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Carat USA SXSW 2018 Key Trends Report

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During this year's SXSW Interactive Conference, Carat USA's Haley Paas and Sarah Stringer noticed the festival's evolution, going beyond just the latest tech and taking on the tough topics. Check out Carat's top eight trends at SXSW 2018.

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Carat USA SXSW 2018 Key Trends Report

  1. 1. CARAT@SXSW2018 WRAP UP REPORT CARAT
  2. 2. CARAT@SXSW2018 South by Southwest evolves, taking on tough topics – not just latest tech. Launched in 1994, a small festival in Austin, Texas, developed a reputation for discovering the next big tech startup. In 2007, SXSW was the launching pad for the once tiny micro-blogging site called Twitter. Two years later, a social location platform Foursquare became the talk of the show. But the festival, originally known for deal-making, fundraising and app launches, has evolved. In fact, it hasn’t had a breakout app since Meerkat went viral in 2015. This year, the conference reflected a changing tech landscape. Panelists tackled major issues like decentralization, inclusion, cybersecurity, sexual harassment, healthcare, surveillance, and the responsibility social platforms have to place checks on their power. Panelists, filmmakers, and music acts represented a noticeably more diverse array of talent than in the past – showcasing more women and people of color. Overall, sessions left conference goers with a feeling of empowerment, ownership, and a message that we need to create the change that we want to see- be it in tech, innovation, marketing, or entertainment. “MY WORLD IS AN EXTENDED BETA TEST.” - Rachel Zoe, Designer/Influencer/Media Mogul/Entrepreneur
  3. 3. CARAT@SXSW2018 Arguably, the hottest ticket in town at this year’s SXSW was the surprise Q&A with Elon Musk. His Q&A with co-creator of HBO’s Westworld, Jonathan Nolan, was a refreshing mix of inspirational unlimited possibilities and realistic issues that both Tesla and SpaceX have faced including, in 2008, when both companies nearly went bankrupt. As brands, Tesla and SpaceX look beyond themselves to give humanity new platforms, and technology to further us all. As an example, the genesis of SpaceX was ‘how do we get NASA more funding?’ Elon spoke of how the moon landing gave our grandparents a sense of awe and wonder about space, but that more recent generations didn’t have a reference point, and the latest Falcon launch was SpaceX’s last chance to get it right. He warned us of humanity’s demise due to AI, an inevitable 3rd world war and why laws should be digestible and have a sunset clause. “…LIFE CANNOT JUST BE ABOUT SOLVING ONE MISERABLE THING AFTER ANOTHER...THERE NEED TO BE THINGS THAT INSPIRE YOU, THAT MAKE YOU GLAD TO WAKE UP IN THE MORNING AND BE PART OF HUMANITY. THAT’S WHY WE DID THIS.” - Elon Musk, Founder CEO SpaceX, Co-founder CEO Tesla
  4. 4. CARAT@SXSW2018 There was a shift in mindset and action from Start- Ups at SXSW. A sense of frustration at the red-tape and approval processes from legacy brands to government seemed to echo throughout talks across multiple panels this year. Panels spoke of brand and government responsibility of the impending implosion of 20% of U.S’s workforce jobs due to the roll-out of self driving cars being ignored and how re-education for emerging technology should be a key focus for all. VC funds talked about how they’re seeing a scramble from legacy brands acquiring start-ups, only to have them sit in a room in a large building gathering dust and how this is causing start-ups to reassess their strategy and value propositions. We’re now seeing start-ups circumnavigate brands, who can be too slow and cautious to get to market with a product and scale, and opt for getting increased funding from investors to create their own systems to get to market. A worrying trend for brands who will need to rethink investment strategies and ‘behave more like a startup’ and mean it. “THERE’S A SHIFT IN AMBITION IN START UPS. THEY’RE NO LONGER LOOKING TO BUILD A PLATFORM TO SELL. THEY’LL BUILD THE CAR AND THEY’LL BUILD THE FACTORY, FROM SCRATCH.” - Bilal Zuberi, Lux Capital
  5. 5. CARAT@SXSW2018 ADAPTABILITY IN FASHION BREAKTHROUGH STORYTELLING BACKLASH FOR PRIVACY AND CONTROL DIVERSITY 2.0 BUILDING PURPOSE DRIVEN BRANDS THE EVOLUTION OF EATING AGE BETTER DATA INCLUSION CARAT’SSXSW 2018TRENDS
  6. 6. CARAT@SXSW2018 ADAPTABILITYIN FASHION Fashion PSM (pre social media) was an industry dominated by print publishing. Big brands were encouraged to pander to the masses, high fashion didn’t mix with low/budget brands, and the only acceptable look was a slender frame. Actresses/ models were always the face of big campaigns. Shifting to 10 years later; digital dominates, Instagram is a discovery and shopping platform, successful brands are ones that have a point of view, all body shapes are celebrated (and make brands money), luxury brands are partnering with wallet friendly stores, and the glam squads supporting famous faces are at times more influential than the celebs themselves. Advice to brands trying to make an impact by using social media: “The best fashion brands on social media are giving me a point of view. Don’t just give me a picture of a girl in a skirt.” - Hillary Kerr, Clique Media Group Relevant Industries:
  7. 7. CARAT@SXSW2018 BACKLASHFORPRIVACY ANDCONTROL On the panel “Platform Co-Ops: Competitive Edge, Social Purpose”, academics and business owners discussed how a new business ownership structure, companies that have an element of employee or public control, are going to dominate the online economy. Key Principles of a Real Sharing Economy: 1.) Voluntary and Open Membership 2.) Member Participation 3.) Education, Transparency, & Information for Members 4.) Concern for Community “We believe in radical transparency with our members. It’s an ongoing conversation that results in trust.” - Julie Yost Stocksy CEO & Co-Founder Relevant Industries: All verticals, but especially for those with an active online presence. Similarly, in “A World of Blockchain Powered Communities” Digital Town a blockchain based start-up, aims to make a positive impact on local communities. They allow members to earn ‘city tokens’ by partaking in community programs and spending with local businesses. There’s an increasing backlash on the extraction economy of large online brands such as Amazon, Airbnb and Uber taking money away from local community spending, and the transparency of blockchain is giving consumers back the choice of where their spending power goes.
