It became quickly apparent that most start-ups, publishers and platforms believe the fast-track to revenue is to start working with big brands, and the agencies that service them. As the battle to impress marketers began in earnest, the downtown area of Austin devolved into a promotional gladiator pit and pretty much everything trended to free. Tacos, ribs, hot dogs, t-shirts, breakfasts, beers, wristbands, taxi rides, newspapers, web hosting, domain names, carry bags, portraits, test drives, tacos (again), energy drinks, coffee (none of it good), sunglasses and concert tickets were being palmed on every corner.
About the only freebie I failed to spot was a USB memory stick. Which is a pity, because there was a moment when I really, truly, needed one. The really striking thing was how few of the giveaways or promotional tricks were related to the positioning of the brand they were in the employ of, in any way shape or form. But what they lacked in brand synergy, they made up for in sheer volume.
Need to rewind? Catch the previous episode, where Ad Agencies learn “Why you should keep on (or start) playing video games.”
You’re ready for the next episode, when we take lessons in “How to launch an App.”