APNO winners write about SXSW

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APN Outdoor launched its inaugural digital outdoor creative competition, Pixel3610 in August last year which offered the winning pair a trip to the world famous SXSW festival in March 2016. DDB’s Nick Dellabarca and Liz Richards were the winners and here is a brief report on their SXSW experience:

It was a hot, sweaty and educational trip. We saw stuff ranging from Cartoon Network and Lego through to hearing about the future of the NBA experience online. We heard social media celebrities talk content creation and the CEO of the Mars One project talk about his plan to colonise the red planet. We even ran into Johnny Galecki of Big Bang Theory fame. 

It was incredible to be at such a future focused event, where 99% of the conversation is about what’s going to happen, rather than celebrating what’s already been done. 

What was apparent is that no matter what field you’re in, you need to be relevant. People don’t just want ads, they want experiences. This means creating specific content for specific channels that enhance someone’s experience every step of the way, not showing them something they’ve seen already in another medium.

And when you do show your audience something, immediacy and intimacy are key. We want things faster, and we want them to make us feel closer to each other. So it would appear that doing things live and in the moment is going to play an increasingly important role. 

The hunger for communal experience is stronger than ever, and the experiences with the biggest impact are going to be the ones that command attention for a concentrated period of time and have no afterlife. 

Another shift is that everyone now has the ability to create and distribute. This ‘democratisation’ means that brands no longer have to do all the storytelling. Whilst it can be daunting to relinquish control, it’s going to be happening more and more. 

A massive thanks to APN Outdoor for sending us over, and to our host/chaperone/partner-in-crime Scott Bibby for looking after us while we were there. We had been covering about 20,000 steps a day getting between venues all over town. Hopefully, this may go a small way to working off all the food we had eaten. 

Nick & Liz signing off.

APN Outdoor general manager Phil Clemas says he will soon be seeking input from agencies on what charity will be the benefactor of Pxel3610 2016. Watch this space. Or just email him anyway (address below):

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