SXSW 2013, the premier destination for creativity and discovery

SXSW_2013_LogoWhat a wonderful week attending South by Southwest (SXSW) my favourite film, interactive and music conference that takes place every spring in Austin Texas.

SXSW 2012 was a transmedia learning experience for me, see last year’s post here

This year I planned well and organised a great schedule. I even put together a MOG playlist to download of the music I wanted to see.

Before departing I was asked by Ad News magazine to send a few blog posts during the week. Below are links to the stories on their web site.

Blog 1 – Tablet storytelling, 3D printing and fast creations

Blog 2 – Smartphone geolocation apps, Danny Boyle, art theft and hypnosis

Blog 3 – SXSW is the the “new” Cannes

Ad News also asked me to write an article for the magazine. Below is the story I wrote on the flight back to Sydney.



The South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival is held every spring in early March Austin, Texas. The event offers a unique convergence of emerging technologies, original music and independent films that foster’s the creative and professional growth of anybody who has a career in the communication industry.

In my opinion SXSW is the premier destination for creativity and discovery.

SXSW began in 1987, and has continued to grow in size and evolve each and every year since. It includes SXSW Interactive popular with advertising industry lasting for five days, Music for six and Film running concurrently for nine days.

This year was my second time attending and I must say I handled the occasion must better.

Last year while I found SXSW an innovation smorgasbord I was completely overwhelmed at times by its size and spent far too much time worried about how to navigate the what seemed thousands of talks, panels, workshop and events to attend.

This year I approached it differently, as I learnt the secret is to ease into the event and let each and every day wash over you as you obtain the bursts of inspiration and insight.


The quality of the SXSW product is world class. From a conversation with Nick Cave about his creative craft, Nick said, ‘I seem to have spent my whole life butting up against people with no imagination’

To Jason Silva the National Geographic Channel’s Brain Games genius who spoke about a world where the exponential progression of technology is increasingly shrinking the lag time between what we can imagine and what we can create.

From the Smashing Pumpkins to the Poynter Institute’s major study of storytelling on smart phones and tablets where it was outlined how the elements of touch, gesture, interactivity and position come together to create engaging, satisfying customer experiences.

From the performance of Prince on the La Zona Rosa stage with a 21-piece band for Samsung or the more intimate talk from Dr Mario R. García an American former newspaper of forty years who passionately spoke to the audience on how all traditional publishers should now forget about producing product for magazine or newspaper first. It must be mobile first thinking for all publishers and everything else next. He said remember the eye, brain and the finger or was that Prince who said that?

From Cirque du Soleil and Nerdist who joined forces for a one-of-a-kind evening featuring artistic performances presented by Google, Adobe and Klout to a packed hall to see Danny Boyle the Academy Award winning director insights on his twenty years pushing the creative boundaries in filmmaking with work as diverse as Train Spotting, Slum dog Millionaire, to the Opening London Olympics Ceremony. One audience member asked Richard why you turned down a knighthood. Danny replied unassumingly and in wonderful way, “It just wasn’t my cup of tea”.


From seeing Bre Pettis the inventor of Makerbot and on ongoing developments of the 3D printing revolution to just leveraging geolocation and geofences with the SXSW Go mobile app or being inspired by Jeff Goodby, co-founder and co-chair of San Francisco agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners via his ‘off Broadway’ pop SXSW event at the Driskill Hotel. Jeff brought together Livia Tortella, chief operating officer of Warner Bros Records, angel investors Aileen Lee and Bing Gordon, Ideo’s Paul Bennett, Lucas Film’s Ivan Askwit and Damian Kulash, lead singer of OK Go, who played an acoustic set at the after party, The get together was an exclusive, candid discussion moderated by Goodby entitled “So When The Hell Do You Sleep.

My first tip if you want to go SXSW in 2014, it’s best to book early for not only accommodation but all to get a Platinum badge. As soon as the badges are put on sale Platinum as it’s the same price as Interactive if you get in early.

My thinking is why limit you to one side of SXSW. You are best to stay and play with creative discovery streams Music, Film, and Interactive regardless of your creative profession.

On that the second tip is to go outside your profession when you are organising your topics to attend. If you in media go and see some design, art direction or costume making. If you’re in data or analytics go and see a film direction workshop. If you are a social media expect go and see some music. Actually definitely go and see some music if you are a so called social media expect. You need to get out more.

My seven days at SXSW this year was extremely rewarding on so some many levels. In some ways it’s a bit like going back to university and seeing all your old class mates where you are swapping stories and discussing talks and trying to solve all the problems of the world.

