SXSWi Catch-Up: Sex, BestBuy & Gaming

We’re still wreaking havoc in Austin! Here’s a an overview of what I’ve been up to –sending a little SXSWi report to give you a peek at what’s going on here. We’ll take a more comprehensive look at these panels and others we attended when it’s all said and done.

SXSW Newcomer

This is my first time at SXSW. I knew it would be impossible to do everything so I set a few goals to help get the most out of the experience. One of my goals is to attend panels that cover topics that interest me as a woman, a web marketer, a writer and a minority in America.  I have to admit, I’m pleased with my panel selections so far.

The Yoga Panel

SXSWi free hug guy

No. This guy wasn’t the instructor, but he totally was giving out free hugs.

About the yoga though: It was interesting to see yoga offered as a panel. And it was an actual yoga class that any beginner could get through easily. It was a good experience for advanced yoga folks, too. The panel was surprisingly popular and we had to modify a few of the poses for the sake of space. Ari Stiles was a great instructor who made light of the crowded room and kept us all at ease. I left feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day. If you missed Saturday Yoga, no worries. Tuesday Yoga will help you close out the conference feeling peaceful.


The Sex Part

SXSWi panel by Bedsider on re-branding birth control

Listen to the Bedsider SXSWi 2011 presentation is funny, human and interesting enough that it got women to share their personal experiences with sex and protection on camera. They’re also a free support network for birth control. It sounds boring. I know. But it’s so not.

One of the major take aways from the panel Re-Branding Birth Control: Behavior Change through Design, was simply that it’s easier to have sex than to talk about how to have sex responsibly.  Jennifer Maer and Lawrence Swiader did a beautiful job of illustrating how Bedsider has a conversation about sex and protection in a way that women can relate to: through girl talk.

Despite sex ed classes, religious teachings and Maury baby daddy episodes, young adults who say they don’t want to have kids yet also say they use birth control inconsistently. To that, the Bedsider team says awareness isn’t enough, and that part of the solution is to have the right tools and an agile approach to educating young adults about safe sex. Bedsider is a community supporting women who use birth control and rewarding them for getting it right. And they’re doing it all by design and conscious content creation.

If you’re into sex (no joke), check out this evening’s panel on Subtle Sexuality on TV.


Latino Link: Marketing to Spanish Speakers Using Digital Platforms

SXSWi panel on marketing to spanish speaking consumers on the web

Ana Grace and Joe Kutchera facilitated a brilliant discussion on including Spanish speaking consumers in online marketing campaigns. Ana is leading the charge at BestBuy. She presented a case study on BestBuy’s Spanish language website that gave attendees an idea of how to approach this form of online inclusion. Some of the challenges the company overcame included deciding which version of Spanish to use (they went with universal Spanish), and whether or not to highlight special content to try to appeal to their Spanish speaking customers.

The major takeaway from this panel is that in the BestBuy case study, they learned consumers didn’t want different or “customized” content on the Spanish language site. Their target audience wanted the content to be identical to the content on the English language site. Also, it was an integrated campaign that relied a lot on the support of off line (in-store) components. The offline components included helping customers identify Spanish-speaking customer service reps that could help them in the store.


Keynote by SCVNGR founder Seth Priebatsch

Seth Priebatsch Simulcast at SXSWi

Listen to the audio of Seth Priebatsch’s Keynote Address

Seth Priebatsch (founder of  SCVNGR mobile check-in app) delivered a compelling keynote presentation.  The main conference room was jam-packed so we watched the simulcast from a nearby conference room.

Priebatsch proposed a theory that suggests that we can solve some pretty big problems if we apply key elements of gaming to real life. He demonstrated the premise of his theory by getting the audience involved in a little bit of play time.

Each person in the audience had a card with two colors – one color on each side of the card. (Only in the live presentation, not the simulcast ones). The cards were placed randomly. The colors varied on each card and the room was filled to capacity. The challenge: get each person on a row the same color card. The prize: SCVNGR would donate $10k to The National Wildlife Federation.

It was a fairly difficult task. And it was timed –they got about 2.5 minutes to win the game. Players couldn’t get up from their seats (though I saw some people standing). The audience did well and completed the challenge with almost one minute to spare.

Seth Priesbatsch keynote at SXSWi


Branding Panel: Congratulations! Your Brand is about be Obsolete

SXSWi panel #savebrands Congratulations! Your Brand is about to be obsolete.

