SXSW has firmly established itself as a top event for creative technologies and innovative thinking. The festival grows each year, welcoming more music, art, technology, startups, fans, and above all, ideas that shape the future of how consumers behave and interact with each other and brands, both online and offline.

At Ogilvy, we are passionate about this space. Partnering with leading thinkers, technologists, artists, and brands over the years has helped us build some of our most effective and creative work. We’re excited about furthering conversations and exploring new ideas in the rapidly changing environment that we encounter every day. That’s why teams around Ogilvy have proposed several panels for SXSW 2016.

Help vote for the events below that you would like to hear more about, and we’ll see you in Austin!


Agile – Why Should Engineers Have All the Fun? 

Agile and associated methodologies are often touted as one of the main reasons why modern engineering teams can iterate on Products so quickly. Drawing on experience gained from startups, blue chip companies, digital creative agencies, education, accelerators, publishing houses and much more, this panel will explore how some of these techniques can be applied to the wider organisation.

Vote here:

The Secret Life of Emojis: Are Words Under Attack? 

Words are expressive, evocative and essential. Words let us declare our feelings and form relationships. But our language is being invaded. The intruders are little yellow faces, smiling turds, and sassy girls in pink. The English language is changing as a consequence and the results are fascinating. At SXSW I’ll explore the emoji invasion.

Vote here:

A Brit’s Take on the Future of Late Night 

By comparatively analyzing US and UK late night television shows such as Jimmy Fallon and Graham Norton, this session will look at the future of late night, specifically focusing on the role social media will play in its consumption and structure. This session will be brought to life with a range of video clips from late night television shows while using social media data from the shows in 2015/2016.

Vote here:

Growing Up With Double D – Diversity & Digital

Diversity and Digital have been the two biggest changes for marketers and technology innovators seeking to target consumers with brand messages. This session explores how the two are inter-linked, and the opportunities for diversity and digital in your social and technology-led marketing campaigns.

Vote here:

Content Studios: The Who’s and How To’s 

Have you ever wondered how content is made? Who are the brains behind that up-to-the-minute reactive content? Where do they work? What do they look like? This talk provides an insight into editorial planning, rapid content creation, social data and analytics monitoring, paid distribution capabilities, and how to bring a responsive content studio to life.

Vote here:

Is Education Policy Stifling Innovation?

As digital innovation and technology continues to reshape the classroom and unlock possibilities for teachers and students, we need policies that can support and accelerate that innovation toward improving student outcomes. But can we agree on fundamental education technology policy objectives? And can we find the right ways to get there quickly?

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Is Access to Performance Data Good for Students?

Student data and privacy is a sensitive subject in education. New tools provide students with real-time access to their own learning analytics. But is this beneficial? Some say it’s empowering, but others argue it will open Pandora’s box by demotivating students and lowering confidence.

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The Myth of the Learning Style Holds Students Back

Many education experts argue that there are as many as 19 different learning styles. While this seems large, from a cognitive perspective, it does not even begin to scratch the surface on the millions of ways students can solve one problem. In this panel we’ll explore how educators can accommodate millions of different learning styles without demotivating particular groups of students.

Vote here:

Microcredentials: Bridge from Education to Career

Higher ed is seeing the beginnings of a consumer-driven world in which the traditional constructs of education are replaced by unbundled offerings focused on competency-based learning and credentialing. This panel will look at the drivers of the micro-credentialing trend and weigh the benefits and risks of this new model for education.

Vote here:

Community Colleges: Leading Through Innovation

Community colleges play a critical role in preparing a large number of students for success in the workforce. However, they also face low graduation and retention rates, and nearly 50% of 2-year students enter remediation. This session offers an in-depth look at how the ACCelerator and programs like it are helping community colleges fulfill their mission of helping all students achieve success.

Vote here:

How I Implemented Digital Learning at Scale

Many school districts have uneven transitions to ed tech. This panel will debate whether it is necessary to provide teachers with structured and unstructured digital content and discuss how to create a digital learning environment that is accessible anytime and anywhere as well as how to fund teacher training to support new digital instructional practices.

