SXSW 2016

Doug Robinson
Doug RobinsonCEO at FreshDigitalGroup um FreshDigitalGroup
SXSW 2016
SXSW 2016
30 Years Old, is SXSWi Still Relevant?
As the conference has shifted and evolved over the years, the question of whether SXSW is still worth
the hype, the answer is YES. 30 years ago Hugh Forrest came up with an idea to have a place where
innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders come to share ideas and push boundaries. 30 years later, it
has become the “toast” of innovation.
SXSW Interactive used to be the bad stepchild of music but now it’s heart of the project. SXSW Edu,
Sports, and Music spawn off of interactive. The path of convergence has lifted interactive to the
forefront of the weeklong activities.
The FDG team looks at SXSW to gain insight on what is relevant: Here is our take of what went
down... Hugh Forrest, director of SXSW Interactive, says that the brand takeover of
the festival is "reflective of the current environment we live in and the
current landscape we live in”
SXSW Benefits
SXSW provides immediate intellectual stimulation that can happen at any moment
with over 50 country representative to create an environment of exchange that is
unparalleled.
● The networking possibilities are
endless and incredibly valuable
● The people make SXSW unique
with every year bringing new,
different, and worthwhile
experiences for festival goers
● It is a place to gain insight on the
latest trends from the best thought
leaders and tell your story
● It is also a good place for startups
to get some ground on their work
and the digital community to make
essential connections
● SXSW strengthens the ecosystem
and gives brands the opportunity to
grow
SXSWEdu Keynote Speakers
March 7-10, 2016
Temple Grandin
Grandin is a Professor of Livestock Behavior & Welfare at
Colorado State University
There are three basic ways that people think differently when
solving problems:
• Photo realistic, visual, pattern mathematical, which is the
way most engineers think, and word verbal thinking
When projects are being designed, people with different ways of
thinking complement each other.
Ayah Bdeir In Conversation with Sean Cavanagh
Bdeir is the Founder & CEO of littleBits and Cavanagh is the editor of
Education Week
Bdeir discussed the role of maker education in classrooms, libraries
and makerspaces.
Using examples of students solving real world
problems using littleBits and other maker tools, Bdeir
argued that maker education should push beyond
career preparation and strive to create active and
creative citizens of the world.
Jane McGonigal
Director of Games Research & Development, Institute for the
Future
• McGonigal is best known for her work as a pioneering
game designer and author of the bestselling books
Reality is Broken and SuperBetter and has also spent
the past decade working as a futurist.
She taught us how to think and learn like a futurist
• The key is to keep a focus on what is coming and
behave accordingly
College Success: Is there an App for That
9% of students from low-income communities earn a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s vs 77%
of wealthy students.
Beyond 12, launched in 2010, has coached over 7,000 college students using near-peer, virtual
coaches and an analytics platform.
• While its current model works, the organization aspires to serve 250,000+ students annually
With the help of visionary funders like Google, the
Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Tipping Point
Community, and the creative minds at IDEO, Beyond
12 is re-imagining college coaching to scale its
student impact, and create a human-centered
design model for the field.
March 11-15, 2016
SXSW Interactive
March 11-15, 2016
Pre-Festival Predictions: What’s In/What’s Out
Out with Emojis, In with Snapchat Filters
Geofilters took over the digital world of SXSW this
year with companies leveraging the filter's
geotargeting capability.
Attendees were able to share what they were up to
with a filter connected to what they were
experiencing in real time.
Some of the best filters at SXSW 2016 include
Vans, Mr. Robot (our favorite), Spotify, and
Samsung. Filters Continued
Snapchat Filters Continued
Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro brought along several foot-high
robots he calls “consumers” and a full-scale, lifelike, android
resembling himself.
• The Ishiguro android held two unassisted conversations – one in
English, another in Japanese – that seemed to have the
spontaneity and inflection of a human interaction
Out with Human Intelligence, In with AI
Robotics and artificial intelligence have seized media and
consumer interest.
Social roboticist Cynthia Breazeal from MIT talked about
emotive computing and introduced an emotive AI called Jibo,
one of the most advanced robots on display at SXSW this
year.
Out with Gamergate, In with Apple vs FBI
The heavily politicized standoff has pitted
one of the world's most powerful
companies against the top law-
enforcement agency in the country.
• Positioned the tech industry and
privacy advocates against the
federal government and national
security stalwarts
John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight
segment aired the Sunday of the festival
and got people at SXSW talking about
the issue of privacy and what a “master
key” could mean for Americans.
Speakers and Panels
Obama Keynote Speech
Interviewed by Evan Smith
● Founder of The Texas Tribune
● Did not shy away from asking the questions President Obama did not
necessarily want to answer
Topics Covered
● Government Services and
Technology
● Voting
● Technological Divide
● Apple/FBI Privacy Situation
POTUS: Government Services and Technology
The President spoke about new efforts to make government services easier through
technology:
● FAFSA made easier and more electronic
● Social Security can now be applied for online
● Allows government to tackle big problems in new ways
● Need to use Big Data to make civic participation easier
● Things like increasing voting rates
Making sure community organizations—
activists—can get together
POTUS: Call to Action in Tech World
The big theme was Obama’s pitch for the crowd to help him—or more accurately, his
successor—find technological solutions to many of the problems that make people’s
interactions with government difficult.
On the subject of voting, the President was blunt: after calling for increased use of
technology to make the voting process more streamlined, he pointed out that the United
States is the only advanced democracy in the world that makes it harder for people to
vote:
● “The United States take enormous pride in the fact that they’re the world’s oldest
consistent democracy but… it’s much easier for people to order pizza or organize a
trip than it is to take part in the most important part of democracy.”
POTUS: The Balance of Privacy and Safety
The issue of security took up nearly a third of the discussion
● Nodding at the current fight between Apple and the FBI, President Obama noted
there are legitimate concerns on both sides of the debate
He told the crowd we accept there needs to be a balance between privacy and security
in many other areas of our lives, citing drunk-driver checkpoints and warrant-enabled
searched of private residences as examples.
The danger, he warned, is that if nothing is done now to provide law enforcement access
to critical private data while protecting privacy, it’s likely that the issue will be handled
badly in the future.
Keynote Speaker Michelle Obama
She shared the stage with Missy Elliott, Diane Warren,
Sophia Bush and Queen Latifah for a broad discussion of
music, activism, and diversity.
Michelle Obama spoke at SXSW Music, hosting a keynote
to discuss Let Girls Learn, a White House initiative
dedicated to educating girls around the world.
The campaign, #62MillionGirls on social media, is
intended to help the 62 million girls around the world who
are prevented from getting an education.
