SXSW: DDB Chicago’s Diane Jackson on ‘Option Anxiety’
Navigating the glutinous list of speakers, socials, screenings, performances and parties is overwhelming. The lines are long and the venues are spread all over the city. I want to divide myself into ten. I am suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out). That said, one tenth of me has found some gems in the past few days. Here are some sounds bites.
- Buzzfeed CEO @peretti says they turn down legacy TV offers due to lack of data feedback loop to inform content. While they are producing content soup to nuts in-house they are not about to take on the production values of Downton Abby and neither should they. There is room for both it seems but seeing the data engagement for the blue/black vs. white/gold dress was mind blowing. Move over Lady Mary.
- Brian Grazer is a nice chap. Very down to earth, authentic and humble. This is a man who can seriously name drop without it being BS. He shared some wonderful stories about his ‘curiosity chats’, which are the subject of his new book with Charles Fishman titled, A Curious Mind: Inspiration for a Creative Life. He also told the story of how he landed that infamous hairdo.
- Nir Eyal, author of ‘Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products’. Amazing speaker debating the issues of ‘Designing for the Mind’. Along with Roger Dooley, of Dooley Direct, and Nathalie Nahai, web psychologist. Wow, what a brain trust but they brought to light the use of some long established principles of persuasion and applied them to today’s digital media.
- Capital One Bank – yes, the bank on the corner of Sixth and Congress. Now a venue for music, fireside chats, workshops and happy hours. Jake Fuentes, Level Money’s CEO, and Jesse James Garrett, co-founder of Adaptive Path, are trying to problem solve to ensure customers have the best banking experience possible and they have the latest technology to do so…. all that with DJ Fisher Pryce laying down the tracks.
- The Honest Company. Brian Lee and Hollywood uber-mom Jessica Alba are a likable duo. Doing good with non-toxic baby products that are what they say they are. Team Honest was open to share the teething problems of their start up and what they hope for in the future as they take on the giants of the diaper industry and more. Wall Street is waiting.
So far, SXSW has been different this year. I have seen the corporate take-over of my favorite rooftop taco joint…ugh, thank you Samsung. I have also had the good fortune, like thousands of others, to enjoy the beloved McDonald’s fries. As a key sponsor this year, McDonald’s has really stepped it up and as biased as I may be (I work at DDB), I have delighted in the line of people waiting to take a ‘selfie’ with Ronald and to attend panel debates on how the company is working to improve its customers’ experiences.
Oh, did I mention I was one of the very lucky ones to attend John Legend’s intimate acoustic set? What a treat.
I’m only half way through the week – films and music next. Hopefully I won’t succumb to the fallout of FOMO and option anxiety, which is doing nothing as I can’t decide... room service and an early night… yeah right.
Diane Jackson is Executive Director of Integrated Production at DDB Chicago