Vote here:

Educator’s Dilemma: Defining Open in Education

Open learning environments are not only in the best interest of students and educators; they are vital for survival in the new learning ecosystem. This is why open learning environments are gaining popularity among states, school districts and lawmakers. But many education experts and policy advocates disagree on what it means to be truly open. Are open technology standards the key, or are free, open-source educational resources the defining factor of open technology in education? Or is it a mix of both?

Vote here:

Benchmarking best prax

5 tenets of effective benchmarking: broaden your view, align your approach to your objectives, expand your universe, consider your data sources, contextualize your data

Learn more about Everest Group’s benchmarking services


Dig Adop Invst Strat
Click the image to enlarge

Everest Group’s North American Digital Adoption Survey has identified four levels of digital investment strategy with increasing levels of maturity

Visit the report page


Dig Adptn Priorities

Digital investment priorities in North American enterprises: Top investment priorities over the next 12 to 24 months

Visit the report page


Last week the interwebs got all wrapped up in ugly scandals from people who should have never been celebrities. But that Ashley Madison hack also reminded us that privacy is hard to come by and companies can be sued. In more interesting and relevant news, Pew released their study on mobile and social usage. Snapchat wasn’t even mentioned.

In other news:

– LinkedIn keeps making new apps

– Instagram killed your photo map – no matter how they keep trying to tell you differently

– Facebook allows for animated gifs in ads – don’t get too distracted

– Periscope reached the 10MM user mark

Chat soon!



Introducing LinkedIn “Lookup” App

Ever meet somebody from another office, forget her name and then want to find her because she has a particular skill set or contact you need? LinkedIn has a solution in the new app called Lookup. Basically, you log in with your business email address and it easily lets you search through other people on LinkedIn who also work at your company. More from Linkedin’s blog.


Snapchat only made $3 Million bucks last year, but does that matter?

Gawker obtained financials showing that Snapchat had revenues of just $3 million last year – posting a net loss of $128 million.  A lot of media immediately expressed shock that Snapchat could be valued at $15-16 Billion. But does that matter? Every day 100 million people open the app – that’s a lot of real estate for advertisers to pay to reach them.

It’s worth remembering that Facebook and others faced the same issue. A Slate headline from 2007 “$1 Billion for Facebook? LOL!” (Facebook is now worth $260 billion.)

Meanwhile, Snapchat continues to make hires and develop it’s ad platform that is really only in it’s infancy. Source: vox


The All New Search and Explore: See the World As It Happens 

With more than 70 million photos being uploaded each day, Instagram has two new updates to enhance search capabilities and find exactly who and what you’re looking for. First is the reimagined Explore feature. You will be able to see what hashtags and events are trending in real-time around the globe. The second update improves the Places Search bar and you can explore just about any location on earth. Read More

And they got rid of your photo map when you weren’t paying attention. Privacy concerns?


How This Agency’s Completely Blank 4-Minute YouTube Video Got 100,000 Views

Advertising agency Solve experimented to see if they could make the most uncreative video go viral. No title, images, sounds, or description were added to the video. The video received: 100,000 views with an investment of $1,400 (1.4 cents/view). 46% of viewers watched more than 30 seconds. However, there were 0 likes, comments, and shares. What does this mean? Creative effectiveness is hard to measure but it may be time to stop glorifying views. Adweek


After Years Of Restraint, Facebook Tries Allowing GIFs In Ads And Page Posts

Facebook refused to fill its site with flashy animated banner ads for a decade. Zuckerberg thought these interrupted the user experience, and could stunt growth. But after reaching near ubiquity and acclimating users to video ads, Facebook is relaxing its standards and starting to allow businesses to post GIFs as ads and Page posts. Facebook plans to “evaluate whether it drives a great experience for people before rolling it out to more Pages.”