In other ways SXSW is a bit like a health retreat as its breaks all your bad creative habits and you see certain things you are doing is now no longer effective and you need to make some big changes when you get back.

No doubt Interactive which starts the show is the most frantic of the nine days so many advertising agency professionals, geeks and entrepreneurs seem to speed everything up for a day or two all trying to fail fast.


Things in the Interactive world move fast and as software continues to eat up the world everyone is looking for the smallest advantage to get one up on their competition.

That said digital people are really good at copying things. All the talks are tweeted, photos taken of panel presentations and for the next twelve months agencies will use this copied material in every marketing presentation to clients. Some digital people seem to like to go to a panel, tweet, bagged it out and leave. For god sake go and meet the people at the end of the talk and share you thoughts. Tweeting when you 5 metres away from them is pathetic.

It’s actually not so much the bantering in the panel talk that I get inspired with. It’s meeting the panellists and having a chat with them and hopefully finding a time to have breakfast, lunch or dinner or a drink with them at some point at the event. Maybe I’m just a stalker.

The real discovery moments for me tend to come from when the event starts to slow down a bit via film and music streams. The profession here is all about the craft, the creative process, the techniques and the constant drive of storytelling. Digital tends to stay in the platform itself. It’s like in the 1960’s someone said you need to do TV. Yeah I know that.

Listening to how the film and music industry is adapting to the digital explosion is fascinating. As an Australian film and television graduate I do find spending time with industries that want to create content and experiences much more interesting then marketing messages in short bursts.


So many industries however are changing fast now. From media to retail every company is adapting to their audience who have moved to mobile and tablet as their main source of information and entertainment.

There are some very exciting innovations about to drop in a number of industries and the advertising industry better be prepared to match them on what they need to engage audience who are consuming brands and experiences on the go. How they mix art and science is going to be the true winners.

Brands are now telling Interactive stories and delivering them mobile first before they look to go across multiple platforms and channels over time. It’s more than just integrating online and offline experiences. It’s about dispersing the story systematically across multiple media, each making their own unique contribution to the whole.

The big insight from SXSW is spending 50% on the idea and 50% on how people are going to hear about it. Jonah Peretti CEO and Founder of BuzzFeed said is an engaging power talk ‘learn from the Mormons’. You might have an idea but focus on how you to spread it and no doubt focus on that spreading on the communication device they have with them all the time.

See you at SXSW in 2014

CES 2013 – a break out year for the connected home

CES_2013This week I attended the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) a major technology-related trade show held each January in Las Vegas, Nevada. What I found at this year’s event was a breakout year for the development of the connected home.

From computers embedded into tables and walls, to location base car entertainment platforms that connect to your white goods, to wearable health computing devices the size of a wristwatch, the offerings at CES 2013 may show the way to the often-imagined connected home of the future.

Before digging into the current state of the connected home products, it’s important that we express the concept of connected home the same as content producers, providers, and equipment makers do.

The definition or the ideal is a internet enabled home that organizes, simplifies, and unites a consumer’s content, entertainment, and communications into an easy-to-use and elegant solution.

My-Connected-HomeTo achieve this concept, the connected home must bring together everything from computers, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, set-top boxes, to lighting, appliances, heating and air conditioning systems, all accessible and controllable through a simple, intuitive and consistent interface. The consumer is in control of all the things that are important to them and there are many company’s attempting to achieve this outcome.

To imagine this world lets try to paint a useful example of how the connected home could enter your life.

You could be driving home from work and your car notifies you that your home needs something. Maybe it is more eggs as you drive by your local grocery store. It’s a fun fantasy, right? Well, it’s actually already a reality and what I saw at CES were many company’s attempting to deliver a connected home consumer experience in various constructs.

For example major appliances makers like LG featured a full line of “smart” home appliances – ranging from refrigerators to ovens to washers and dryers. Now your fridge can provide recipe recommendations based on what’s inside and you can set your spin cycle with a few clicks on your mobile device from anywhere. It even let’s you check-in on your robotic vacuum via a live feed to an on-device camera.

LG_Smart_HomeWhat was clear based on a number of company meeting is to be successful it is so very important to get the customer experience (CX) strategy in order if a consumer focussed brand is going to be at the center of this very personal world.

While the new connected home products at CES were exciting to expereience it was clear to me that TVs, smartphones and tablets still remain the most advanced entry point for consumers to the connected home future.

