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Gabby's WORD 5 April 2012



Iris Worldwide inspires our Gabby with their summary of the events of SXSW

Gabby's WORD 5 April 2012


Yesterday evening, I attended Iris London’s SXSE1 event. Surrounded by clients and journalists, the Iris team presented their findings from last month’s annual music, film and interactive conference, held in Austin, Texas. Looking at my notes this morning, it seems the presentation got me a little overly excited and I appear to have jotted down, word for word, the presentations. Bear with me… 
The evening kicked off with Iris’ planning director, Ben Essen, who took us through the seven key trends that he had identified: 
1) The Sixth Sense
Ambient technology that works in the background and that requires no extra effort from us. One example that really interested me was PayPal’s new digital wallet, which rolls out in May 2012. What’s it about? Sam Shrauger, VP Global Product & Experience at PayPal says “it isn’t just about sticking a wallet on a mobile phone or taking all the payment instruments onto a mobile device… this is about making your money work better for you as a user… letting you… take control of you money in ways that work better for you”. Seriously? I’m having kittens over this. I am useless with my own money - shockingly bad. I have been know to have 2 euros to feed myself for the next week with. The idea of having my own digital accountant whispering in my ear, telling me when I’m being silly, reigning me in, is, without fail, more attractive than the next Whistles and KG sale. Check out a full explanation from Shrauger at the following link:
2) Power of movement
So, what’s the idea? Well, it’s about people creating a spark and cultural movement. The idea of co-creation, the customer interacting with the brand (I think)… Essen used a great quote from Biz Stone ‘I believe that philanthropy is the future of marketing.’  
3) Multi-screen story telling
Something that Sir William Sargent spoke with me about in his ‘5 minutes with…’ ( In a nutshell:  the power of storytelling over a multitude of platforms and the importance of brands/companies considering distribution opportunities and not just content. 
4) Real-time content
Great example from Iris’ sub-division Urgent Genius with their work in Amsterdam for WWF; click here to see the content and hear the story:
5) Real world gets smart
Some great examples of interaction between consumers and brands through digital gadgetry. I love Nike Fuel Band. As a Nike+ fan, this just sends rockets out of my brain. The idea of capturing and recording every movement from my body, in whatever sport I might be partaking in… simply rocks. If you don’t know about it already, find out more here:
6) Data Mining
Relationships built on interactions based on content, for example Hunch ( who ambitiously plan to create a ‘Taste Graph’ of the entire web from the data that they capture from users. 
7) Digital Niche
One thing that really bothered me was hearing that the digital world has matured past apps. This must mean I’m a complete Granny as I’m only just getting my head around the point of Foursquare.  I was very relieved to be told about start ups, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Food Spotting, Task Rabbit, Epic Mix, Zaarly and Glancee... I don't know the others, but I do love Instagram, which seems to have become a digital extension of my sketchpad, so I'm not completely out of date. 
That was the first half hour, so imagine how much my brain wiggled by the end of the evening. I won’t go into as much detail with the other presentations, but I’ll share with you some of the great sites, apps, quotes and observations that the rest of the team shared with us:
Social media creative, Roisin Kiberd discussed the power of movements. I found her point on people being defined by their interests, rather than their locations extremely interesting and the good that they can bring to charitable organisations: (, who aim to connect local causes with local benefactors and Kiva where you can loan money to a stranger and help change their lives ( 
Social Media CD, John Burkhart had me in fits of giggles. He is a seriously clever guy who can deliver a truly engaging and genuinely funny presentation. Discussing, ‘Stories on screen’, I found I was one of the only two to raise their hand when asked ‘is there anyone here who just wants to watch TV?’… Good news for me, HBO Connect exists and for those who want to ‘lean in’ and interact more, then Zeebox, MISO and Man v Food might be more for you.  
Creative technologist Dave Caygill shared some great examples of experimental events with us. I especially enjoyed his reference to ‘tinkering geeks’ and the WESC interactive window ( that originated from a concept idea from Hyper Island Sweden students... Although it’s a little old (2009), I did enjoy seeing again the Fitness First, weigh-in bus stop ( 
Loads to take in, loads to digest and a great way to end the week before a four day weekend. I can safely say I shall feel no guilt whilst indulging in a British roast this Sunday and an afternoon spent on the sofa. Shall I be downloading any new apps? Quite possibly and will I spend most of the time baffled by how, what or why they add to my life, undoubtedly. But thanks to Iris, I’m feeling a little less Granny and a bit more on the ball. Thanks you to the agency for sharing their experiences, knowledge and humour with us and to all of you who celebrate… Happy Easter. See you next week. 
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