So basically, if users hate them and they don’t perform well, Facebook will scrap them. But if the eye-grabbing ads and Page posts drive business without annoying the hell out of people, all companies might soon get the option to animate your News Feed. – TechCrunch


NBCUniversal Chases a Younger Audience with BuzzFeed Deal

NBCUniversal dropped a $200 million-dollar equity investment on BuzzFeed’s cash pile in order to better reach millennials. This investment will lead to NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed collaborations such as: television shows, movies, Olympic coverage, and other joint partnerships with ad agencies and brands.  Source: LA Times


Instagram and Pinterest Both Doubled Users Over the Last 3 Years

Pinterest is steadily increasing their online presence. 31% of all adults who go online now use Pinterest, versus just 15% three years ago.  Facebook continues to be the most used platform but only saw 5% growth in the last three years. Source: Mashable


5 Ways Brands Are Using Periscope

Twitter’s live-stream video app reports 10 million followers in just 6 months. Brands such as Nissan, Target, Taco Bell, JC Penny, and Benefit are using Periscope to connect with consumers. They are using the live-streaming capabilities for Sneak-peeks, Product Announcements, Celebrity Takeovers, Live Q&As, and Inside Looks Into Brand Culture.  Read on.

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeToby PhillipsLaura Graham,Austin DeArmanLindsey Mills, Kate Acker, and Lauren Wesche.

Google is the latest cloud service provider to rally behind containers, an emerging type of virtualization technology that adherents claim can streamline the process of running workloads in the cloud.

Google is now offering a container management service, called the Google Container Engine, for production workloads. This sets the stage for businesses to run their most important applications within containers on the Google Cloud Platform.

A growing number of organizations use containers as a way to build applications that can be easily scaled, duplicated and upgraded. The new service provides a way to manage large numbers of containers, eliminating a lot of the low-level work of orchestrating operations involving many containers.

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IBM is beefing up its offerings in software-defined storage, which promises to let IT departments better deal with large amounts of storage by uncoupling the management software from its underlying hardware.

The company has expanded two products in its Spectrum line, Spectrum Protect and Spectrum Accelerate, to allow customers to build hybrid storage systems by combining in-house Spectrum deployments with IBM Cloud storage services.

“We have clients using Spectrum today who are looking for a way to leverage the cloud to hold long-term retention items, or because they are running low on capacity,” said Sam Werner, IBM director of storage and software defined environments. “We can extend the capabilities they have today, and allow them to have a new cloud storage tier.”

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Hybrid cloud is IT’s flavor of the year. The C-level executives in Avanade’s global Hybrid Cloud studyare particularly optimistic: 75 percent believe it should be the main area of focus for their company this year; 72 percent expect to adopt hybrid cloud by 2018; and 76 percent expect the majority of their applications and services – including some critical systems like data and analytics, office applications and customer-facing services – will be running in a hybrid cloud environment within three years.

Microsoft’s Mike Neil – a corporate vice president in the Enterprise Cloud Group – gives similar figures, saying two-thirds of their enterprise customers are looking at hybrid cloud. He quotes a Garner report where three-quarters of enterprises “see hybrid cloud as delivering business value they want” – a number he says has shifted very rapidly. “We rarely get customers saying ‘I only want to be in the public cloud’ or ‘I only want to be on premise’,” he explains. “The idea of using some services on premise and some from the cloud and some from the cloud is becoming the dominant customer viewpoint.”

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In my last column, I made the point that viewing cloud computing as merely providing greater agility – that is, faster access to computing resources – fails to grasp the full potential it provides. What cloud computing supports is far more valuable than the capability to do the same stuff faster. Its true value lies in its capability to enable innovation – doing different stuff that couldn’t be done before. 

To illustrate this, I cited the example of Opternative, a company that has just had its online eye examination technology approved by the FDA. Opternative uses cloud computing to innovate the eye correction value chain in two ways: 

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Yester-year there were only a few unicorns in the world of startups.

This week though, the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones VenturSource identified 115 companies with valuations north of $1 billion, which are referred to as unicorns.

Below are 15 of the highest valued enterprise software companies that have received venture funding but have not yet been sold or gone public.

+ MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: 12 Hot application container startups | 9 Hot enterprise storage companies to watch +

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