For two wonderfully bizarre, sleepless, stressful, amazing months, this was our life. The abbreviated story of what happened goes something like this –

1.  Our creative team Tom Hamling and Tim Eger had a brilliant idea.
2.  RadioShack took a big risk and said yes.
3.  We started having heated debates around the length of Teen Wolf’s leg hair.
4.  Judd Apatow and Jimmy Fallon said it was their favorite spot.

Over three days, we were fortunate to recreate our childhood for an epic Super Bowl spot, “The Phone Call.” Here are some behind the scenes pictures –



There is a common theme I’ve noticed in several of the panels I’ve attended – very little structure and heavy emphasis on organic conversation and dialogue. The “let’s see where this takes us” approach. And unfortunately, it has taken the discussion into areas that have nothing to do with the original purpose of the panel.

On an unrelated note, there is an entire restaurant inside the Austin Convention Center devoted to Grilled Cheese.

Are brands really media companies?

Can brand sponsored content be trusted?

How does Bob Garfield get his beard so symmetrical?

All these questions were discussed during Brand Journalism – The Rise of Non-Fiction Advertising #brandjo and while there wasn’t ample time to nail down any answers, there were several interesting nuggets to take away.

1) The future of brand advertising will be providing useful content to its consumers.

2) You can’t just hand over content creation to the consumer and slap your brand on it. You must create a platform for consumers to create and that content must align with the values of the company and the consumer. Pepsi Refresh and Nike + are perfect examples.

3) Social media. Few get it right and it’s becoming more and more of a force everyday. People don’t want to talk to brand/companies. They want to talk to the people behind the brands, real humans.

As for Bob’s beard, you got me. But having seen it in person, I will say, it’s a work of art.

Skinny jeans. Check.
Varvatos limited edition Chuck Taylors. Check.
Overkill of Apple products. Check.
Fair Trade gourmet coffee from independent Austin coffee shop. Check.

By all outward appearances, I belong at SXSWi. So when I went to pick up my interactive badge this afternoon, you can imagine my shock when they told me my name wasn’t in the computer. I can still hear the snickers of the nerd herd behind me as they waited for their badges to be printed.

I mean, just my luck. Out of the two dozen volunteers handing out badges, I choose the one who can’t work a computer. And with each iteration of my name she attempts, I’m watching my cred drop like the Dow.

“Perhaps you didn’t properly register and that’s why your name isn’t showing up.”

This ain’t my first rodeo. I explained to her (quietly as to not draw further attention to this atrocity) that I signed up for a username/password, even filled out my schedule online and tweeted it. Dear God, has she even heard of Twitter? (more…)