SXSW 2015: How Do Brands Stand Out?

One of the most pressing concerns at this year’s SXSWi was how brands can distinguish themselves in the mind of the consumer, especially in an increasingly commoditized marketplace. “The retailers in the best position are those that bring values in ways other than just inventory,” Ben Kaufman of Quirky noted. We’ve seen a few predictions at SXSW about how brands will modify their approach:

Personalization “if you’re a vegetarian, we shouldn’t be sending you coupons for a Baconator,” says Wendy’s Brian Kirby. The advantage of mobile payments and digital loyalty programs is better consumer data. The consumer experience can now be scalably personal.

Value At a panel on native advertising, Nikhil Sethi from Adaptly pushed toward a future of “pull.” “There is no ‘native’ anymore,” he says. “It’s about brands building content for consumers.” If the value proposition for a brand experience needs to be established early and often, consumers will seek it out.

Efficiency The panel observed that rather than inventory, the real scarcity was attention. So the challenge isn’t to create more, but rather better, content in order to capture that finite attention. The line between creative agency and publisher is blurring, so each actor needs to take on multiple roles. Maybe, the panel thought, native programmatic could become a reality — though Sethi found that “idealistic.” For now, it’s about efficiency.


By The Numbers: Peak Distraction In The Mobile Age

Have you ever physically bumped into someone when you’re busy looking at your phone? According to a Pew Research survey, 53% of all mobile users have experienced such “distracted walking” encounters, which is just one of many manifestations of “peak distraction.”


The rapid proliferation of mobile devices in recent years has ushered us into the mobile age, where access to information and content is always just one click away. Along with such modern conveniences, however, it has also brought us a new level of distraction, which makes it harder and harder for brands to be heard.

Frequency of checking phones

People are especially distracted when they are watching TV, as 63% of TV ads are ignored by consumers who look away to check their smartphones. According to a recent study, 43% of smartphone users check their device more than 25 times per day, with nearly 10% checking over 100 times per day.

Deloitte Device Obssession

On average, we spend nearly 3 hours each day on our mobile devices.  Yet as more and more of our time is taken up by smaller screens, we’re losing our ability to truly focus on everything else. To cut through the clutter and capture the attention of your audience, brands need to start deploying improved technology that can help to find the right moment to deliver an impression.

For more information on how to beat peak distraction and other market trends, check out our brand new Outlook 2015.

IPG Lab Releases 2015 Outlook

Check out our brand new 2015 Outlook here.

Every year here at the IPG Media Lab, we round up the ideas that animate us: the market forces, new technologies, and consumer shifts that are changing the ways we evaluate, buy, and create media. And today, we are happy to present you with our 2015 Outlook– “Let’s Get Intimate”—which takes a look at the increasingly personal (and important) world of contextual media placement and the challenges and opportunities for marketers. Trends and themes covered include:

  • The Internet of Thrills – You are emotionally and physically connected to your devices
  • Peak Distraction – In this mobile age, it’s harder and harder to be heard
  • Measurable Intimacy – Focuses on performance-based advertising, where results are measured by total business outcomes, not just conventional metrics
  • Next Level Awkwardness – How do brands fit into a world in which media is hyper-personal, data is everywhere, and our ability to target is ultra-precise

Take a look and let us know what you think @ipglab; we’d love to hear from you.

Check out our special interactive Outlook webpage here:

If you prefer, you can also download our Outlook 2015 as PDF file here.