SXSW. Day 4, but it feels like day 21 but seems like day 2. Make sense? Good.

For Day 4 Kat Tadaki of DDB New Zealand takes over the blog. See her recap below!

Today was the most beautiful day in Austin so far. Sun was out, sky was blue and the air temperature was a very comfortable 68℉. Quite the contrast to yesterday’s 45℉, where I was so cold I had to buy a SXSW hoodie because I didn’t pack for winter! 

The most valuable thing I’ve learned so far in my whole 4 days at SXSW is to throw away the timetable you had planned for yourself. Just go with the flow.

I did that today and I ended up in two stellar talks. The first, was organizational psychiatrist Adam Grant’s Keynote. His talk was centered around some key points from his book Originals – How Non-Conformists Move the World. I’d rank it in my top 5 sessions so far. 

I’ll give you the Cliffs Notes:

  • Originals (non-conformists) actually hate taking risks. They’re cautious. Despite what some may think, they don’t don’t just sacrifice everything just to take a chance on their ideas.
  • Most Originals keep full time employment while turning their idea into a reality and 33% are less likely to fail by doing so.
  • When you have an idea, run it past your peers.They’re good at judging each other’s work and will let you know if they think it’ll be a good idea or not.
  • Your peers will also be able to throw some suggestions onto the table to help strengthen the idea.
  • Explaining an idea to someone, he likened to clapping a song to the person next to you. You know what the song is, but the person trying to guess- just hears clapping. But once you tell them what the song is, (if they hadn’t guessed it already) and you repeat the clapping- they hear the song.
  • He also said it’s helpful to have something relatable within your idea. (Eg the Lion King was actually inspired by Shakespeare’s: Hamlet.
  • When the time comes to pitch your idea, lead with 3 weaknesses of it. This puts everything on the table and will automatically invite feedback from whomever you’re pitching to- making them a part of the process instantly.
  • For employers- his advice was to hire differently. Hire a culture fit over a star employee.
  • He urged employers to think about “What’s absent from our culture, and who can we bring in to enrich it?”
  • For clients- ‘kill’ other companies by coming up with ideas that can improve your own.

Adam’s new book ‘Option B’ will be coming out soon, but I’m putting in an order at the Book Depository for his first one after I’m done typing this!

The other session was called ‘Good is the New Cool: Market Like You Give a Damn’. This was a tag team presentation between Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones. Aziz was formerly client side and Bobby, formerly agency side. The two had teamed up to write a book” Good is the New Cool” which is basically about how social responsibility amongst brands is becoming more and more important.

  • There are 3 key drivers to being more socially responsible.
    • Millennials have new expectations for the brands in their life. 
    • Technological disruption of traditional advertising and the opportunities it creates.
    • Crisis of meaningfulness within the marketing and advertising communities.
  • Millennials have a global spending power of $2.5 trillion a year.
  • 95% of Millennials would switch brands for a good cause.
  • There are 275 million people with AdBlocker on their browser. People don’t like advertising. 
  • A survey done showed that advertising ranked the least valuable profession to society. (35% of those people were in the advertising/marketing industry). So it also turns out that even ad people don’t like it either!
  • There is money to be made in doing good- if done well.
  • “We are facing an era when humanity will shed those brands whose products do no solve a need.” – Marco Vega, Co-founder of We Believers

Some food for thought.

Speaking of food… I ended the day having dinner at Eureka! with my copywriter and our “chaperone” from APN media. (We were fortunate enough to win the trip to SXSW by coming up with a digital outdoor billboard campaign for the Child Cancer Foundation, which we got to see go live as we were leaving Auckland.)

So tonight, I will be going to sleep with a very full tummy and an extremely overloaded brain. And in 6 hours, I’ll get to do it all over again for our last day at SXSW.

Bring it.

Kat from DDB NZ, over and out.

Guest Author DDB Blog