“We’re Not Gonna Take It: Ad Blocking and User Revolt”
Presenters:
● Ben Williams, Head of Operations at Adblock
Plus
● Lewis Dvorkin, Chief Productions Officer at
Forbes Media
● Marjorie Gray, Digital Brand Manager at Dish
● Rob Griffin, Chief Innovation Officer at Almighty
The panel prompted us to ask the questions:
● Are ad-blocking users “stealing” content
without paying in ad views?
● Is it the publishers and advertisers’ own fault?
● Most importantly, how is this problem to be
solved?
Media consumers don’t like the ad-cluttered
user experience
“Visual Media Strategies for Nonprofits”
Presenter
• Marcia Stepanek, New Media Directory/Faculty Member at
Columbia University
The presentation was a four-hour workshop to help nonprofits
learn to build a cutting-edge visual media strategy to make, share
and curate better stories.
These stories could be anything from infographics to maps to
videos, a series of photographs.
The workshop concluded with a lesson on distributing these stories effectively cross-
channels, using the latest mobile apps and media platforms.
“The Eyes of Robots and Murderers”
Presenters:
● Andrew Jarecki: American Film Director and
Co-founder of Moviefone
● JJ Abrams: Founder and President of Bad
Robot Productions
The presentation was a conversation between
the two presenters about the relevance of the
human factor in digital communications.
Advances in digital storytelling tools have
enhanced storytellers’ ability to create but also
pose the risk of overtaking the story and losing
the viewer in CGI.
They also unveiled unseen clips and introduced
KnowMe, a new mobile video platform for
authentic self-expression.
“We the People: Using Tech to Solve Big Challenges”
Presenters:
• Aden Van Noppen: Advisor to the Us CTO, Executive Office Of The
President
• Clarence Wardell: US Digital Service, The White House
• Haley Van Dyck: Deputy Administrator, US Digital Service
• Megan Smith: US Chief Technology Officer, White House Office Of Science
& Technology
Specifically, the team will look at:
● Data-driven justice and building trust
● Digital government and the Obama
administration
● Accelerating opportunity creation
In this session, presenters discussed efforts to
drive change at the Federal level, as well as
innovations taking place in communities around
the country.
Anthony Bourdain as Interviewed by Nathan Thornburgh
Bourdain became a partner in Roads & Kingdoms, a digital media
startup and gave insight on his success.
• Not caring what people think of his work is his business
philosophy
• Don’t worry what other people might think of you or the
content you put out there
Bourdain’s ability to ignore if his content might bother people is
proof that it can ultimately lead to success
Kevin Plank Under Armor
Under Armor Principles to Making Profit
1. Make great products
2. Tell a great story
3. Service the business
4. Build a great team
Plank believes loving your business is at the heart of success.
He gave us expert advice on how to achieve in business and
lead your brand in the right direction:
• Everything needs a tangible benefit with the first
obligation to stay in business
• Start with being an expert in your terrain
• There is nothing static about a brand: it ebbs, flows, and
evolves constantly focuses on the consumer’s wants
and needs.
• A good director will give you perspective: Here’s what I
heard, here’s what I think, here’s what we’re going to do.
• Never stand when you can sit.
Brand Innovator: Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban is a strong believer that effort is the one thing you can
control in business. At SXSW he stresses this philosophy; it’s a grind,
but it is important not to lose track of that.
Cuban discouraged entrepreneurs from mimicking ideas
that already exist, such as trying to be the next Uber.
True entrepreneurs learn by researching similar business
concepts that have failed
● “Look where the bullets hit the companies that
might have been there before you and look to see
what went out of business. Assume somebody’s
done it before and failed.”
Feel Like You’re Missing Out?
There’s a VR for That
Storytelling Takes the Stage
Old dogs – analog brands – are testing new tricks for
news and storytelling with digital tools.
USA Today announced that it was developing “the
first branded news experience presented in virtual
reality,” which it’s calling ‘Vrtually.’
● Its VR newscast will debut this spring with
regularly scheduled segments and advertising
units available in VR.
Other media brands experimenting with VR
journalism include:
● The New York Times
● The United Nations
● The Washington Post
● Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated
Virtual Reality is Everywhere at SX Interactive
Panels were on tap to discuss everything from
Cinematic VR, virtual football, and VR storytelling to city
planning using social VR.
Additionally, there were various branded
installations such as the Samsung Gear VR
Lounge and the McDonald’s Loft.
Marketers must pay attention to Gear VR as
it will quickly become one of the most
accessible forms of VR for consumers.
Entrim 4D by Samsung
Samsung released their new VR accessory designed to
combat the problem of motion sickness in VR users.
Entrim 4D sends electrical messages through
electrode-equipped headphones to a nerve in the
user's ear.
The idea, eventually, is to use the same technology to
create a sensation of rotational motion and make the
user feel like they are moving along with their virtual
reality.
Virtual Beer Experience
For their big activation, Anheuser-Busch transformed
Austin's Ironwood Hall into the Budweiser Beer Garage.
A big attraction to the activation (besides the beer) was
the 4-D Immersive Reality Budweiser Brewery Tour.
● Attendees strap on a VR headset and are transported
to Anheuser-Busch's St. Louis facility where they go
on a multi-sensory journey, getting to see, hear,
smell—and finally taste—how Budweiser is made.
Google VR Happy Hour and Fiber Space
Google held two VR activations
The first, VR Happy Hour, was a chance for festival
goers to try out a new 360 photo booth then watch a
Tilt Brush (app for 3D painting in virtual reality) demo.
The second, Google Fiber Space, allowed users to
demo — essentially play with — Google VR as well
as build Google's Next Big Thing in the Cloud studio.
Samsung Gear VR Lounge
The activation allowed users to try out the Samsung
Gear VR while seated in a 4D motion simulated chair for
a fully immersive virtual reality experience.
Users were able to virtually ride two of Six Flags
Signature Roller Coasters.
● Twisted Colossus: a dual rollercoaster with plenty of
twists and turns
● Tatsu: a hanging roller coaster complete with a
breathtaking sky view
NASA
NASA has been at SXSW hoping to inform people that
the National Aeronautics Space Administration is alive
and well.
They set up an activation with virtual reality films and
other displays (20-foot-by-30-foot booth with a 30-foot
inflatable depiction of the SLS rocket) to show the future
of crewed shuttle missions.
The activation featured two VR setups:
• The first was an Oculus Rift VR piece that allowed
viewers to ride to the top of the 300 foot tall SLS
• The second was a Google Cardboards setup walking
users around Mars
The New York Time and VR News
In a panel titled "New York Times Reality Through VR-Tinted Glasses" The New York
Times' CEO, Mark Thompson, and new media columnist, Jim Rutenberg, discussed
how VR is changing the way news publishers can fully immerse the "reader" in a story.