Another example worth highlighting was the the stellar opportunity outlined from Technicolor. They highlighted their latest innovations to clients, partners and the press. It would seem hundreds of customers and prospects visited their large booth to discover the companies embedded technologies and in-home solutions which promosed to enhance consumers cnnected lifestyle.

Notably, the launch of Qeo, Technicolor’s new software framework for smarter home solutions was of particular interest. See video below.

From a consumer perspective, my feeling is the connected home idea is a place where all of your media is integrated around your identity that can be accessed in a very easy to use way on any connected device. The ideal connected home should be an entertainment experience enhanced by data and social context available over a very fast internet.

Connected home idea will only succeed by letting the user have a more relevant passive experience, while offering the opportunity for the user to dive deeper or interact with anything he or she comes across. This of course has many implications for future consumer behavior, but it also presents some very interesting considerations for advertising opportunities. Brands will now be able to uniquely target consumers based on deeper behavioral insights across multiple devices. And new mediums – like you refrigerator – will quickly pop up as potential billboards for brand messaging. Imagine the scenario where your fridge knows you need eggs and overlay the potential for your local supermarket to deliver a $2 off voucher or advertise product benefits from a local farmer. It’s advertising at a personalized level, delivered in real-time and guaranteed to be contextually relevant.

Not too bad a future I have to say.

SXSW 2012: My Transmedia Journal

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring in Austin Texas.

SXSW began in 1987, and has continued to grow in size every year. It was my first time to the event. I found it an innovation smorgasbord, with the latest technologies, most innovative companies in attendance across the web, mobile, film, advertising and music industries.

Marking its 26th year, SXSW swept across Austin, taking over various concert venues, bars, hotel suites, meeting rooms and the Austin Convention Center.
Once arriving you quickly get the impression that attendees were expecting, and even hoping for some new location-based technology to launch and continue the noise about the importance of social media.

I was hoping the opposite to be perfectly honest. I already have enough social media apps on my phone to connect with people. Although I do admit to attending the event and downloading the new app Highlight 1.1.

In my mind there is already enough evidence of the power of interactive sharing tools and platforms. Connecting to your friends happens everyday. My goal for the festival was a simple one. I wanted to find the people who are producing the most compelling interactive content that is shared on the existing interconnected pipes. I wanted to understand their approaches on how each message is modified and optimized for all the most popular screens to continue engagement.

I decided with this approach I would be able to find the story tellers focussed on using transmedia techniques. Transmedia is a form of storytelling delivered across multiple platforms and channels over time. It’s more than just integrating online and offline experiences. It’s about dispersing the story systematically across multiple media, each making their own unique contribution to the whole.

And when done right, transmedia puts a story and message on surround sound with the audience participating right in the middle.

Image sourced from NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey company

I thought if I was focussed on finding well crafted transmedia content examples I could navigate the hundreds of talks on offer.

What I found over the six days were some talented people developing unique content for the right channel, and on the right screen at the right time to enhance the content story and advance the users purpose to change behaviour.

Below are my comments from eleven talks I attended that I really found interesting. I have also provided some external web links to stories about these panels so you can read further opinions.
I should warn you, like all my blog posts this was drafted very quickly. I did this on my flight home to San Francisco while it was fresh in my mind. That said I hope you find the notes and the links of interest.
Overall I throughly enjoyed SXSW and I received some well overdue inspiration. I will certainly be back in 2013.

Panelists –

Walter Werzowa, developed mnemonic for Intel.
Greg Johnson, Creative director for HP
Robin Lanahan, Director of design and brand strategy, startup business group, Microsoft.

Brands today exist in multiple mediums, defined by multiple voices. The media brands inhabit is iterative, with no beginning, no end, and little permanency. In that context, adherence to a big idea and endless repetition of centralized, fixed rules can make a brand seem unresponsive and out of step with its audience. But without repetition, how does a brand create consistency? And without consistency, how does a brand maintain value?

The panelists in this session put forth the idea that a consistent brand today can only be achieved by creating patterns. These patterns should be distinctive (ownable, signature expressions), relevant (personal, meaningful) and active (delivering, doing, moving).

The pattern language should also always follow a consistent story. While the channel and goal of the communication may change, a tightly defined story framework, and an ownable pattern language, can convey a focused brand.

The power of patterns as a branding element was best demonstrated by Walter . He illustrated, by breaking down Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, that repeating the same series of notes would be boring but varying the basic motive resulted in emotion and engagement. With brands, as in music, one needs the right combination of what is expected and what is new to convey an engaging message over time.

The talk slides are worth a look.

