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

Latest Videos

More Videos

Well, the conversion can be increased by just using marketing, but in general if you are considering an example with Magento, then it is ...

Bob

How Remedy is using digital marketing and commerce to drive conversion

Read more

yo nice article

Bob

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

Thanks for sharing with us. I just loved your way of presentation. I enjoyed reading this .Thanks for sharing and keep writing. It is goo...

Nisha

Cancer Council: Finding the physical-virtual engagement balance post-COVID

Read more

yes AI should be a course so many People Use AI https://g-techsolutions.com...

M Abdullah Khan

Is AI on course to take over human creativity? - Modern creative - CMO Australia

Read more

Extremely informative. One should definitely go through the blog in order to know different aspects of the top retail technology.

Pooja Gupta

Donut King takes in-store marketing to the next digital level

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in