The Times has already committed to putting money into a full slate of VR films in 2016.
The panel educated journalists and anyone interested in the possibilities of VR (read: us)
for news organizations and marketers.
Startups Making a Splash
Gnack
Gnack helps brands and agencies
programmatically purchase user-generated
content from Snapchat and Instagram
influencers and micro influencers (people
with 10,000 followers on a given platform).
Snapchat and Instagram stars log into their
Facebook accounts and the system will
automatically analyze their social profile
and further pair them with brands.
Brands enter a parameters
including:
● Campaign objectives
● Price they are willing to pay
● Target demographics
● Preferred hashtags
● Desired number of influencers
Hooch
This membership cocktail app seemed to be in every nook and
cranny of SXSW, promoting their launch to the Austin market.
Members get one drink a day at hundreds of venues for $9.99 per
month (less than the price of one cocktail in most cities).
It is currently live in NY, LA, Miami, Dallas, and now Austin (with
amazing expansion cities coming in a matter of weeks.
This app is a no-brainer if you like to try new bars and restaurants
and the advertising opportunities run the gamut from obvious
endemic liquor/retail applications to more integrated plays for
urban adults with discretionary income.
Ditty
An app that sings your text as a song of your choosing then overlays images and videos over
your singing text, making your message into a video.
As a brand, you could use your iconic jingle or imagery and allow fans of your brands to
interact in unique ways.
Users have to pay to unlock premium songs but have some limited access for free.
Recess
RECESS Music + Ideas Festival took place on college campuses
across the nation.
They have also been able to spot musical up-and-comers for their
tour from Calvin Harris to Chain Smokers.
At SXSW this year, they launched an online destination for the 18-
25 year olds that flock to their events.
Dynamite!
The app provides users with video face masks and audio
filters that allow people to craft uniquely personal
stories and seamlessly share them across social
channels.
You can mask yourself with anyone from athletes to
superheroes and even use custom masks you create as
well.
A unique feature is that users can utilize multiple masks per
video.
Apps That Were on Our Radar
Mobcrush
Mobcrush is a mobile game streaming platform
that enables anyone with a mobile device to
start streaming live gameplay to a vibrant
community of gamers, influencers and
developers with just a tap.
Mobcrush is currently in open beta, with a full
launch coming soon to Android, iOS, Web, Mac
and PC.
Hum On! by Samsung
Hum On! scores, arranges, and shares melodies hummed by the user.
The app transcribes the melodies into musical notations and then plays it back according to
the user's selected style (R&B, classical, or rock) in just a few minutes.
Users can then share their songs on social media or use them for their own purposes.
Waffle by Samsung
Samsung released their new social media content-sharing application.
The user interface that resembles the grid on a waffle and can be customized by users.
The app lets users create a new feed of expandable content or add to existing related
content.
Down to Lunch
Down To Lunch, a new phone app created to make
scheduling lunch dates and other social gatherings easier.
The app itself is a button that users press when they are
available to eat or, in more recent versions, to meet up to
hang out with friends.
It instantly notifies all users' friends on the app that he or
she wants to meet to eat, and friends who are interested
text back.
Gotta Go!
Gotta Go! is your free excuse-to-leave generator, made by comedian
Chelsea Handler.
If you find yourself in an awkward conversation or anytime you need
an excuse to leave, Gotta Go will send you a text with something
urgent.
Everything is customizable, from the type of excuse to the time and
frequency of when your phone starts buzzing.
Peach
A blank canvas for posting anything from images, links,
GIFs, to 6-second clips (fun fact: the app was created
by the founder of Vine).
If you’re not sure what to post, the app will ask you
some questions so you can post your answers
• Example: “What is your favorite food?”
All of it goes to your Home where people can like your
stuff and comment on it.
No “direct” messaging here, all out in the open like
Twitter.
The List App
The List App is a new way to create and discover lists about
anything and everything
• Share your experiences, opinions, and expertise and
enjoy lists from friends and the leading voices in TV & film,
music, food, sports, news, fashion, comedy and more in a
vibrant and positive community.
You can follow people, get notified when they create and add
to a list, and even “request a list” from other people.
Robots and Artificial Intelligence
Robots Replacing Humans?
During a keynote conversation, Rodney Brooks, Chairman of Rethink
Robotics and former director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab,
predicted that the future of Uber and Lyft is in robotics.
The next big breakthrough, he predicted, would be evolving from
robotic floor cleaners to eldercare
• His main reasoning was that the global population is aging and
young people simply won’t want to care for geriatric citizens, which
will necessitate robots capable of performing those tasks
In fact, he described the next generation of self-driving cars as
“eldercare robots,” because they will help older people retain their
mobility and autonomy.
Robotic Innovation and the Importance of Patents
Pepper, the robot from SoftBank, made an appearance at a panel
hosted by Mashable chief correspondent Lance Ulanoff and
featured Rodolphe Gelin, EVP and chief scientific officer at
Aldebaran, SoftBank Robotics
The Innovation Alliance and Save the Inventor created a patched-
together towering robot and asked people to take their photo with
the robot and tweet on Twitter with the hashtag #PatentsMatter,
bringing awareness to U.S. patents
• The organization also wants to promote innovation in the U.S.
to help America's economy flourish and thrive
Lifelike Robots Engagement
Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro presented lifelike android resembling himself called Geminoid.
The Ishiguro android held two unassisted conversations – one in English, another in Japanese – that
seemed to have the spontaneity and inflection of a human interaction.
The robotics group at SXSW also
included the Telenoid, which looks
neither lifelike nor particularly robotic.
In experiments by Ishiguro and fellow
researchers, the Telenoid helped to
draw out some dementia patients who
were wary of interaction with human-
like robots.
Artificial Intelligence
As artificial intelligence systems gain more control over
users’ information, it is important that there is a common
understanding between companies, users, and the
systems of how data is being collected and used.
Robots replaced blue collar jobs in the Industrial
Revolution, and now it seems that white collar jobs are
next.
The three expert panelists, however, claimed that AI was simply better at connecting the
dots, and actually doing something with those connected dots should be left to the
humans.
AI & Big Data
Kris Hammond, a “Narrative Scientist” and professor, is
working on a program that will analyze big data and
deliver the results to you.
• Hammond believes humans are far more inclined to
engage with data if it resonates with them
o As storytelling is an integral part of the human
experience, they chose that method
• This could improve company campaigns and
meetings, allowing people to focus on actually
creating a product with the data instead of focusing
on the data collection itself.
Public Policy of AI
Rayid Ghani, director of the Center for Data Science and
Public Policy, was the more cautious voice at SXSW.