Talk 2: Future of Entertainment: Viewer Becomes User

Panelists Mike Scogin, vice president of wireless and mobile for MTV Networks; Paul Chang, senior marketing manager for Showtime; Jared Hecht, co-founder of GroupMe; Kimber Myers, director of partnerships for GetGlue; and Tom Thai, vice president of marketing and business development for Bluefin Labs Inc discussed how audiences and brands are increasing visibility through apps and allowing audiences to transition from being simple “viewers” to actual “users” as they communicate directly with media through evolving social media platforms.
A good read about this talk was written by Impact Community newspaper and found here;

The Code is a BBC documentary about Professor Marcus du Sautoy’s search of a mysterious code that governs our world through numbers, shapes and patterns. It’s also a next-generation transmedia treasure hunt aimed at all ages and abilities that takes place online through games, puzzles, Facebook and Twitter, in the real world, and in Lost-style clues hidden within the TV show itself.

The Code is one of the most ambitious ‘native transmedia’ projects ever created by the BBC and Six to Start, and it demonstrates what’s possible when a broadcaster with the reach, reputation, and quality of the BBC meets the breadth and depth of engagement that the web can provide.

Talk 4: Top Chef: How Transmedia is Changing TV

Bravo defines “Transmedia” as storytelling across different media platforms. Lisa Hsia, Bravo’s digital media department, said the channel employed transmedia “out of desperation” to keep their content, both on the computer screen and television screen, fresh.

Dave Serwatka, Bravo’s Vice President of Current and Cross Platform Productions, chose one of Bravo’s flagship shows, Top Chef, because he believed it was an ideal choice for Bravo’s transmedia initiative. Top Chef employed the mediums of internet webisodes (with their online show Last Chance Kitchen), responses through Twitter with assigned hashtags that were broadcasted on air, and traditional television.

Henry Jenkins from Fast Company wrote an excellent article on the ‘Seven Myths About Transmedia Storytelling‘. Also Time Magazine wrote a wonderful story on the talk, follow the link here

Talk 5: The Wars of Tech

Steven Levy is a senior writer for Wired, the former chief technology correspondent for Newsweek and the author of seven books. Washington Post describes him as “American’s premier technology journalist.”
Steven spoke how he felt you can get caught up with the horse races of Facebook versus Google or Microsoft versus Apple or record labels versus the Internet. But in nearly 30 years of covering technology he feels the major conflicts are those of philosophy, politics and power.
He described the last few decades as a spectacular cycle of fantasy novels with the Hacker Spirit as the protagonist and amazing supporting characters including Steve Jobs, Richard Stallman, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Stephen Wolfram, Whitfield Diffie, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg.
Here is Storify account of the talk.

Nearly two decades ago, independent film ushered in a wave of new voices, new stories and a new way of looking at the industry.
Fast forward to present day and independent games are reinvigorating an industry in the same way. The parallels between these respective moments in time are quite strong.
In an age of online distribution and accessible technology, the independent artist of today would seem to have quite a bit more weighted in their favour.
The panel was hosted by Lisanne Pajot, a director whose film Indie Game: The Movie was an official selection at the SXSW Film Festival, and also happened to feature Fish and his adventures in developing Fez.
A good interview with Phil Fish after the panel can be found here.

Amber Case  founded CyborgCamp, a conference on the future of humans and computers.
Her main focus is on mobile software, augmented reality and data visualization, as these reduce the amount of time and space it takes for people to connect with information.
Case founded, a private location sharing application, out of a frustration with existing social protocols around text messaging and wayfinding.
She formerly worked at global advertising agency. In 2010, she was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in Tech.
Time Magazine wrote a wonderful story on the talk, find it here.

This talk was hosted by Matthew Bishop from The Economist, the session brought together Neil Powell, founder of The Information Blanket; Cindy Gallop, founder of If We Ran the World; Margaret Keene, executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi LA, the agency helping Toyota harness the power of their brand with programs like “Ideas for good” and “100 cars for good;” and Leo Premutico, co-founder of Johannes Leonardo, to explore the intersection of ethics and economics and look at why driving for social good has become has the guiding principle for the world’s leading innovators.

A good summary blog post on this talk from Helen Nowicka from Porter Novelli can be found here.

Andrew McAfee, author of “Race Against the Machine,” interviewed  Tim O’Reilly the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. A good summary blog post on this talk from W Craig Tomlin can be found here.

