SXSW Day 1: From pixels to people

Ogilvy's head of digital, Jason Davey, shares his first impressions as South by Southwest kicks off

South by Southwest (SXSW), the much-anticipated interactive, film and music festival kicks off today. Which means 80,000 boffins, bass players and bounty hunters will flock to Austin, Texas to stare into the crystal ball of convergence and hear from hundreds of speakers across a variety of future-focused topics. 

But one thing stands out. 

It’s clear technology is evolving to be much, much closer to humanity than ever before. Voice, touch, connection, emotion, intelligence - these are all innately human characteristics, yet these are the themes being discussed at the hundreds of technology sessions to be held over the next seven days. 

Humans are sensory beings, and have survived (and thrived?) throughout history by utilising the combination of physical senses, emotions and collective intelligence for thousands of years. It’s no wonder advancements in technology have reflected their makers.   

Brands exist to help consumers navigate product and service choices, yet they are built through creating an emotional connection. Think about it: In the supermarket, one brand of toothpaste is 10cm away from the next five brands. What makes the consumer move their hand slightly to the left and choose your brand?  

Product innovation is one way to build a brand but it's replicable and short-lived. Brand salience is built through a variety of methods, but they are all rooted in uniquely human characteristics that reflect the way our brains are wired (visual recall, memory structures, emotive connections, rationality, and so on). Digital technology is providing new ways to create brand salience.  

However, technology is not a strategy, it’s an enabler. Brand owners need to have a crystal clear understanding of the emotive tissue connecting them to their customers, and seek out technologies that can support and deliver that connection. That offers opportunities way beyond advertising.    

This further compounds my frustration of the lack of brands in Australia investing in voice technology. I can’t believe brand marketers are turning away the opportunity to talk to their customers, using technology to deliver the conversation efficiently and at-scale. Voice is not going to go away, so why not get the jump on your competition and start now?   

While new technology is exciting and attractive, brands are built through ideas, stories and emotion built into the entire product experience, including awareness. Humans seek out stories to assist them make sense of the world. Brands are a proxy for busy consumers, providing a convenient way to minimise decision fatigue. Technology is becoming more and more human, providing new ways to infuse emotion into digital experiences. It’s exciting stuff. 

It’s the end of day one, and while at SXSW I’ll be hunting out examples where new technologies present opportunities for brands to create emotive connections. I’ll share some of those with you here at CMO, and my clients will get a deeper glimpse.  

- Jason Davey is the head of digital for Ogilvy Australia.

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

AI ethics: Designing for trust

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes much more prevalent and increasingly a way of life, more questions are being asked than answered about the ethical implications of its adoption.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

How service heterogeneity is impacting engagement

Marketers have long known the importance of standardising products to assure quality and consistency. For services, however, standardisation is much more complex.

Dr Chris Baumann

Associate professor, Macquarie University

Kindness matters in business: why the nice guys finish first

A recent 1000-page Royal Commission report on misconduct in Australia’s financial sector revealed hair-raising stories of excessive commissions, rampant mis-selling and charges levied on the dead. So how do you stop a bank from misleading its customers?

Nick Liddell

Director of Consulting, The Clearing

nice article

meripadhai

5 things marketers need to do to get better in buy in when presenting

Read more

International business is closely related to marketing or marketing activities carried out by the company. According to Gitman and McDani...

Eko Prasetyo Utomo X

Salesforce: The age of the marketing campaign is over

Read more

Back in 1968 Holden began an appeal to customers who have an interest in competition. It did this with the introduction of the HK GTS 32...

Ben Tate

Marketing professor: For Holden, brand nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Read more

Your blog post is really good and informative. Thanks for taking time to provide us this useful information with us.Auto wrapping uaeADF ...

Yes Machinery

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this marvelous information.I have taken in numerous things from your post

digitech Classes

Lumen CMO strives to make the brand synonymous with anti-ageism

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in