Listen to the audio of  Congratulations! Your Brand is about to be Obsolete

This panel rocked my socks off. I was hesitant to go because, straight up, I didn’t want to get duped into watching a power point slide show about extinct brands and what they should’ve done. This panel was not that at all. The panel played to a packed house.

SXSWi panel on keeping brands from becoming obsolete

Andrea Ring and William Charnock of R/GA presented the audience with what would be a tough sell to the client of a marketing or branding agency:

Dear client,

Hey! Things couldn’t be better. You’re at the top of the game right now. Your brand is doing well –you’re the hottest thing going right now. In a word: you’re winning. Now let’s change everything completely. Don’t worry.

Thank me later.

Your Branding Agency

Scary. Charnock and Ring painted a clear picture of why changing while a brand is at the peak of its influence helps it avoid becoming obsolete. It’s a form of adapting overlooked by some brands that have failed. As an example, Ring and Charnock pointed out that lots of companies built their brands around selling fur, but cultural shifts made that change. You have to be ready to shift when “shift happens.”  The key to brands shifting when at the height of their success, according to Charnock and Ring, is to find your higher purpose as a company rather than focusing solely on a product.


Stay Tuned! There’s More.

These takeaways are just snippets of what I learned in each panel. There’s more information and takeaways from the rest of the team still to come. We’re taking in new ideas and making new friends every day we’re here. Look forward to seeing more of what we learned as we return from SXSW.  Can’t wait for the wrap-up posts? Follow our tweets to participate in our SXSWi experiences!

Derek Key, Schipul Business DevelopmentDavid Stagg, Schipul Creative Director Ed Schipul, CEO of Schipul- The Web Marketing Company Katrina Esco - Schipul Communications Team Lyndia Makol - Schipul Web Designer Katrina Kakoska - Schipul Project Manager Melissa Lonchambon - Schipul Project Manager Iris McAlpine - Schipul-The Web Marketing Company Michael Coppens - Schipul Business Development


Guys, do you know what today is? No, it is not just Friday, July 23rd. It is COMIC-CON!

For those not in the know (even though the title of this post specifically says for nerds and geeks only), San Diego Comic-Con kicked off yesterday. SDCC is the largest and most amazing comic convention and is the dream vacation for almost every nerd in the world.

The meat of the convention actually happens during Saturday and Sunday, though today is the big film festival, portfolio review, and the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

No, I am NOT at the convention this year. I am simply too busy doing awesome things for awesome clients at the moment. However, I am keeping constant tabs on what is going on in the geek-o-sphere. For this edition of Friday Fun Post, I am providing a list of the best ways to keep track of the awesomesauce-ness of SDCC.
One of my personal favorite sources for the latest news.  Because of UGO, I heard the exciting news that there will be an Avatar sequel.   (I’m not talking about that movie with the smurfs.)

Comic Vine
One of the best sources for comic news is now one of the best sources for Comic-Con news.   They feature a feed of their Twitter accounts with real-time updates and there are forums to jump into when the news feed slows or takes a break between sessions. I am in love with them.

Looks like big boy IGN is doing a full-court press on the convention. They have their news split up so that you can find what your main interest is and go after it. This is a rad feed for anyone who is not super geeky but is interested in what is going on.

You have got to give props to GameSpot’s coverage of the gaming side of SDCC. They are doing interviews, posting trailers, and they even have a live camera feed. If you love the PS3 over the Xbox 360, then you can filter the updates based on your platform preference.

Topless Robot
Rob is the man behind Topless Robot and he has decided to blog about his adventure at SDCC in his typical snarky fashion.   For a guy running his own blog, he is actually providing more useful information than WIRED.

If you are more interested into the movie/film side of what’s taking place at Comic-Con, ScreenRant is doing an excellent job of posting news and trailers at rapid fire. Bust out the snacks and watch enough videos to waste your day.

G4 is actually filming live from SDCC, so get your fill this weekend. But, if you don’t have cable or if you won’t be in front of a television, definitely check out their online live feed of what is going on at the different panels.

If following websites is a little overwhelming, make sure you use the power of   searching Twitter.   Or, even better, follow SDCC updates on Tumblr:


My final recommendation is the one and only YouTube where screenings, trailers, previews, interviews, and everything else is up for watching:   Comic-Con on Youtube.

That’s the list of awesome I have for you kids today. Before I take off, I want to leave you all with a gift. That’s right, a breakdown/preview of the new animated amazingness of Young Justice:

(Oh, and I would like to brag that I got see “Batman: Under the Red Hood” before it’s release and yes, I will in fact be seeing an advance screening of   “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”)