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Trend report from SXSW 2015: 20 Interesting Microtrends Partnership:
MILLENIALS’ McREVENGE? A PR slip-up with the “Ex Cops” brand has left its mark on McDonald’s during SXSW. Despite strenuous efforts and one successful night of their food truck, McDonald’s couldn’t attract Millennials during the festival. The greatest example of the company’s helplessness was their unusually poor stand in Convention Center which allowed you… to charge your phone. Maybe SXSW is just not a good place for this company?
KIDS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN The exhibition held by companies from the “Makers” industry which attracted particularly the youngest participants wonderfully showed (and reminded the adults) how important in their development is the broadly understood practice. Paying no heed to final results of works, nothing can replace translating theory into practice, experimenting and learning about the world tangibly.
CECATBRITY For a few years now, the Grumpy Cat’s been undoubtedly the most popular animal at SXSW. Its phenomenon can be represented by the queue of people waiting outside a restaurant in which the cat “stayed”. This year, the most Internet cat of the world dominated both on the ground and in the air.
HEALTHY LIFE Personal health was an important aspect at this year’s SXSW both in the substantial part as well as in the world of brands focused on the event. The latter issue was dominated by Phillips which focused on education about healthy nutrition and promotion of their devices for making natural juice.
THE POWER OF WOMEN The topic of the women’s potential in business and creative areas was raised a number of times during this year’s SXSW and was an important part of speeches made by lecturers and panelists. There was a brilliant initiative in the festival village proposed by Dove and Ipsos called “The Girl’s Lounge” which was very popular. The power of women could be also visible in the distribution of genders among this year’s speakers – over 42% of them were women. „ Women do the good job in the leadership of companies” - words spoken by Biz Stone during one of his speech and in front of a full house highlighted the importance of women in terms of leadership and creating successful businesses.
JUST BE, NO MATTER HOW The selection of halls and lectures wasn’t the most fortunate in some cases. As a consequence, there were rooms overflowed by determined participants looking for knowledge at any cost. Is this how the fear against FOMO looks like in reality? Photo: Flickr: Paul Nolan
MEERKAT’S RISE The application Meerkat has “surfaced” during this year’s SXSW. There was a number of people in the corridors and at performances who were “livestreaming” the event on their social channels. Gary Vaynerchuk, during his talk with Jack Welch, appeared with a man who was streaming it all the time to the observers of Gary Vee’s profile (on the picture). The question is whether “Meerkat” will be able to stand up “Periscope” without that strong support from Twitter? I doubt it.
THE WHOLE WORLD IN AUSTIN During this year’s SXSW, one could observe strong influences of other, often exotic countries. Their activities weren’t limited to just being there in the festival village and building “guest house”. The development of the interactive sector in these countries was mentioned during numerous speeches and discussion panels. Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico or Japan are just a part of influential nations at SXSW’ 15.
SAMSUNG’S DOMINATION In the absence of their greatest rival at SXSW – Apple, Samsung tried to mark their presence and domination as hard as possible. Judging by the results, we can state that their effort wasn’t pointless.
ROBO-HELPERS In contrast to the 2014 edition, now the topic of robots was raised primarily in regards to the solutions already available on the market or those that are going to be implemented soon. Significantly less moonshots topics and more talks about “here and now” as well as searching for the actual usage of social robots supporting people in their daily actions.
NASA HAD A GREAT STAND The main SXSW fair is the place where it’s difficult to be distinguished. Mainly because of a large number of exhibitors offering solutions and services that are not necessarily valuable. This year my attention was dragged mainly to the NASA stand which attracted hundreds of people of different age thanks to their momentum and primarily accessible way of presenting “supernatural” topics.
PEDICABS > (UBER+LYFT) Pedicabs, the hallmark of the festival has not given ground to Lyft, the official carrier from the “Sharing Economy” category. The most accessible and the most unpredictable way of travelling in Austin has once again won the participant’s hearts. An interesting way for attracting potential clients was not just distinguishing the vehicle itself but rather its driver. I saw woman-angles (literally and metaphorically), cheerful Jamaicans and Lord Vader. Just „Keep it weird!”.
THIS DECK IS PRESENTED BY... Yes, you can become a sponsor of every room at SXSW. Even this one. The question is why a company focused on the Internet threats solutions choose being in… a room for mothers with children :)
SUPER-FAST FIBER Austin is one of first three cities in the USA where the experimental service Fiber is available – extra fast fiber-optic Internet link. Of course, we couldn’t miss the Google house at SXSW where they told about advantages and dizzying speed of this service and distributed Google Cardboards – a VR glasses in a budget form (nevertheless, the sensations they offer are really great).
UNDER THE INFLUENCE In many shops (not only in book shops) there could be seen recommendations of particular products, falling outside any definitions of visual identification and artificial corporate messages. Wrote mainly by people working in a given place. Such a message can reach a particular client’s need much faster. Especially if it can personalize its sender. Cool!
AUSTIN IS SO UP TO DATE Jimmy Kimmel and Matthew McConaughey have made three advertisements for Austin Vulcan Video, a cult video rental store in Austin still having VHS tapes on their shelves. The ads were shown during the Kimmel’s live show at SXSW. One day later the windows of some shops looked like the ones on the photo below.
HERSCHEL NAILED IT One of the most visible teenage brand during the entire SXSW. Typical these backpacks and handbags could be seen literally everywhere – both during the substantial part and at evening events. Herschel, at least for some time, has decoded the changing tastes of Millennials who often reach for their products. Photo: Flickr: Kevin Morris
DO YOU <3 QUEUES? Night late events are ok until you don’t have to stay in an endless queue just to have a free drink and equally free food. Despite its pointlessness, the participants at SXSW love standing in queues.
FAREWELL GOOGLE GLASS In 2014 Google Glass was a subject of many presentations and talks at SXSW but this year, there was complete slice about it. Personally I saw just one person with this device. The final nail in the coffin was driven by Astro Teller from Google X who, during his performance, told in an oblique way why this product has pulled into a siding of its further development so fast. Hint from me: maybe people did not look at its design long enough and did not notice how weird someone look with this. Photo: Flickr: Wilbert Baan
MAKERS OR DOERS? This question was often raised during presentations or lectures. Personally I don’t see much difference and I think there’s no point in asking (in his particular case) and rather just work and realize your own ideas. I guess this answer was approved by the creator of “We Work” – a newly opened creative area in Austin, at Congress street, directed towards people with a creative occupation. A brilliant place for developing new ideas both for Makers and Doers :).
Partnership: email@example.com @adamprzezdziek