fact that Facebook is
finally rolling out their news feed redesign and offering up epic commentary from Client Relations VP Justin Mass, who said: "In terms of the colors and icons, Facebook's web version is beginning to
look a lot like the mobile version. We've seen this with other major social networks like Twitter. As more people begin to use their mobile apps and smartphones to browse social media, it makes sense
for networks to make similar design changes." Epic!
At the end of last year, Gareth Kay left Goodby Silverstein & Partners to become founding partner and owner of the San Francisco office of Minneapolis-based Zeus Jones. At the time, Kay noted that he would open the office in March with four employees. True to his word, he has begun hiring and, this week, brought in former AKQA San Francisco Creative Director Neil Robinson, who left the agency last week. Now, of course, we know why he left. Of Robinson joining the startup, Kay said, “I can’t wait to get to work with Neil and to start building a creative company for the modern age from the ground up – a skunkworks that challenges marketing as usual."
Did you know the 4A's annual meeting was coming up? Well, indeed it is. It will take place March 16-19 at the Beverly Hills Hilton, Did you know that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will keynote at the confab? Well, indeed she will. Also in the house will be American Express CMO John Hayes and GroupM Global Chief Digital Officer Rob Norman. 4A's CEO explains it all in this video.
Last week I made note of Alex Bogusky launching a start-up that that would focus on doing social good and that it would be called Spiffly. The first part was right. The second part was wrong. The
new entity will be called Fearless and "will help socially-minded corporations, foundations and non-profits develop 360° campaigns while providing the added value of a built-in millennial audience
through Fusion's television, social and digital platforms."
Fearless will be a division of Disney/ABC/Univision's cable network and digital platform Fusion and run in partnership with Bogusky, former CP+B'ers Dagny Scott and Lelsie Freeman. Fearless will "enable clients to engage with an ultra-connected audience in all of the places they consume media. The agency will develop multi-platform content spanning video, art, text, comedy, documentaries, television, events, and sharable content, all with an eye toward raising awareness and moving millennials to action on key issues and ideas that encourage positive change in the world."
Of the launch, Bogusky said, "Mashing up agency and media solves a huge problem for socially-minded clients who have incredibly compelling messages but no way to find their audience. Fusion is striking the right tone. Although millennials are more interested in doing good, they aren’t motivated by the same old dry boring, righteous approach. They have the attitude that changing the world can and needs to be fun. And I happen to agree with that.”
Fusion will be opening an office in Boulder, Colorado where Fearless will be based.
Are you going to SXSW? Do you want a new job? Then, it appears, you might want to hook up with Saatchi & Saatchi, which is opening up a Dallas office and will be trolling the streets of Austin
during SXSW for new hires.
The new office is for the agency's Team One unit, which focuses specifically on the Toyota and Lexus accounts. The agency's move to Texas is in reaction to Toyota moving its U.S. sales and marketing operations to Plano, Texas.
And so between barbecue and overcrowded sessions, head over to the SXSW Job Market at the JW Marriott (Floor 2). The hours are Friday, March 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While every morning she's grateful her clients haven't become part of some social media disaster and Twitter is her go to outlet for news, Huge (no, she isn't huge -- that's the name of the agency)
Director of Earned Media Alyssa Galella says that if she weren't working at Huge, she'd love to be "a detective. Or work in an animal shelter. I would basically be Ace Ventura, Pet Detective."
That's an interesting goal for a woman who was recently named one of PR Week's Innovation 50 or who accomplished a killer social media stunt by sending 99 boxes of Cap'N Crunch cereal to Jay-Z who later mentioned the stunt on the radio. Of course, yes -- she's just kidding, but Ace Ventura who certainly was a character. And I like people who aspire to be interesting characters.
But what's most interesting about Galella, who is far from being an old timer, is her wise view of social media today. She says, "There's no longer a dividing line between 'media' and 'social media.' You need to be fluent in both traditional media relations and social media to do your job most effectively. Most of what I've learned hasn't been on the clock, either -- take the initiative to read a ton, be active on social media, attend events, and take classes you're interested in." You know -- become educated in the ways of life.
Thank God. Someone who doesn't think Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are the only valid forms of media in existence.