He stressed that while customized ads and programming are
great, researchers need to consider the ethical issues of AI.
We may be susceptible to AI segregating certain groups of
people when it comes to loan applications, political views, or
even medical care.
Rayid stressed that it is the role of the researcher to always
question the machine on how it reached those decisions.
AI & Education
Dr. Doug Lenat with Cycorp discussed how AI can be used to
improve the human experience, from governments to
households to education.
We now know that humans learn information more efficiently
when they need to teach it to others.
Dr. Lenat is working on AI that is always slightly more
confused than the student, so the student is consequently
learning and becoming more confident in their own
knowledge through teaching their AI counterpart.
Marketing Trends Surfacing at SX 2016
Social Media to Social Messaging
The focus of many panels is discussing the shift that’s happening with consumers
moving from social media to social messaging.
• This includes the rise of the conversational user experience as well as the next
multibillion-dollar opportunity: marketing in messaging.
Platforms such as Twitter are integrating features
normally associated with the more private Snapchat
platform.
Facebook views Messenger as a primary commerce
driver moving forward
Dark Social
Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat
invisible to traditional analytics.
It’s the culmination of referrals and sharing of content
that originates from instant messages, emails containing
links, and, most recently, the rise of ephemeral social
communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat,
and WhatsApp.
Marketers need to start thinking about dark social and its
role as part of their customer experience.
New Ad Formats
BuzzFeed unveiled Swarm, a new ad format to create mass awareness of an event to
gather a swarm of people.
• The format allows advertisers to launch a campaign across all of BuzzFeed’s
social accounts: Facebook, Snapchat Discover, YouTube, Vine, Instagram and
Tumblr.
AdBlock Plus indicated they will be releasing a new revenue
model for publishers.
• Speculation surrounds the idea that publishers could be
able to pay to get their ads unblocked.
Activations, Events, and Parties
FDG’s SXSW Squad
With a team from 5 countries and 7 states, FDG’s
global baller team was able to truly experience
dozens of events, takeover the W hotel, and even
provide interactive fun at the mashable party.
Swag
Collection
American Greetings Activation
The greeting card company decided it would disrupt the tech focus of SXSW with a wholly analog
activation and promote why paper still matters.
The event included:
• Engaging in paper-based crafts like do-it-
yourself printmaking and pop-up cards
• Learn about lettering techniques from an
American Greetings' artist,
• Get a selfie stitched with thread by fashion
designer Michael-Birch Pierce
• Fill in a coloring-book mural by Kelsey
Montague
• Create an analog GIF and then record a video
to share on social
The activation included:
• The DJI Phantom 4 Hologram Experience
o Users were converted to a hologram and
flew a hologram drone with their arms
• A chance to win a brand new Phantom4 drone
• Make history and be part of the largest
crowdsourced drone mosaic with DJI
• Test fly a drone
DJI Phantom 4 Lounge
USA Network's Mr. Robot returned to Austin after
premiering the show there last year to get fans
excited for the upcoming second season.
The activation includes
• 100-foot Ferris wheel designed to look like
Coney Island's famed Wonder Wheel
• F Society hacker den on Coney Island
The activation was designed in part to spark
conversation on social media.
Mr. Robot Activation
Disney erected a 20-foot tall TIE Fighter to promote The Force Awakens.
The display was a pleasant surprise for festival-goers as Disney had kept the
construction of the giant TIE Fighter a relative secret.
Star War Activation
The activation was right near “SouthBites”,
a collection of food trucks, so that hungry
passersby could stop to take a picture with
the space ship.
Deloitte RAC Party
At #ARCafterDark Deloitte Digital brought early concert
performances from the world’s top indie bands.
Deloitte Digital’s Interplay featured
• Grammy-nominated artist RAC performed live
sets inside a massive sound-light installation
• Lab Oberhofer
• Baio
Mashable House was bigger and better than ever because this
year, we brought you to the future - to the Internet of the future.
Mashable’s Austin, Texas digs, now a staple of the festival,
serve as a way for the digital-only Mashable to interact with its
readers and fans in the real world.
• Roughly 7,000 guests showed up over three days
Pepsi, Qualcomm, Amazon Launchpad, Las Vegas Convention
and Visitors Authority, Facebook, Hasbro's Transformers,
Quaker and HBO all had activations in the House.
Mashable House
The night was filled with surprise giveaways and late-night
snacks to get partiers in the mood for dancing.
Featuring DJ sets from:
• Brooklyn-based MICK
• Former Northern State MC DJ Hesta Prynn
MashBash
Some celebrities to show up included:
● Anna Kendrick and Adam Devine from
the Blockbuster Pitch Perfect
● The cast of HBO Silicon Valley
● Transformers, BB8, and VR also made
features at the event
The New York Times Magazine took to SXSW to
celebrate the inaugural “Music Issue” at Easy Tiger in
Austin.
The event featured music by DJ Chris Rose, the band
Hard Proof, and a menu courtesy of Franklin Barbecue.
NYT VR HQ
The party also featured The Optimist Index,
from OppenheimerFunds, where guests
participated in an experience to find out how
optimistic they are about the world we live in.
BuzzFeed #BFFClubhouse
BuzzFeed hosted a party at the #BFFClubhouse featuring
• BFF Illustrators doing caricatures
• The Foodstagram set helping you take the best food photos
ever imaginable
• Emoji fortune telling
• Vine booth
• Limited edition BFF totes for the first 200 people
• Custom swag when you sign up for Visa Checkout
• Free food from East Side King when you demo Apple Pay
with Visa
• DJ TJ Mizell
• Dark Horse Wine
Pandora Discovery Den
Pandora hosted its fifth annual Discovery Den with incredible
performances from a diverse group of 39 acts across dance, Americana,
hip hop/R&B, and rock genres; our favorite was G Eazy.
Tied the activation into content with exclusive 30 Years of SXSW mixtape
featuring music from past performers, including:
• Beastie Boys
• Florence and the Machine
• Katy Perry
• Lil’ Wayne
• Mumford & Sons
Funny or Die
Funny or Die Junction took over an awesome east side venue this year for
a two-day comedy and music event.
Penguin Prison brought the music and celebrities along featuring:
• Tracey Morgan
• Ghostface Killah
• Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan
McDonald's has been rolling out futuristic kiosks in its stores that let
you create your own custom burgers at the VIP Lounge.
• The kiosks let you customize your burger with toppings like
guacamole, bacon, and sriracha mayo.
• To pay you just swipe your card at the bottom on the kiosk, no
cashier required.
