Top Ten SXSW Promotions and Branding Efforts
10. BBH’s Homeless Hotspots
SXSW’s most controversial product, New York ad agency BBH’s “Homeless Hotspots” initiative, was as striking as it was divisive. Whether you side with those who thought the idea of using homeless people as wireless transmitters was dehumanizing or you’re with those who thought was harmless positivity, it’s hard to deny that it was an emotion-invoking, passion-fueling promotion. The buzz quickly fizzled, however, and BBH nixed the idea altogether after its SXSW trial debut.
9. Highlight’s Neon Shopping Carts
Highlight is the location-based social connection app that became the obsession of SXSW Interactive this year. According to Mashable’s mRank leaderboard, Highlight was the most talked-about startup mentioned on Twitter, Facebook and blogs. And those who somehow didn’t catch any of Highlight’s documented buzz were drawn like moths to the neon-painted, boom box blasting shopping carts circulating the event.
8. HootSuite’s HootBus
It’s one thing to take to the streets with a mobile billboard, but HootSuite did SXSW one better by navigating the streets of Austin in a bus outfitted with a giant owl. It was instantly recognizable and just weird enough to stand out in Austin without freaking people out. Plus, HootSuite employees were given access to loads of “HootSwag,” including t-shirts and scarves, to be shot at passersby through a CO2-powered “HootCannon.”
7. AT&T’s Plug in & Power up Charging Lockers
When attending an event as action-packed as SXSW, the best laid schemes—including keeping your phone alive all day—go often awry. Every year since 2010, AT&T has come to the rescue by supplying chargers for festival-goers. This year, the chargers were rigged inside of candy-coated lockers, allowing people to secure their phones under lock and key, step away to attend a party or panel, and return to a fully-charged battery.
6.Foodspotting’s Street Food Fest
This year, the team behind Foodspotting hosted its 3rd annual SXSW Street Food Fest, attracting 5,000 people and giving them good reason to download the free Foodspotting app. The event included a lounge with karaoke, giveways and contests, an eating contest with champion eater Takeru Kobayashi and, naturally, a full range of the best food trucks Austin has to offer, serving chicken and waffle tacos, kimchi fries and a ton of other delights.
5. PepsiCo’s Constant Presence
As one of SXSW Interactive’s sponsors, PepsiCo was omnipresent throughout the event, but the company further made its mark on the entire conference by engaging attendees with digital, music and film experiences. From the Mountain Dew DEWeezy project to Doritos’ nearly six-story-tall vending machine/stage and much-hyped music performances on said stage, to the “What If? Unconference” devoted to digital idea brainstorming, Pepsi made the most of its branding opportunities this year.
4. Chevy’s “Catch a Chevy”
For the third year in a row, Chevy was smart enough to key into another need of the weary conference-goer: quick, free transportation. The “Catch a Chevy” promotion unleashed 46 branded Chevy Cruzes and Equinoxes throughout the streets of Austin, offering free taxi-like rides to attendees. An interactive map helped users find the nearest vehicle as well as locate Chevy-sponsored activities.
3. HBO’s Girls
The premier of Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls was easily the most talked about event of this year’s SXSW Film. If you happened to make it through SXSW without seeing any of HBO’s Girls promos, you might want to have a talk with your optometrist. Print ads were plastered across Austin; on fences, cement columns and pedicabs. HBO upped the ante by sponsoring a tent with free coffee, bike rentals and WiFi.
2. Can We Network Party Bus
CanWeNetwork hosted SXSW 2012’s first happy hour at Roial and then continued to grab attention with a vibrantly decorated party bus, celeb appearances and an active, integrated Twitter account. The mobile app’s promos may have overshadowed the opportunity to introduce people to its actual product, but it promises that it will be “changing the game” of networking this summer. Only time will tell what exactly the brand has in store, but its aggressive, savvy SXSW promotion was a fantastic start and we’re intrigued.
1. Branded Food Trucks
While we had to give Foodspotting props for its shindig, it would be criminal to glaze over one of SXSW’s biggest and most exercised promotions. Tech brands like Mashable, Squarespace and SalesForce served up free empanadas, burgers and breakfast tacos, while FedEx got in the game with free daily lunches served in shipping packages. Even The Today Show treated festival goers to a full menu of free munchies. Brands showcasing in Austin have figured out that the quickest way to a consumer’s heart is their stomach, and you don’t have to be in the food biz to capitalize on the trend.
Health Catalyst: An agile approach to healthcare data
Healthcare Catalyst is quite literally a healthcare providers’ catalyst for change when it comes to their measurable, data-informed improvement in analytics, software and services.
Founded in 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Health Catalyst is dedicated to enabling health care organisations to build a healthcare-specific, open, flexible, and scalable data platform and fully integrated suite of analytics applications.
This enables health system partners, including Northwell Health in New York which serves a population of 11 million, to realise measurable value within months. “Our customers have recognised the potential to use data, to meaningfully improve their clinical, financial and operational business performance outcomes,” said Mike Doyle, Chief Customer Officer.
Formed by a group of healthcare veterans – with a quest to develop a data warehouse that could handle the complexities unique to healthcare data – they revolutionised the clinical process models and use of analytics and discovered the solution now known as Adaptive Data Architecture, which is agile, flexible and can be implemented in a matter of weeks compared to a matter of years.
Today, Health Catalyst helps clinicians in more than 250 hospitals that care for more than 100 million patients each year.
Health Catalyst offers a solution in three parts:
Data Operating System
Cloud-based DOS is a healthcare-specific, open, flexible, and scalable that provides customers a single environment to integrate and organise data.
Analytics applications build on top of the data platform and allow customers to make measurable clinical, financial and operational improvements.
World-class team of analytics and domain experts leverage technology to help customers shorten time-to-value and achieve sustainable, measurable improvements.
The fully integrated data platform and suite of analytics applications helped clients during the pandemic, in ways even Health Catalyst could never have imagined. Health Catalyst offered products and services to support customers’ agile response to the pandemic in four phases:
“By having the data operating system, our clients were able to take advantage of the integrated source of data to meet challenges that they were facing in their local geographies due to the pandemic in ways that we could never even have predicted,” said Doyle.
Doyle highlighted Health Catalyst’s Value Architecture group, which helps the company ensure that its technology and expertise are delivering measurable and meaningful value to our clients. “I think another key differentiator is our open platform that our clients are able to use to accelerate their own integration of data, but it is customisable, configurable in ways that makes it unique for them in ways other cookie cutter analytics just can’t match.
“We like to start every discussion by listening and understanding how we can help our customers avoid making mistakes and getting the most out of their investment in data.”
Speaking about their partnership with Northwell, Doyle said: “We're very grateful for this partnership and want to thank these visionary leaders who are able to envision a future using data that is light years beyond what we can think of today.”