For the last two days at SXSW (note: I wrote half of this at Sx, half on the plane ride home), I’ve deliberately done non-media things to broaden my horizons . Now I’m going to get back to my roots and talk about my favorite ad placements I’ve seen in the past few days.
Also – I’m using the term “ad placements” loosely – so please forgive.
1. Oreo’s bike-trailer signs. From the moment I got on the plane, I’ve felt like I was going on work spring break (and someone clued me in yesterday that they used to call this portion of SXSW spring break for geeks – so I was close!). So when I saw this sign, I got kind of excited. It’s been a long ass time since I’ve had an Oreo – but I liked it so much that I tweeted a picture of it, and I’m writing about it now (hey – 40 readers is 40 readers ;-). They had a really cool Game of Thornes one too. And these bike trailers are EVERYWHERE. We squeezed three of us into one to get out to the Long Center to see Michael Cerra, Sarah Silverman, and Tim and Eric – the dude who took us must have quads of steel.
2. American Airlines Brightboxes. Granted this isn’t a media placement – but it did pull me into their booth multiple times. I do not have a good perception of American Airlines – one too many snafus at the airport. But I love how easy they’ve made charging phones at SXSW. As an advertiser, I feel it is impossible for me to assess what impact these have had on me – but I feel like I’ve softened a bit toward them – these dudes are alright, they’re helping me out. And since I didn’t want to go far from my phone (you totally could, your credit card is the only thing that would open the locker your phone was in), I spent time with their brand – I got a chair massage with an Am Airlines ipad right in front of my face for 7 mins, I took a picture with their props that they then tweeted out, etc.
3. Bates Motel (in your hotel). This door hanger was on every room’s door in our hotel – and that’s all good and fine. But what I like best was that the TV ad was what came up every time you turned on your TV as well. So assuming everyone turnes on their TV once a day, most Sxers in our hotel saw the message 3+ times – one high impact, one rather passive. I liked that mix.
4. The Lean Start-Up – my colleague Lisa pointed this one out to me – it was on the key of her hotel, and there was a lot of signage at the airport. So first of all, it’s just straight up perfect messaging considering the audience at SXSW – but the double-whammy made an impression on her.
5. 3M’s Holograph (and I can’t believe I forgot a picture of this one). This was a life-sized cut out of a woman standing independently, with what seemed to be sticker-pants, but a holograph from the waist up. She smiled at you, told you her top pics for SXSW that day, and didn’t break eye-contact. And, as I heard one astute attendee declare, “She’s hot.” (again, sorry for no picture). I heard rumblings she was at Sx in 2012 as well – but I would be remiss not to call out all the innovative stuff 3M is doing. I like this gal, who was in the entrance hall, better than the large booth 3M had in the trade-show area dedicated to Post-Its – but both were highly interactive.
My not-so favorites…
1. Ray Donovan mobile ad (and I realize I am speaking against my own kind here). I was served this ad every time I opened the SXSW app, which was far more times than I entered my hotel room or turned on my TV. All I know from it, is that the dude from Scream is going to be on Showtime (which I don’t have) in June, and that they DON’T USE FREQUENCY CAPPING (pet peeve!). We in the biz talk over and over again about how users pull out their phones while on the go – so if you’re going to do a mobile ad that isn’t location based, it is my feeling that the user should know enough that they don’t have to research to find out more – in this case, what the show is about. When I see something on mobile, I want to get the point quickly – not have to look it up later. I don’t like it as a “peak your interest” platform.
2. AT&T’s Teleporter. It was fancy enough to draw me in (plus, if someone ever does invent a teleporter, I’ll put my order in early – no more 4 hour drives to visit the ‘rents!). But the experience was far less cool than I expected from them – you stood just outside the concave bubble, and looked at sites in and around Austin. The screens weren’t great quality. Maybe if they’d had better definition, or if you’d been able to go farther into the bubble (Professor X’s Cerebro style) I would have liked it better.
3. And lastly, just for the heck of it. I don’t know what this is. I was scared to look it up. But someone wants people to tweet from the toilet – and that’s weird (if you can’t read it, it says #tweetfromtheseat).