McDonald's VIP Lounge & VR
Designed for the HTC Vive, users can immerse themselves in a world
where they paint the inside of a gigantic Happy Meal box with gobs of
virtual reality paint
● McDonald's restaurants in Sweden are distributing Happy Meal
boxes that can turn into a VR headset
● The "Happy Goggles," allows users to play a virtual reality skiing
game
SXSW Interactive
Although some people have doubted the value of attending South by Southwest
Interactive this year, we are here to prove that this is still and forever will be the
country’s best gathering of creative minds.
Missing out on SX is one of the worst things a tech/creative/digital/smart person can do.
The opportunities for intelligent
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SXSW 2016

  • 3. 30 Years Old, is SXSWi Still Relevant? As the conference has shifted and evolved over the years, the question of whether SXSW is still worth the hype, the answer is YES. 30 years ago Hugh Forrest came up with an idea to have a place where innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders come to share ideas and push boundaries. 30 years later, it has become the “toast” of innovation. SXSW Interactive used to be the bad stepchild of music but now it’s heart of the project. SXSW Edu, Sports, and Music spawn off of interactive. The path of convergence has lifted interactive to the forefront of the weeklong activities. The FDG team looks at SXSW to gain insight on what is relevant: Here is our take of what went down... Hugh Forrest, director of SXSW Interactive, says that the brand takeover of the festival is "reflective of the current environment we live in and the current landscape we live in”
  • 4. SXSW Benefits SXSW provides immediate intellectual stimulation that can happen at any moment with over 50 country representative to create an environment of exchange that is unparalleled. ● The networking possibilities are endless and incredibly valuable ● The people make SXSW unique with every year bringing new, different, and worthwhile experiences for festival goers ● It is a place to gain insight on the latest trends from the best thought leaders and tell your story ● It is also a good place for startups to get some ground on their work and the digital community to make essential connections ● SXSW strengthens the ecosystem and gives brands the opportunity to grow
  • 6. Temple Grandin Grandin is a Professor of Livestock Behavior & Welfare at Colorado State University There are three basic ways that people think differently when solving problems: • Photo realistic, visual, pattern mathematical, which is the way most engineers think, and word verbal thinking When projects are being designed, people with different ways of thinking complement each other.
  • 7. Ayah Bdeir In Conversation with Sean Cavanagh Bdeir is the Founder & CEO of littleBits and Cavanagh is the editor of Education Week Bdeir discussed the role of maker education in classrooms, libraries and makerspaces. Using examples of students solving real world problems using littleBits and other maker tools, Bdeir argued that maker education should push beyond career preparation and strive to create active and creative citizens of the world.
  • 8. Jane McGonigal Director of Games Research & Development, Institute for the Future • McGonigal is best known for her work as a pioneering game designer and author of the bestselling books Reality is Broken and SuperBetter and has also spent the past decade working as a futurist. She taught us how to think and learn like a futurist • The key is to keep a focus on what is coming and behave accordingly
  • 9. College Success: Is there an App for That 9% of students from low-income communities earn a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s vs 77% of wealthy students. Beyond 12, launched in 2010, has coached over 7,000 college students using near-peer, virtual coaches and an analytics platform. • While its current model works, the organization aspires to serve 250,000+ students annually With the help of visionary funders like Google, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Tipping Point Community, and the creative minds at IDEO, Beyond 12 is re-imagining college coaching to scale its student impact, and create a human-centered design model for the field.
  • 10. March 11-15, 2016 SXSW Interactive March 11-15, 2016
  • 12. Out with Emojis, In with Snapchat Filters Geofilters took over the digital world of SXSW this year with companies leveraging the filter's geotargeting capability. Attendees were able to share what they were up to with a filter connected to what they were experiencing in real time. Some of the best filters at SXSW 2016 include Vans, Mr. Robot (our favorite), Spotify, and Samsung. Filters Continued
  • 14. Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro brought along several foot-high robots he calls “consumers” and a full-scale, lifelike, android resembling himself. • The Ishiguro android held two unassisted conversations – one in English, another in Japanese – that seemed to have the spontaneity and inflection of a human interaction Out with Human Intelligence, In with AI Robotics and artificial intelligence have seized media and consumer interest. Social roboticist Cynthia Breazeal from MIT talked about emotive computing and introduced an emotive AI called Jibo, one of the most advanced robots on display at SXSW this year.
  • 15. Out with Gamergate, In with Apple vs FBI The heavily politicized standoff has pitted one of the world's most powerful companies against the top law- enforcement agency in the country. • Positioned the tech industry and privacy advocates against the federal government and national security stalwarts John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight segment aired the Sunday of the festival and got people at SXSW talking about the issue of privacy and what a “master key” could mean for Americans.
  • 17. Obama Keynote Speech Interviewed by Evan Smith ● Founder of The Texas Tribune ● Did not shy away from asking the questions President Obama did not necessarily want to answer Topics Covered ● Government Services and Technology ● Voting ● Technological Divide ● Apple/FBI Privacy Situation
  • 18. POTUS: Government Services and Technology The President spoke about new efforts to make government services easier through technology: ● FAFSA made easier and more electronic ● Social Security can now be applied for online ● Allows government to tackle big problems in new ways ● Need to use Big Data to make civic participation easier ● Things like increasing voting rates Making sure community organizations— activists—can get together
  • 19. POTUS: Call to Action in Tech World The big theme was Obama’s pitch for the crowd to help him—or more accurately, his successor—find technological solutions to many of the problems that make people’s interactions with government difficult. On the subject of voting, the President was blunt: after calling for increased use of technology to make the voting process more streamlined, he pointed out that the United States is the only advanced democracy in the world that makes it harder for people to vote: ● “The United States take enormous pride in the fact that they’re the world’s oldest consistent democracy but… it’s much easier for people to order pizza or organize a trip than it is to take part in the most important part of democracy.”
  • 20. POTUS: The Balance of Privacy and Safety The issue of security took up nearly a third of the discussion ● Nodding at the current fight between Apple and the FBI, President Obama noted there are legitimate concerns on both sides of the debate He told the crowd we accept there needs to be a balance between privacy and security in many other areas of our lives, citing drunk-driver checkpoints and warrant-enabled searched of private residences as examples. The danger, he warned, is that if nothing is done now to provide law enforcement access to critical private data while protecting privacy, it’s likely that the issue will be handled badly in the future.
  • 21. Keynote Speaker Michelle Obama She shared the stage with Missy Elliott, Diane Warren, Sophia Bush and Queen Latifah for a broad discussion of music, activism, and diversity. Michelle Obama spoke at SXSW Music, hosting a keynote to discuss Let Girls Learn, a White House initiative dedicated to educating girls around the world. The campaign, #62MillionGirls on social media, is intended to help the 62 million girls around the world who are prevented from getting an education.
