This is not an ad: Whiting wows SXSW

It was a full house for Robbie Whiting’s solo panel at South-by-Southwest Interactive, “We made this, and it’s not an ad.” An actively engaged live audience was echoed in the blogosphere, where more than one attendee called it the “best panel” of “the year,” “the last four years,” “ever.” The premise of the talk was that many of those organizations-formerly-known-as-ad-agencies are now venturing far afield from recognizable “advertising,” even crossing into product development. But it turns out that many of these non-ad projects not only serve quite effectively as marketing in a social media age, but also as a mighty spur to the agency’s creativity, cohesion and contemporary chops. Tip Records, D/C’s music label and home to the legendary Gary Wilson, was just one example. If you’re interested, slides are posted below, audience commentary here.

Austin: SXSW-slash-Disneyland 2009

“Disneyland for music fans,” I call it, which is why I’ve been faithfully attending South-by-Southwest since 2005. Mostly I’m a fan of rap, hip-hop, DJs, electro-pop and punk. And there’s lots of it at SXSW — along with just about everything else, from indie rock to classic rock to folk, soul, metal, country and more.

 
Day 1

Husband Serg and I beeline to downtown, where the action happens. Thanks to our suitemate, Thuggy Fresh, we get into the VIP area of IODA’s party at Emo’s Annex, where we’re greeted with tall cans of ice cold Lone Star. Welcome to Austin!

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