POV: SXSW 2014 Report

MINDSHARE POINT OF VIEW - Some of the key trends from SXSW 2014

Trend: Privacy and Digital Politics

Mindshare POV: The appearance of Assange at SXSW was the signal that privacy and the implications of data is the #1 top issue this year. Whilst Assange’s angle is political (freedom of speech and surveillance culture), he headlines a growing concern over the impact of data, technology and its potential abuses. Just because everything is trackable, should it be?  Snowden was another big hitter.  Speaking via Webex and seven proxy servers, his considered and thoughtful opinions sit alongside being branded a criminal and traitor by the US Govt. The Interactive community wildly cheered him on here. 

Trend:  3D printing

Mindshare POV: The potential cost savings for companies are huge.  Although there is still a great deal of hype around the subject we are still in the laboratory phase, and desktop methods are often a huge disappointment so public desire for the technology is below manufacturing & development take-up. 

Trend:  Connected viewing experiences

Mindshare POV: The reality with connected TV’s is that audiences can and will be dual operating and viewing alternate pieces of content at the same time, so enriched viewing experiences are becoming common place and will continue to grow.

Trend: Mass data

Mindshare POV: Cars and vehicles will become connected and communicate with each other and with the people that drive them.  There are many questions that still require answers, specifically around data ownership, privacy and whether drivers want to hand over power to their car.

Trend: Wearables

Mindshare POV: Wearables create the ability to create bespoke stories and experiences for individuals.  We can use the technology to help people to navigate their way around a city, creating wonderfully immersive experiences for users that go beyond static communications. Current consumer behavior shows that people are buying wearable products made for a unique purpose –so people purchase a wearable that they need, based on own preferences.  So Nike Fuel band because people want to track and measure activity levels, Jawbone up for activity plus sleeping patterns etc.  The big question remains whether they will continue to purchase individual products fit for purpose or whether they will demand a one gadget fits all.

Trend: Social Communication

Mindshare POV:  We need to re-assess our relationship between pictures and communication. Powerful pictures in advertising are not new, but they are now part of the micro-level, 0˚ relationship

More and more, digital communication is mirroring real-life human interaction and integrating emotion, intent and inference. This might mean the CTA will adapt to become more multi-dimensional and contextual, if we even use one at all. Perhaps just the right image will do. We need to be aware of the increasing nuances to audience communications, not just blunt, brand messaging.

Trend: Data & Storytelling

Mindshare POV:  The future of media and marketing is undoubtedly data-driven, meaning interpreting and communicating the stories is now a core skill of today’s planners. Within our client and agency ecosphere’s we need to be master storytellers and constantly looking for ways to improve this side of our business. This requires investment in visualization tools and training.  These will become as common to us each day as Excel and PowerPoint.