  • 22. “We’re Not Gonna Take It: Ad Blocking and User Revolt” Presenters: ● Ben Williams, Head of Operations at Adblock Plus ● Lewis Dvorkin, Chief Productions Officer at Forbes Media ● Marjorie Gray, Digital Brand Manager at Dish ● Rob Griffin, Chief Innovation Officer at Almighty The panel prompted us to ask the questions: ● Are ad-blocking users “stealing” content without paying in ad views? ● Is it the publishers and advertisers’ own fault? ● Most importantly, how is this problem to be solved? Media consumers don’t like the ad-cluttered user experience
  • 23. “Visual Media Strategies for Nonprofits” Presenter • Marcia Stepanek, New Media Directory/Faculty Member at Columbia University The presentation was a four-hour workshop to help nonprofits learn to build a cutting-edge visual media strategy to make, share and curate better stories. These stories could be anything from infographics to maps to videos, a series of photographs. The workshop concluded with a lesson on distributing these stories effectively cross- channels, using the latest mobile apps and media platforms.
  • 24. “The Eyes of Robots and Murderers” Presenters: ● Andrew Jarecki: American Film Director and Co-founder of Moviefone ● JJ Abrams: Founder and President of Bad Robot Productions The presentation was a conversation between the two presenters about the relevance of the human factor in digital communications. Advances in digital storytelling tools have enhanced storytellers’ ability to create but also pose the risk of overtaking the story and losing the viewer in CGI. They also unveiled unseen clips and introduced KnowMe, a new mobile video platform for authentic self-expression.
  • 25. “We the People: Using Tech to Solve Big Challenges” Presenters: • Aden Van Noppen: Advisor to the Us CTO, Executive Office Of The President • Clarence Wardell: US Digital Service, The White House • Haley Van Dyck: Deputy Administrator, US Digital Service • Megan Smith: US Chief Technology Officer, White House Office Of Science & Technology Specifically, the team will look at: ● Data-driven justice and building trust ● Digital government and the Obama administration ● Accelerating opportunity creation In this session, presenters discussed efforts to drive change at the Federal level, as well as innovations taking place in communities around the country.
  • 26. Anthony Bourdain as Interviewed by Nathan Thornburgh Bourdain became a partner in Roads & Kingdoms, a digital media startup and gave insight on his success. • Not caring what people think of his work is his business philosophy • Don’t worry what other people might think of you or the content you put out there Bourdain’s ability to ignore if his content might bother people is proof that it can ultimately lead to success
  • 27. Kevin Plank Under Armor Under Armor Principles to Making Profit 1. Make great products 2. Tell a great story 3. Service the business 4. Build a great team Plank believes loving your business is at the heart of success. He gave us expert advice on how to achieve in business and lead your brand in the right direction: • Everything needs a tangible benefit with the first obligation to stay in business • Start with being an expert in your terrain • There is nothing static about a brand: it ebbs, flows, and evolves constantly focuses on the consumer’s wants and needs. • A good director will give you perspective: Here’s what I heard, here’s what I think, here’s what we’re going to do. • Never stand when you can sit.
  • 28. Brand Innovator: Mark Cuban Mark Cuban is a strong believer that effort is the one thing you can control in business. At SXSW he stresses this philosophy; it’s a grind, but it is important not to lose track of that. Cuban discouraged entrepreneurs from mimicking ideas that already exist, such as trying to be the next Uber. True entrepreneurs learn by researching similar business concepts that have failed ● “Look where the bullets hit the companies that might have been there before you and look to see what went out of business. Assume somebody’s done it before and failed.”
  • 29. Feel Like You’re Missing Out? There’s a VR for That
  • 30. Storytelling Takes the Stage Old dogs – analog brands – are testing new tricks for news and storytelling with digital tools. USA Today announced that it was developing “the first branded news experience presented in virtual reality,” which it’s calling ‘Vrtually.’ ● Its VR newscast will debut this spring with regularly scheduled segments and advertising units available in VR. Other media brands experimenting with VR journalism include: ● The New York Times ● The United Nations ● The Washington Post ● Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated
  • 31. Virtual Reality is Everywhere at SX Interactive Panels were on tap to discuss everything from Cinematic VR, virtual football, and VR storytelling to city planning using social VR. Additionally, there were various branded installations such as the Samsung Gear VR Lounge and the McDonald’s Loft. Marketers must pay attention to Gear VR as it will quickly become one of the most accessible forms of VR for consumers.
  • 32. Entrim 4D by Samsung Samsung released their new VR accessory designed to combat the problem of motion sickness in VR users. Entrim 4D sends electrical messages through electrode-equipped headphones to a nerve in the user's ear. The idea, eventually, is to use the same technology to create a sensation of rotational motion and make the user feel like they are moving along with their virtual reality.
  • 33. Virtual Beer Experience For their big activation, Anheuser-Busch transformed Austin's Ironwood Hall into the Budweiser Beer Garage. A big attraction to the activation (besides the beer) was the 4-D Immersive Reality Budweiser Brewery Tour. ● Attendees strap on a VR headset and are transported to Anheuser-Busch's St. Louis facility where they go on a multi-sensory journey, getting to see, hear, smell—and finally taste—how Budweiser is made.
  • 34. Google VR Happy Hour and Fiber Space Google held two VR activations The first, VR Happy Hour, was a chance for festival goers to try out a new 360 photo booth then watch a Tilt Brush (app for 3D painting in virtual reality) demo. The second, Google Fiber Space, allowed users to demo — essentially play with — Google VR as well as build Google's Next Big Thing in the Cloud studio.
  • 35. Samsung Gear VR Lounge The activation allowed users to try out the Samsung Gear VR while seated in a 4D motion simulated chair for a fully immersive virtual reality experience. Users were able to virtually ride two of Six Flags Signature Roller Coasters. ● Twisted Colossus: a dual rollercoaster with plenty of twists and turns ● Tatsu: a hanging roller coaster complete with a breathtaking sky view
  • 36. NASA NASA has been at SXSW hoping to inform people that the National Aeronautics Space Administration is alive and well. They set up an activation with virtual reality films and other displays (20-foot-by-30-foot booth with a 30-foot inflatable depiction of the SLS rocket) to show the future of crewed shuttle missions. The activation featured two VR setups: • The first was an Oculus Rift VR piece that allowed viewers to ride to the top of the 300 foot tall SLS • The second was a Google Cardboards setup walking users around Mars
  • 37. The New York Time and VR News In a panel titled "New York Times Reality Through VR-Tinted Glasses" The New York Times' CEO, Mark Thompson, and new media columnist, Jim Rutenberg, discussed how VR is changing the way news publishers can fully immerse the "reader" in a story. The Times has already committed to putting money into a full slate of VR films in 2016. The panel educated journalists and anyone interested in the possibilities of VR (read: us) for news organizations and marketers.
