#UOregon at SXSW (with your vote!)

Not one, not two, not even three… but FOUR great panels are up for your vote on the South by Southwest Interactive Panel Picker for the 2012 festival. Click on the “vote for my idea” button at the end of each description to vote. You’ll have to register on the SXSW site, but it takes just a minute. Thanks!

1. Just Because It’s Legal, Doesn’t Make it Right

Me, along with Kami Huyse, Todd Defren, Joe Chernov and Arik Hansen.

You never know who you are dealing with online. Agencies, evangelists and free agents are everywhere you turn, but sometimes you have no idea that a person has been paid in money or perks to represent a brand. The FTC stepped in to make some rules, but there is still plenty of gray area. Is it okay to skirt full transparency? Is full transparency even possible with Facebook Likes, Google +1s and new platforms like Quora? As a marketer, how far is too far? This panel will explore the ins and outs of online promotion and what we are required to do, as well as the ethics around the gray zones

Vote for My SXSW Idea!

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2. Change Demands Acts of Courage

Deb Morrison with Edward Boches, Colleen DeCourcy, Scott Bedbury and UO President Richard Lariviere (so cool).

What must we do to flourish during times of change and upheaval? Simply said, we must act with courage. Our mission: bring compelling leadership from education, innovation, technology and brand thinking together for a discussion on courageous acts committed in the name of transformation. Let’s talk about the economy, about realities in education and business, about remaining optimistic and visionary during wicked times. Not your normal motivational chat. And not your normal panel: four amazing thinkers prepared to deliver the roadmap for where we must go and how we act along the way.

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3. Where Goes the Neighborhood: Local Meets Global

Kim Sheehan with Daniel Greene, Jeremiah McPherson and Luke Kintigh

The Future of Interactive Marketing is Near: in 2011, 40% of marketers have increased geographically targeted advertising. For small businesses this investment has stronger returns and higher response rates than other marketing channels due to mobile migration. In the next four years, an estimated 70% of mobile ads will be local. The democratization of the digital landscape allows the local business an opportunity to compete with global brands. However, many local marketers have yet to capitalize on digital tactics (especially mobile marketing) to build brand awareness. Local businesses find coupon and daily-deal programs unprofitable. They have problems converting check-ins to long-term success. And, global brands ignore the local market, missing opportunities to create brand loyalists at a grassroots level. This session will explore what Local and Global can learn from each other to better engage with their ‘ambassadors’ using digital media. We will focus on bringing successful global tactics to the local level. AND, we will challenge global marketers to think local as a means to better connect with target audiences at a neighborhood level.

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4. Communicating Across Lines of Difference

Rita Radostitz with Mia Tuan

As the world around us becomes increasingly diverse, the ability to communication across salient social identities (i.e., race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) becomes critical. In this session, Dr. Mia Tuan, a sociologist and Rita Radostitz, a communications director, will talk about how they strive to successfully communicate with audiences that may or may not share their social identities. The session will discuss why it is an essential skill today to be an effective multicultural communicator, and the role that diversity plays in developing critical thinking. We will also talk about the ways we have successfully navigated building trust with diverse colleagues and audiences as well as the costs of successfully doing so.

Vote for My SXSW Idea!

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I know we all hope you’ll take a minute to vote for us! And if you have a panel you’d like us to know about, leave it in the comments. See you in Austin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interactivity is Fun!

The new Pet Moustache site from Burger King is the latest in a growing trend of interactive Web sites that give customers more ways (and reasons) with which to engage a brand.

Pet Moustache, launched to promote the BK Cowboy Burger, lets you upload a photo and well, grow a pet moustache. Here’s my attempt: (I’m not such a good virtual moustache groomer – note the score of 31)

Become an M&M has been around for a while, but that doesn’t diminish the fun. And hey, you’re much more likely to find me eating M&Ms than a BK Cowboy Burger. This is my ode to summer break (and yes, you know I’d have a latte even in paradise).

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of other fun sites. Kohler (as in the toilets) has Jo’s Plumbing. At the site, an attractive brunette “plumber” will flush various things around the bathroom (including dog food, trial shampoo bottles and marbles among others) to show you the power of the new Kohler toilet.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Finally, GEICO let’s you visit the Caveman’s Crib with a fully interactive site designed to represent the Geico Caveman’s apartment. You can watch TV, change the music on the iPod, read magazines or just hang out. The site barely mentions GEICO.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What do you think? Do you feel more loyal/connected to a brand when you participate in sites like this? Are there others you know of?

Starbucks Gets Interactive

Starbucks has been cheering about its ability to create 50,000 drink combinations for a while. I went to the Web site today to check the balance on a gift card and saw this fun little game that lets you tell the world about “your drink.” If you login at 10 a.m. PST there are a limited number of free t-shirts that Starbucks is giving away created by designer Mychael Knight (a Project Runway contestant, season 3). If you don’t get a T, you can still download desktop wallpaper (which I didn’t do…) or take a screenshot to put on your blog (which I did…).

A Web site can no longer function well if it’s just a “brochure on steroids.” Companies of all sizes have to look for ways to provide fresh content (try blogging, providing articles, updating your newsroom) and increase interactivity (case in point: Starbucks). People must have a reason to come back.

What are some of your favorite sites that follow this new model?

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