Once upon a time some guys went on a journey…
A year ago, the Everything Different board visited Austin, Texas, for the first time, to attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival*.
For the uninitiated SXSW is where the world comes together to ‘show and tell’ the latest developments in technology, music and film. It’s where Twitter was launched in 2006. Keynotes, presentations, workshops, experiential events over 3 weeks, mixed with live music, great food and networking in a fantastic, laid-back creative environment. Our objective was simple: come away inspired and full of ideas.
We got more than we bargained for. In every way possible. SXSW is a full-on assault on the senses. Immersive learning and participation from 9-6pm every day. Then party all night. Then repeat. For a week.
Faster, smarter, cheaper
Once we’d recovered we learned the real value of SXSW is in thought leadership. SXSW gives you the ‘direction of travel’ for the impact of technology on everything from advertising, fashion, music, designing smart cities, driverless cars, to disaster recovery management. Pretty much anything in fact. To be faster, smarter and cheaper than ever before, disrupting traditional models and replacing them with something better. To make life better. Technology only matters if it makes life better. The headline story at SXSW was ‘We want to make a dent in the world’
It was clear that all the talk about business, creativity, tech and data converging together into a blur was coming true. It’s all really happening, big-style. WPP, the world’s biggest advertising group, claims that Don Draper style ‘MadMen’ advertising makes up just a fifth of its £15bn value as a business today. The rest is made up of data management and technology marketing. That’s pretty mind-blowing. So the world is more complicated and fragmented than ever before across ‘paid’ media marketing, ‘owned’ (marketing using a brand’s own assets) and ‘earned’ (a brand’s reputation derived from social, PR and experiential spaces).
Brands aren’t in control anymore
Everything is constantly changing and evolving from day to day; from native ads to SEO to Sky Adsmart and so on. And brands aren’t in ‘control’ anymore, tech has put customers in full control of information and managing choice, not brands. Customers are judging brands not just on whether they have great products and services that work, but also based on whether they are ‘good’ companies too. Are you listening VW ? Brands need agile and smart guides to help navigate the emerging communications landscape who understand technology, creativity, business and data to transform their clients’ fortunes.
Introducing Different Story…
So a year on from SXSW, we proudly introduce ‘Different Story’ as the latest addition to our Everything Different family.
Different Story is all about branded creative content, platforms and experiences. Together in one place. Seamlessly. Brand ideas, storytelling and experiences are at the centre. Different story blends insight, content and creative seamlessly to engage consumers with our clients’ brand as part of a richer customer journey.
Different Story is collaborative because a good idea can come from anywhere – the strategists, project managers, brand journalists, creatives, coders, data people, partner agencies, hell…even clients!
We started the first Different Story chapter with a blank piece of paper and empty order book just three weeks ago. Now we have 2 major pitches on the go, plus a deluge of projects from existing clients. It seems already that everybody agrees it’s a great story.