  • 39. Gnack Gnack helps brands and agencies programmatically purchase user-generated content from Snapchat and Instagram influencers and micro influencers (people with 10,000 followers on a given platform). Snapchat and Instagram stars log into their Facebook accounts and the system will automatically analyze their social profile and further pair them with brands. Brands enter a parameters including: ● Campaign objectives ● Price they are willing to pay ● Target demographics ● Preferred hashtags ● Desired number of influencers
  • 40. Hooch This membership cocktail app seemed to be in every nook and cranny of SXSW, promoting their launch to the Austin market. Members get one drink a day at hundreds of venues for $9.99 per month (less than the price of one cocktail in most cities). It is currently live in NY, LA, Miami, Dallas, and now Austin (with amazing expansion cities coming in a matter of weeks. This app is a no-brainer if you like to try new bars and restaurants and the advertising opportunities run the gamut from obvious endemic liquor/retail applications to more integrated plays for urban adults with discretionary income.
  • 41. Ditty An app that sings your text as a song of your choosing then overlays images and videos over your singing text, making your message into a video. As a brand, you could use your iconic jingle or imagery and allow fans of your brands to interact in unique ways. Users have to pay to unlock premium songs but have some limited access for free.
  • 42. Recess RECESS Music + Ideas Festival took place on college campuses across the nation. They have also been able to spot musical up-and-comers for their tour from Calvin Harris to Chain Smokers. At SXSW this year, they launched an online destination for the 18- 25 year olds that flock to their events.
  • 43. Dynamite! The app provides users with video face masks and audio filters that allow people to craft uniquely personal stories and seamlessly share them across social channels. You can mask yourself with anyone from athletes to superheroes and even use custom masks you create as well. A unique feature is that users can utilize multiple masks per video.
  • 44. Apps That Were on Our Radar
  • 45. Mobcrush Mobcrush is a mobile game streaming platform that enables anyone with a mobile device to start streaming live gameplay to a vibrant community of gamers, influencers and developers with just a tap. Mobcrush is currently in open beta, with a full launch coming soon to Android, iOS, Web, Mac and PC.
  • 46. Hum On! by Samsung Hum On! scores, arranges, and shares melodies hummed by the user. The app transcribes the melodies into musical notations and then plays it back according to the user's selected style (R&B, classical, or rock) in just a few minutes. Users can then share their songs on social media or use them for their own purposes.
  • 47. Waffle by Samsung Samsung released their new social media content-sharing application. The user interface that resembles the grid on a waffle and can be customized by users. The app lets users create a new feed of expandable content or add to existing related content.
  • 48. Down to Lunch Down To Lunch, a new phone app created to make scheduling lunch dates and other social gatherings easier. The app itself is a button that users press when they are available to eat or, in more recent versions, to meet up to hang out with friends. It instantly notifies all users' friends on the app that he or she wants to meet to eat, and friends who are interested text back.
  • 49. Gotta Go! Gotta Go! is your free excuse-to-leave generator, made by comedian Chelsea Handler. If you find yourself in an awkward conversation or anytime you need an excuse to leave, Gotta Go will send you a text with something urgent. Everything is customizable, from the type of excuse to the time and frequency of when your phone starts buzzing.
  • 50. Peach A blank canvas for posting anything from images, links, GIFs, to 6-second clips (fun fact: the app was created by the founder of Vine). If you’re not sure what to post, the app will ask you some questions so you can post your answers • Example: “What is your favorite food?” All of it goes to your Home where people can like your stuff and comment on it. No “direct” messaging here, all out in the open like Twitter.
  • 51. The List App The List App is a new way to create and discover lists about anything and everything • Share your experiences, opinions, and expertise and enjoy lists from friends and the leading voices in TV & film, music, food, sports, news, fashion, comedy and more in a vibrant and positive community. You can follow people, get notified when they create and add to a list, and even “request a list” from other people.
  • 52. Robots and Artificial Intelligence
  • 53. Robots Replacing Humans? During a keynote conversation, Rodney Brooks, Chairman of Rethink Robotics and former director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, predicted that the future of Uber and Lyft is in robotics. The next big breakthrough, he predicted, would be evolving from robotic floor cleaners to eldercare • His main reasoning was that the global population is aging and young people simply won’t want to care for geriatric citizens, which will necessitate robots capable of performing those tasks In fact, he described the next generation of self-driving cars as “eldercare robots,” because they will help older people retain their mobility and autonomy.
  • 54. Robotic Innovation and the Importance of Patents Pepper, the robot from SoftBank, made an appearance at a panel hosted by Mashable chief correspondent Lance Ulanoff and featured Rodolphe Gelin, EVP and chief scientific officer at Aldebaran, SoftBank Robotics The Innovation Alliance and Save the Inventor created a patched- together towering robot and asked people to take their photo with the robot and tweet on Twitter with the hashtag #PatentsMatter, bringing awareness to U.S. patents • The organization also wants to promote innovation in the U.S. to help America's economy flourish and thrive
  • 55. Lifelike Robots Engagement Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro presented lifelike android resembling himself called Geminoid. The Ishiguro android held two unassisted conversations – one in English, another in Japanese – that seemed to have the spontaneity and inflection of a human interaction. The robotics group at SXSW also included the Telenoid, which looks neither lifelike nor particularly robotic. In experiments by Ishiguro and fellow researchers, the Telenoid helped to draw out some dementia patients who were wary of interaction with human- like robots.
  • 56. Artificial Intelligence As artificial intelligence systems gain more control over users’ information, it is important that there is a common understanding between companies, users, and the systems of how data is being collected and used. Robots replaced blue collar jobs in the Industrial Revolution, and now it seems that white collar jobs are next. The three expert panelists, however, claimed that AI was simply better at connecting the dots, and actually doing something with those connected dots should be left to the humans.
  • 57. AI & Big Data Kris Hammond, a “Narrative Scientist” and professor, is working on a program that will analyze big data and deliver the results to you. • Hammond believes humans are far more inclined to engage with data if it resonates with them o As storytelling is an integral part of the human experience, they chose that method • This could improve company campaigns and meetings, allowing people to focus on actually creating a product with the data instead of focusing on the data collection itself.
  • 58. Public Policy of AI Rayid Ghani, director of the Center for Data Science and Public Policy, was the more cautious voice at SXSW. He stressed that while customized ads and programming are great, researchers need to consider the ethical issues of AI. We may be susceptible to AI segregating certain groups of people when it comes to loan applications, political views, or even medical care. Rayid stressed that it is the role of the researcher to always question the machine on how it reached those decisions.