Hulu content Senior Vice President Andy Forssell moderated a panel entitled “Changing the Channel: The New Golden Age of TV.” Enlisting filmmakers Richard Linklater (“Dazed and Confused”) and Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) and actor Timothy “Speed” Levitch (“The Cruise”) for a discussion about the migration of television content to online outlets such as Hulu. See more here.
Al Gore the former US Vice-President and Sean Parker Napster and Facebook fame presented in front of a packed house on how digital has the power to disrupt what Gore described as ‘Democracy has been hacked…it’s time for Occupy Democracy”.
The rallying cry of Al Gore, talked about his work with campaigning sites Votizen and NationBuilder.
Gore applauded the recent efforts Stateside to stop SOPA, urged people to also campaign against efforts by governments worldwide to censor the internet and talked passionately about the coroding effects on US politicians of the efforts to keep collecting money from special interests to pay for TV campaign ads.
Parker talked about his belief that new online tools will reduce the need for such cash-calls and ensure campaigning is less dominated by TV coverage. He admitted that just because there are large numbers of people online with digital personas, it doesn’t mean that they’ll do anything other than “build farms” (zing-Zynga). He explained that passive participation in the political process through low effort online petitions is not the same as getting people who are connected online to meet offline and protest


adtech Sydney 2008


March 12th to 13th, 2008
Sydney Hilton

I was asked to speak at Adtech Sydney on the subject of Integrating Digital into the Communications Plan. For many, the challenge of integrating digital into your “everything else” plan can prove to be harder than what it should be. The question posed was do you start with digital and wrap everything else around it or look at digital as a silo, one of which is growing at an exponential rate, and plan individually?

I was joined in the discussion with my colleague from Vodafone David Morrow, Head of Online and Russell Easther from P3 Digital who moderated the discussion. David and I spoke about the good, the bad and a number of techniques on how to integrate digital into communications plan.

adtech_panel icon_rss To listen to the Integrating Digital into the Communication Plan
talk and other Ad-Tech Sydney podcasts click here.

A few of the questions and answers from the session are highlighted below;

Adam – examples over the years of poorer digital integration? Classic story/joke

I have a few stories and some scars. I take my shirt off and show you some of my scars if that helps.
Seriously I think every digital guy or girl has had the one where it’s ‘hey what can you do online with this completed TVC that’s running”. The bad integration happens when the idea is cracked and a medium is chosen and online is seen as a matching luggage approach. In other words animate this press ad and by the way we have no budget.

Adam – is it getting better?

Yes for both agencies and client’s are starting to get very knowledgeable and also very passionate about the interactive medium. Because digital is so accountable in terms of getting data there is much more interest in the medium and how it can lay a stronger role in the marketing mix. Of course how you use digital, and when you use digital as always must be surrounded in a core idea. There are obviously some people still worried about the digital extension rather then just getting on and developing great ideas and producing compelling content for consumers. If this is done then digital just finds a home. Some people are still a little nervous to do large scale digital programs but hey those groups will be years behind the people that embrace it. Getting the planning and creative process right in the marketing mix is essential.

Adam – why?

The ability for consumers to control what they consume is a cause for celebration in my mind, not widespread panic. It’s fact there is now too much proof that people are willing to interact with brands and products in deeper and more meaningful ways than ever before. Our job is to find and give a good reason for them to do this.

Adam – what are the traits of traditional agencies that know how to integrate digital?

I think respect for the medium, the digital skill set and then ownership in making it work across the organisation are essential elements in making digital work for clients. I think any agency that has a structure where digital is off to one side or in a silo is a little 1995. Sure in the beginning it was right to have a group that specialised in digital but today digital technology is everywhere. The TVC is in the end a video digital outcome, it is produced as zero and ones. It can run on varies screens, devices and platforms. Any forward thinking agency should have digital at the heart of it’s operation across creative, planning, production and account servicing. If it does not it won’t be a relevant agency to build client solutions.

Adam – can you share any interesting experiences of a media and creative agency ‘integrating’ digital communications?

Like a lot of people I would prefer media and creative agencies living together under one roof and structure. But those days are long gone, and to be fair the media game is now very specialised in terms of the data, science and measurement around paid media planning and buying. That said in the digital world media and creative are very hard to separate. The best ideas and programs are when you have close collaboration. I’m not a big fan of the media spreadsheet being sent around and the creative agency developing creative to spec sizes and formats. This only results in push advertising solutions.

Creative and media people working closely together with a strong ‘respect’ and clear ownership to the clients objective we can start to create better ideas and deliver better results. I think media and creative agencies working together can start to create a new currency for brands. Develop things that people will seek out, use, play with, and hopefully share. A lot of the time we are trying to develop killer applications or at the very least some communication community products that people will talk about.