  8. 8. CARAT@SXSW2018 DIVERSITY2.0 Diversity and inclusion was a hot topic at SXSW 2018. The importance of this topic was boiled down into one key theme by Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Black Panther comics. “We need more symbols of positive diversity, Black Panther is just another great symbol in culture.” While entertainment has made progress in this area, with the Black Panther movie recently hitting $1 billion ”The cast is a beautiful testament to the diversity of a culture that people often lump together as one.” - Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic, best-selling author, and author of Black Panther comics in global box office sales, brands who are going all in on diversity and inclusion are also seeing positive results from press and in their sales. The LIFEWTR brand’s mission is to close the 46% gap of women who are artists, but not represented in permanent art collections. Inspired by these statistics, LIFEWTR created a series of public acts to demonstrate the gender inequality in art today. With over 4 million views on YouTube, they’ve recently extended this mission to focus Art Education in schools. Relevant Industries: All verticals
  9. 9. CARAT@SXSW2018 BUILDINGPURPOSE DRIVENBRANDS R/GA’s Executive Creative Director AJ Hassan and Todd Kaplan, PepsiCo VP of Marketing spoke to the different ways that brands can build purpose into their DNA, touting examples from Budweiser, Clorox, and Whirlpool. There are 3 ways that brands can think about purpose: 1.) Cause: Moments that help meet someone’s need. (Ex. Whirlpool) 2.) Cultural: Moments that make a statement. (Ex. Budweiser) 3.) Core: More than a moment, a consistent mode of behavior. (Ex. Clorox & LIFEWTR) Another recent example is Dick’s Sport Goods recent Olympic ad and their strong stance on removing automatic weapons from all of their stores. Having a purpose strategy is also good for business, with 80% of Millennials identifying as belief driven buyers. For those who strive to take on a Core purpose strategy, they should keep in mind that they need to live and breathe their purpose 365 days a year, it needs to inform all aspects of their product and marketing efforts, and they need to want to “do” more than “sell”. Relevant Industries: All verticals
  10. 10. CARAT@SXSW2018 BREAKTHROUGH STORYTELLING Ira Glass is best known as a producer and editor of the addictive podcast and radio show “This American Life,” he was also the brains behind the hit podcast Serial and knows a few things about how to be an impactful storyteller. Ira talked about his success being driven by reporting facts like a storyteller, which is not how a traditional journalist would approach a story. “If you are in the stories business, you are in the feelings business.” - Ira Glass In his SXSW Keynote presentation, Ira outlined 5 steps on how to be a better storyteller: 1.) Tell a Story: There should be a narrative with a plot. If you are using images with your audio, they should be additive versus just illustrating the audio. A great example from this is a New Yorker magazine cover that was turned into a video. 2.) Failure is a Success: Teams should ideate often and not be precious about killing ideas. His team at This American Life doesn’t move forward with half the ideas that they start, and they celebrate that stat. 3.) Amuse Yourself: You have to be cunning to get people to listen to something that is traditionally boring. Don’t play by the rules of having to separate humor and seriousness. Follow what you find interesting. 4.) Try New Things: Some examples that he’s done with This American Life that have been very non-traditional for a podcast include- temporary tattoos, commissioning a play with Lin Manual (pre-Hamilton fame), making movies, creating an animated film, and touring with a dance company. 5.) Market without Marketing: By following rules 1-4, he has been able to create content that travels without marketing. Emotional, story-based content that makes you feel something will travel faster, with less money spent marketing it than rational ‘boring’ content. The key takeaway for brands is that we should act like storytellers, not journalists. Journalists focus on the facts and lead with the key takeaway. Storytellers take you on a plot based journey that keeps you engaged until the very end. Relevant Industries: All verticals that create content
  11. 11. CARAT@SXSW2018 THEEVOLUTIONOF EATING “Recipes are dead the way that paper maps are dead. When people think about dinner, they pull out their phone or laptop now. I love my cookbooks the way I love vinyl records.” - Tyler Florence, Food Network Chef & Co-Founder of Innit Food App Recipes used to be about tradition and passing them down for generations. However, with the changes in technology, people are now using recipes as a baseline, but then riff on them based on the ingredients they have on hand and personal tastes. People are also now more aware of food waste, with Americans wasting $160 billion in food thrown out every year. Adopting meal kits is one big way to reduce food waste. On a food panel titled The Evolution of Eating, chefs and Ye-Jeong Kim from Google Assistant talked about how brands need to now connect the entire eating ritual- from thinking about what to make, to shopping, to cooking, to eating and documenting what you are eating. The future of food is about customization, personalization, on-demand, and sharing food experiences. Meal kits are taking a turn, with big brand investment, and even Pharma thinking about how food can be a part of people’s overall treatment plan. Even Walmart is adding pre-made meal kits to 2,000 stores in 2018, offering both convenience and helping reduce food waste. Relevant Industries:
  12. 12. CARAT@SXSW2018 AGE BETTER The greatest achievement of mankind to date is doubling the lifespan of humans over the last 150 years. With 1/3 of kids today now expected to live to be over a hundred years old, the panel “Bracing for a New Age of Longevity” was centered around making sure we can make the most of that extra time on planet earth. One speaker from Unity Biotechnology, a company focused on developing medicines that halt, slow, or even reverse age-associated diseases, showcased an exciting future that keeps older people functionally young through the process of eliminating cellular aging. They believe that: 1.) aging is a flexible, malleable thing and 2) they’ve been able to prove that aging has control knobs. Through their work on mice, where they deleted scencent cells, the treated mouse was younger, for longer and also had a 35% longer life span! They are expecting to start treatment on humans this year, starting with local treatments among people who are in their mid-life years. Local treatments will be in the knee, back of the eye, and inhaling into the lung. The hope is that they will stop, or reverse, the impacts of disease and aging on humans, so that we can have a higher quality of life for longer. Relevant Industries:
  13. 13. CARAT@SXSW2018 DATAINCLUSION The power of data transparency and blockchain opportunities where exciting and unavoidable themes this year, but as with the importance of gender and racial inclusion, we are seeing those principles being discussed in data. In ‘Algorithms, Unconscious Bias and AI’ the panel broached the issue of representation in engineers building algorithms as well as the quality and value of the data being entered into AI systems. Brands will need to think about the data they have available to them and how useful it is. AI is very past based, based on old data sets. If brands don’t check their data sets and build out feedback loops with their community of users then we build a system based in the past. When brands are building out AI systems with partners or internally, they will need to be inclusive and look at new whole spectrum of services including philosophers and sociologists as well as deep learning experts to help architect a balanced system with open, human, feedback loops. In ‘Why is Ethereum Going to Change the World’ Joseph Lubin, Co-Founder of Ethereum and Founder of Consensys discussed how decentralized services sat in blockchain platforms, such as Ethereum, to create new levels of transparency for users. UJO is an open music platform using blockchain technology to create a transparent database of rights and rights owners, promising more control and insights to creators and a direct source of income via Ether, rather than relying on the music label format, where labels can take 70-80% of the revenue generated rather than the artist. Blockchain will give brands and users a more direct line to each other outside of platforms such as Google and Amazon. Relevant Industries: All verticals
  14. 14. CARAT@SXSW2018 ARwall is an AR display that requires no headset, no goggles, no smart device. It eliminates the need to use green screen by creating perfect in-camera composites for film, TV and live experiences. It can provide immersive experiences outside of a headset or handset allowing for group experiences at scale. START-UP ACCELERATOR OVERVIEW: TEST OR BUY http://arwall.co/ Carat recommends: TEST. Ent, Tech, clients, brand campaigns & activations GoKid works with schools to solve the transportation needs of thousands of students by providing parents with an easy-to-use tool to create and manage carpools. The system reduces traffic, emissions and safety concerns, building a community of parents in a secure portal. Great for brands looking to surround snacking, BTS, education programs and sports.http://nanowearinc.com/ Nanowear is a New York-based connected-self technology platform for diagnostics and disease management, based on proprietary cloth-based nanosensors and analytics. Nanowear is striving to deliver ultimate diagnostic comfort and efficacy at a low cost for those who wish to monitor their daily health through to those suffering from chronic illness. Carat recommends: TEST AND BUY. Healthcare, Sportswear, Insurance clients Carat recommends: TEST. Any clients with original score needs http://www.vochlea.co.uk/ . Vochlea Music is a creative technology company specializing in vocally controlled music creation. Their AI Audio Engine performs super low-latency audio recognition, enabling live vocal control of any instrument. Great for clients looking to create low cost audio/music quickly. Carat recommends: TEST. CPG, Ent, Healthcare, Sportswear, Education, Tech https://www.gokid.mobi/
  15. 15. CARAT@SXSW2018 SXSW 2018 WRAP UP REPORT CARAT CARAT USA 150 E. 42nd St. New York, NY 10017 Carat.USMarketing@carat.com

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