  • 59. AI & Education Dr. Doug Lenat with Cycorp discussed how AI can be used to improve the human experience, from governments to households to education. We now know that humans learn information more efficiently when they need to teach it to others. Dr. Lenat is working on AI that is always slightly more confused than the student, so the student is consequently learning and becoming more confident in their own knowledge through teaching their AI counterpart.
  • 61. Social Media to Social Messaging The focus of many panels is discussing the shift that’s happening with consumers moving from social media to social messaging. • This includes the rise of the conversational user experience as well as the next multibillion-dollar opportunity: marketing in messaging. Platforms such as Twitter are integrating features normally associated with the more private Snapchat platform. Facebook views Messenger as a primary commerce driver moving forward
  • 62. Dark Social Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat invisible to traditional analytics. It’s the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, emails containing links, and, most recently, the rise of ephemeral social communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat, and WhatsApp. Marketers need to start thinking about dark social and its role as part of their customer experience.
  • 63. New Ad Formats BuzzFeed unveiled Swarm, a new ad format to create mass awareness of an event to gather a swarm of people. • The format allows advertisers to launch a campaign across all of BuzzFeed’s social accounts: Facebook, Snapchat Discover, YouTube, Vine, Instagram and Tumblr. AdBlock Plus indicated they will be releasing a new revenue model for publishers. • Speculation surrounds the idea that publishers could be able to pay to get their ads unblocked.
  • 65. FDG’s SXSW Squad With a team from 5 countries and 7 states, FDG’s global baller team was able to truly experience dozens of events, takeover the W hotel, and even provide interactive fun at the mashable party. Swag Collection
  • 66. American Greetings Activation The greeting card company decided it would disrupt the tech focus of SXSW with a wholly analog activation and promote why paper still matters. The event included: • Engaging in paper-based crafts like do-it- yourself printmaking and pop-up cards • Learn about lettering techniques from an American Greetings' artist, • Get a selfie stitched with thread by fashion designer Michael-Birch Pierce • Fill in a coloring-book mural by Kelsey Montague • Create an analog GIF and then record a video to share on social
  • 67. The activation included: • The DJI Phantom 4 Hologram Experience o Users were converted to a hologram and flew a hologram drone with their arms • A chance to win a brand new Phantom4 drone • Make history and be part of the largest crowdsourced drone mosaic with DJI • Test fly a drone DJI Phantom 4 Lounge
  • 68. USA Network's Mr. Robot returned to Austin after premiering the show there last year to get fans excited for the upcoming second season. The activation includes • 100-foot Ferris wheel designed to look like Coney Island's famed Wonder Wheel • F Society hacker den on Coney Island The activation was designed in part to spark conversation on social media. Mr. Robot Activation
  • 69. Disney erected a 20-foot tall TIE Fighter to promote The Force Awakens. The display was a pleasant surprise for festival-goers as Disney had kept the construction of the giant TIE Fighter a relative secret. Star War Activation The activation was right near “SouthBites”, a collection of food trucks, so that hungry passersby could stop to take a picture with the space ship.
  • 70. Deloitte RAC Party At #ARCafterDark Deloitte Digital brought early concert performances from the world’s top indie bands. Deloitte Digital’s Interplay featured • Grammy-nominated artist RAC performed live sets inside a massive sound-light installation • Lab Oberhofer • Baio
  • 71. Mashable House was bigger and better than ever because this year, we brought you to the future - to the Internet of the future. Mashable’s Austin, Texas digs, now a staple of the festival, serve as a way for the digital-only Mashable to interact with its readers and fans in the real world. • Roughly 7,000 guests showed up over three days Pepsi, Qualcomm, Amazon Launchpad, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Facebook, Hasbro's Transformers, Quaker and HBO all had activations in the House. Mashable House
  • 72. The night was filled with surprise giveaways and late-night snacks to get partiers in the mood for dancing. Featuring DJ sets from: • Brooklyn-based MICK • Former Northern State MC DJ Hesta Prynn MashBash Some celebrities to show up included: ● Anna Kendrick and Adam Devine from the Blockbuster Pitch Perfect ● The cast of HBO Silicon Valley ● Transformers, BB8, and VR also made features at the event
  • 73. The New York Times Magazine took to SXSW to celebrate the inaugural “Music Issue” at Easy Tiger in Austin. The event featured music by DJ Chris Rose, the band Hard Proof, and a menu courtesy of Franklin Barbecue. NYT VR HQ The party also featured The Optimist Index, from OppenheimerFunds, where guests participated in an experience to find out how optimistic they are about the world we live in.
  • 74. BuzzFeed #BFFClubhouse BuzzFeed hosted a party at the #BFFClubhouse featuring • BFF Illustrators doing caricatures • The Foodstagram set helping you take the best food photos ever imaginable • Emoji fortune telling • Vine booth • Limited edition BFF totes for the first 200 people • Custom swag when you sign up for Visa Checkout • Free food from East Side King when you demo Apple Pay with Visa • DJ TJ Mizell • Dark Horse Wine
  • 75. Pandora Discovery Den Pandora hosted its fifth annual Discovery Den with incredible performances from a diverse group of 39 acts across dance, Americana, hip hop/R&B, and rock genres; our favorite was G Eazy. Tied the activation into content with exclusive 30 Years of SXSW mixtape featuring music from past performers, including: • Beastie Boys • Florence and the Machine • Katy Perry • Lil’ Wayne • Mumford & Sons
  • 76. Funny or Die Funny or Die Junction took over an awesome east side venue this year for a two-day comedy and music event. Penguin Prison brought the music and celebrities along featuring: • Tracey Morgan • Ghostface Killah • Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan
  • 77. McDonald's has been rolling out futuristic kiosks in its stores that let you create your own custom burgers at the VIP Lounge. • The kiosks let you customize your burger with toppings like guacamole, bacon, and sriracha mayo. • To pay you just swipe your card at the bottom on the kiosk, no cashier required. McDonald's VIP Lounge & VR Designed for the HTC Vive, users can immerse themselves in a world where they paint the inside of a gigantic Happy Meal box with gobs of virtual reality paint ● McDonald's restaurants in Sweden are distributing Happy Meal boxes that can turn into a VR headset ● The "Happy Goggles," allows users to play a virtual reality skiing game
  • 78. SXSW Interactive Although some people have doubted the value of attending South by Southwest Interactive this year, we are here to prove that this is still and forever will be the country’s best gathering of creative minds. Missing out on SX is one of the worst things a tech/creative/digital/smart person can do. The opportunities for intelligent communication are endless and the reason SX Interactive will never disappear!