Adam – Through your years of experience, what is the best brand that integrates digital communication the best?

On a category level I think travel, IT and telecommunications have done some of the best innovates programs over the years. Basically any brand that has been testing and learning with digital for 10 years plus is a long way ahead of those that have only been doing it for the last couple of years. Outside of these categories I have always like what Volkswagen do in the UK. There current online programs and web site for their range of cars is excellent. It works if you are ‘in market’ or ‘near market’ a car purchase. Of course Nike has set the bench mark last year for true digital innovation re a product such as Nike Plus. But to be truly honest the online brands are still the best at understanding customer experience and delivering compelling content that gets people back time after time. A good R&D team is needed here to deliver this for an organisation and at the moment only true digital online brands like a Google, Amazon or a FaceBook get that thinking.

Adam – Is the push from agency side, or client side, for digital integration?

I think it’s now the clients that push for integration. And to be honest I think they are over agencies giving them lip service on how they are structured when they use digital. A client really does not care how an agency is structure they just want to work with the smartest, most creative people they can muster. Marketing budgets are not getting any larger and as such clients are always looking for big ideas. I think client’s like to work with agencies that can deliver sustainable and collaborative ways of working, when sharing ideas.

Adam – From agency side and your experience, exactly how, what steps, what techniques do you use to integrate digital internally when integrating digital in a communications plan?

My current role is to integrate digital thinking across a variety of Clemenger Group agencies that have a specialised focused in either advertising, direct, PR, retail, events etc. As mentioned I’m trying to put digital at the heart of all marketing service companies because it’s a good way to foster and develop integrated thinking and the process of integrated implementation rather then matching luggage. We are not ring fencing digital into an agency or department. Dialogue between brands and consumers can start and finish anywhere… jumping between media spaces, from print to event to mobile to street stunt to TV…the Internet is not the purpose in itself, only the big link between everything. We have digital training programs running regularly in all our agencies and across account, creative, planning teams. They are always getting hit with something new to digest and learn.

Adam – Did you have to move any mountains internally to get those steps across the line?

Well sure. Some people don’t like change, some worry about the revenue impact and the structure impact if staff are not trained in digital. Really as mentioned I really do worry less about the right model and worry much more about the ideas we present to clients.

Australasian Media & Broadcasting Congress 2007


28 – 30 November 2007
Hotel Intercontinental
Sydney, Australia

This week I spoke at the Australasian Media and Broadcasting Congress. This years event was even bigger and better then previous years. The two day event kicked off with talks from Australia’s leading online publishers Richard Fredenstein, CEO News Digital Media, Jack Matthews, CEO Fairfax Digital and Tony Faure, CEO Ninemsn.

After each talk there was a joint panel discussion, and while there is considerable respect for each other there was much debate around the theme of measurement. It was clear each publisher had different interpretations on what measurement was key in determining who was the best online publisher in the country. The discussions around ‘reach’ was heated with varies confusion on metrics around Unique ]Users vs. Unique Browsers. While the panel was not setup to resolve this issue it was agreed that clients and media agencies need to work much harder on determining the best metrics for measuring online campaigns before booking campaigns with online publishers.

During the two days there were talks and panels from APN News and Media, Leo Burnett, Seven Network, Network Ten, Foxtel, PBL Media, MySpace, Fremantle Media, Bigpond, BBC Worldwide, etv UK, ITV Uk, google, DDB, Commercial Radio Australia. The common themes of the event were as follows;

  • The revenue generating opportunities created by digital media
  • The changing nature of media consumption
  • The future of digital film and television
  • The impact of emerging technology in the online publishing world
  • Media metrics
  • Digital media communities
  • Government plans and policies
  • Industry business models

My talk was titled adapting to stay in touch with digital consumers, where I looked at and evaluated the trends driving the future behavior of tomorrow’s audience. I also discussed where consumers heading based on this behavior. I then moved the talk into the new agency service models and how to offer digital innovation to stay ahead of the game. If you would like to get a copy of this talk please feel free to email me.

adtech New York 2007


November 5th to 8th, 2007
New York Hilton

This week I spoke at ad:tech New York the world’s largest interactive advertising and technology conference dedicated to connecting all sides of today’s marketing landscape. The four day event had keynote speakers, topic driven panels, interactive workshops plus over 300 exhibitors. I must say I found the event to be quite a frenzy and reminded me a little of those days.

