Day Four Highlight: The Ballsy Brit’s Guide to Better Brand Trolling

The following blog post comes from Madison Seely from DDB North America.

This morning I attended The Ballsy Brit’s Guide to Better Brand Trolling workshop, led by Jon Burkhart (Founder/CCO of TBC London) along with the support of DDB NY’s Tim Polder, among others. Over the course of four hours the workshop shared some key tips and provide practical opportunities for marketers to help their brands create better, more engaging content. The challenge: keep a room of marketers engaged and energetic for four hours. The outcome: highly successful.

The workshop focused on various ways by which marketers and advertisers could better work with their brands to use the tools at their disposal more effectively. Dividing the room into teams, Jon and the rest of the presenters worked important brand-related messages in-between team-building exercises to put those messages to use.

The morning kicked off with a few rules, and a lot of rubber balls. Should someone say something you like, you were to throw the balls at that person. Needless to say, the room was a very supportive bunch.

As a creative warm-up each team had to brainstorm, in a minute or two, different ways to squeeze a plum. The crowd favorite was “in the Death Star trash compactor.” From there the room was taken through a few case studies and examples of successful and some not-so successful timely brand messages. A successful one: Peter Griffin in Rihanna’s see-through Grammys dress. Not-so successful: using David Bowie’s death to market toilet paper.

The key to making those timely or eventful moments in history work for a brand is to always remember who the brand is for. By reminding us that at the center of any brand activation is a human, the workshop leaders encouraged us to never lose sight of how humans interact with brand campaigns, not just marketers.

The afternoon also involved several quick demos on some digital tools like Snapchat that came handy in the biggest activity of the day. With nerf darts labeled various film genres and moods, Jon fired off a couple rounds into the room and told each group, once they had gathered a few of each type of dart, to pick one mood and one genre. Additionally, each team had to pick a current event: the U.S. presidential race, March Madness, or SXSW. Each team’s choices comprised a brief for which each team had to create some kind of shareable content in ten minutes. With teams scrambling around the convention center to create videos and images with the resources they had available, the results were pretty astonishing. Each idea was pitched in the front of the room to a panel of judges, and although the winning team’s pitch was not actually seen by anyone other than the judges due to a technical glitch, everyone brought their A-game to the table.

Everyone came away from the workshop with some practical brand ideas, digital tool expertise, and a sore throwing arm. All in all a fantastic way to keep the momentum going through Day 4 of SXSW!

Madison Seely Corporate Communications Associate DDB North America