The frenzy was caused by several industry announcements that fueled much debate and discussion throughout the event on where the Interactive advertising industry is headed.


The first big announcement was from Google re the Google Phone project and while the first devices aren’t due to be shipped for at least another six months, there’s already breathless speculation about the look, feel and functionality of the new open development platform mobile device. Google has this year lobbied that an open network is necessary to give US consumers a third choice in mobile broadband, rather than be limited to buying service from either a giant cable or phone company, and to bring wireless innovation in the country in line with other parts of the world, notably Europe. Google pledged to bid at least $4.6bn in the forthcoming spectrum auction if the FCC agreed to add these open-network requirements

The second was from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg where he said, ”Facebook will help you create some of the best ad campaigns you’ve ever built" as he unveiled the Facebook Ads platform, a system by which marketers can marry an ad message to a user-initiated endorsement of a product or service.
While this announcement was digested, Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, in his adtech talk said: “The state of the industry is excellent, yet it’s also at risk: while growth remains strong; growth up 26 percent in first half of the year, which we expect to continue. The online ad industry is on track to hit its first $20 billion year – that’s one-third of the TV ad space after about 13 years of internet ads started.” He then warned the industry that “Anti-consumer advocates are out to stifle the industry, including the FTC, which wants complete regulation of cookies themselves and could require opt-in stipulations for all online ads. As last week’s hearings suggest, they feel the time for fact-finding is over, it’s now time to regulate.” Other highlights from the session focused on the rise of platforms and the search for the least disruptive forms of online advertising. Could this be the reason Facebook is valued at $15bn?

I was invited to speak on the ‘Global Perspectives on the Digital Revolution’ panel representing and discussion trends from the Asia Pacific region. I was joined by Marc Lansberg, President, Arc Worldwide speaking US, Ole Obermann VP of International Digital Business Development, Sony BMG representing Europe and Peter Blacker Senior VP, Digital Media, NBC Universal, Telemundo Network Group speaking about Latin America. It was moderated by Paul Maidment, Editor of

icon_rssTo listen to the Global Perspectives on the Digital Revolution
panel discussion visit


IPTV Australasia 2007


Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd, October 2007
Main Conference Room
Hilton Hotel, Sydney NSW Australia

IPTV, WebTV, P2PTV, vodcasting, streaming and downloaded video media. The list of multiplatform
delivery models goes on. The question that needs answering is what does video content delivered over Internet Protocol mean for broadcasters, content producers, operators, advertisers and service providers.

Investing in on-demand and IPTV services is an expensive and a demanding undertaking. No only do you need to get the technology implemented quickly and effectively but offering value-added services needs to be a compelling and rewarding experience for your customers. Enter the market under prepared and you risk giving market share to your competitors. The more you understand about the challenges and opportunities of offering IPTV services, the better placed and clearer the task of choosing partners and new on-demand services becomes.

These were the themes covered in a two day conference in Sydney this month at the IPTV Australasia the region’s only two-day executive level conference that analyses the profitable business models, evolving access technologies, emerging delivery devices and content windowing strategies in the on-demand, and broadcast environments.

I was asked to be on the ADVERTISING AND INTERACTION panel to discuss the how the IPTV environment will change advertising, branding and storytelling over TV platforms.

Below is a summary of my talk.





In its raw form IPTV advertising offers brands an immersive television experience with the added bonus of being able to enhance it with interactivity. It will also offer marketers the addressability and accountability of advertising that exists in the Internet world, enabling the targeting of individual homes, personalized messages, and more accurate measurement of an advertisement’s impact. But what the real impact of IPTV offers brands and marketers is to move from producing an interruption message to developing compelling content .

The successful future brands will be the ones people actively seek out because they can hold an engaging conversation. The advertising industry will need to move and be structured much closer to the world of the content industry. The new advertising mangers and leaders will be the groups that know how to deliver and program audience involvement. They will build brands with much more layers and craft and deliver their personalities across multiply digital devices and access channels.

The management of brands and communications and the future marketing department will be more like team similarly structured to managing a weekly television series. Brands will always be about big ideas, but in the new IPTV world the daily audience ratings will dictate its success or failure.

At Clemenger Communications, we believe digital creative innovation offer brands their biggest opportunity. It allows businesses to create an immersive brand experience to pull a consumer in, lean forward and participate. We call this ‘digital engagement’.

Digital engagement measures the extent to which a consumer has a meaningful brand experience when exposed to a combination of commercial advertising ,and content programs developed across multiply media and digital platforms.

Big ideas are essential to connect to people. People are not just strategized and developed databases and profiles. They are people and as such, we focus on crafting a brand experience by maximizing three key areas of story telling.

1. Mechanics, in digital planning terms this describes creating the idea and nourishing this with particular components and/or story of the digital experience.

2. Dynamics, in technology and build terms this describes the run-time behavior of the mechanics acting on consumer inputs and each others outputs over time.

3. Aesthetics, in digital creative terms this describes the desirable emotional responses evoked in the consumer, when they interact with the program experience across multiple devices and channels. Oh, if you didn’t know multiple devices and channels is another word for media.

Compelling content rather then interruption messages pull connected people and communities together, and move these targeted people from an acquaintance of the brand to a friend.

At Clemenger Communications we arm our agencies and develop compelling content by employing some of world’s most awarded and effective advertising creative people and housing them in our Clemenger BBDO agencies offices in Auckland and Wellington. Creativity delivered in the digital interactive form deliver marketing programs that gain audience involvement . The result is business success, just ask any of our long servicing clients. Exciting times ahead welcome to Digital Innovation.


Taiwan Advertising Conference: TALK Customer Immersion and Connection with Interactive Marketing

taiwan_logo     taipei101
                                                                         Taipei 101 Tower, is the tallest building in the world (508 meters high)

Department of Commerce
August 1, 2007
Tower 101,
Taipei, Taiwan

I was invited by the Taiwan Government to speak in Taipei as part of the Advertising Improvement/ Promotion Project. The conference was arranged by the Department of Commerce, MOEA, in conjunction with the National Development Plan’s “Cultural and Creative Industry Development Plan”. The project mission is to promote and develop Taiwan advertising, establish connections with international advertising application trends, build local advertisement and cultural talent, and make a commercial contribution to the development of life and society.

I was briefed that the Advertising improvement/Promotion Project is focused on the three main fields of establishing superior environment, promoting manpower, and setting a pattern. The project is managed to foster excellence in those professional services connected with commercial development and advertisement, in order to instill advertising creativity, encourage commercial development, and enhance internationally competitive abilities.



What brief!

Customer Immersion and Connection with Interactive Marketing

Talk Overview:

In an age where consumers increasingly control their media, the rules of engagement have changed.  The most successful businesses of the future will be those who compel consumers to actively seek out and demand their brand.

The debate about Internet Marketing as direct response or brand building channel continues to roll on. The more important question is to understand the Internet medium itself and how the consumer uses it as part of an integrated communications program.

We covered the day using example case studies from McDonald’s, Philips and Volkswagen.

* Understanding customer mindsets and developing strategies to overcome the barriers to assign proposition
* Setting a framework so integrated ideas can rise to the top before setting on a lead idea or media channel
* Developing a roll out plan for fully integrated campaigns that builds and allows you to learn from each customer interaction
* Setting measurement goals and ensuring the customer experience is consistent from awareness, consideration and ownership
* Exploring what works and what does not for an integration campaign

On a personal note:

I had a free day while in Taipei and visited the Taipei 101 Tower, National Palace Museum and also the National Museum of History.

P8020057    taiwan_palace

Seoul Digital Forum 2007: TALK: Advertising 2.0


Media Big Bang, Impact on Business and Society

Sheraton Grande Walkerhill
Seoul, Korea
May 29 to 31, 2007

The Seoul Digital Forum is a high-end, international conference, established with the aim to enhance knowledge and understanding on a broad spectrum of issues related to the digital era.

This year’s Seoul Digital Forum became the biggest IT industry related event in history, in search of ideas that will become the new growth power, providing directions for government policy and discuss on future media in the era of IT revolution.

It was a wonderful experience to speak at the conference on the topic Advertising 2.0 with so many leaders from traditional media and new media including Eric Schmidt, Anne Sweeny, Chris Anderson, Tom Curley, Chris Ahearn, Eli Noam, Second Life, Wikia, BesTV (Shanghai Media Group IPTV) .


sdf_adam Why so serious Adam?



ADMA: Dig Into Digital


TALK: Hands-on tools, tips and insights

The association’s role as the voice of the digital marketing industry is inseparable from the concerns that face everyone working in our industry today. This site provides a gateway to information and resources designed to answer those concerns and help promote the role of digital marketing as a key activity within the total marketing mix.

As the industry develops, ADMA aims to establish itself as a pillar of the industry, committed long term to driving the mediums growth and sophistication and provides focus and leadership for all sectors of the industry.

7th December, 2006

33rd Floor,
9 Queens Road
Central Hong Kong

More Details of the Event