Verizon to airlift aid to SXSW-addled Austinites
Pity the poor Austinite this week: The tech and media bacchanal that is SXSW kicks off today. Last year some 55,000 attendees descended on the Texas capital (population 885,000) over the course of the week, overrunning it with geeks, dweebs, thinkfluencers, gurus and all the attendant mayhem.
This year Verizon is coming to the aid of the poor locals who couldn’t afford to skip down during the big show. Along with agency Erwin Penland, the telecom company is launching “Austinites Unite” today, a campaign geared to help Austin’s own get through the craziness.
Verizon is asking Austinites to use the hashtag #ATXUnite to share their frustrations on social media, and tracking the responses in real-time to send relief their way. Teams based out of New York and South Carolina will also be actively monitoring social platforms and supporting the team on-ground.
The relief will come in the form of helpful products, entertaining distractions and the occasional “experience,” depending on the nature of the complaint. Verizon, for instance, will send a car to pick up a local stranded in town because all the Ubers have been claimed, or deliver coffee to a local who can’t get his daily fill because of huge lines. The campaign will continue until March 21 at various locations around town.
“We wanted to be more off-beat and relevant and zig when all the other brands zag,” Rick Haring, director of social media at Verizon, told Digiday. “We’re really striving to celebrate our customers and find genuine ways to show that we’re actually listening to them — which we may have missed the opportunity to do in the past.”
Hundreds of brands woo SXSW festival-goers annually with countless gimmicks, concerts and giveaways (see you at the Pepsi Soundboard experience, brah). Last year, AirBnb led a similar campaign in which it used real-time insights to respond to SXSW- and Airbnb-related tweets and emails from attendees. But Verizon decided to solely focus on the plight of Austinites, instead of the attendees.
“Austinites are not anyone’s focus at this time, so we want to make sure they are heard,” Haring said. “We want them to love us more, and we will be closely tracking engagement metrics and hoping it increases our brand affinity.”
Verizon is also partnering with Franklin BBQ to offer complimentary lunches to exclusively to Austinites on Monday, March 16. Locals looking for a literal free lunch should follow Verizon’s twitter handle (proof that there’s no such thing as a free meal, after all) for a chance to be a part of the group that gets to sample the fare at the restaurant, which never opens on Monday.
‘Influencer deals are being paused’: As Facebook boycott begins in earnest, influencer marketing feels a sting
The latest move to pause influencer marketing comes as marketers are not only reconsidering where their ads appear and the kind of content they appear next to, but as they work to figure out how they can better support Black creators and Black-owned businesses following the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.
As Facebook boycott continues, here’s a look at what major marketers were spending on Facebook and Instagram
To get a sense of how much advertisers are pulling back from Facebook, Digiday reached out to ad-tracking firm Pathmatics. The company provided estimates for how much advertisers spent on the platform during July 2019 as well as from July 2019 to 2020.
Member Exclusive‘Performative posting’: As agencies share their equality values online, staffers say they have to do much more for Black employees than post
Agency employees and execs say agencies need to do more than make statements to be better for Black employees.
SponsoredFour ways to adapt to the changing publisher ecosystem in 2020
By Neal Sinno, general manager Americas at GeoEdge For marketers, 2020 started out with so much promise — but this changed rapidly as the industry faced a global epidemic head-on. Not only did our own daily routines come to a screeching halt, for many of us our professional lives did as well. Almost as quickly […]
‘Don’t want to piss off customers’: With manufacturing and exporting snarled, some DTC brands are adapting their advertising
Media buyers say that supply chain hiccups have caused them to pause or significantly reduce media spending anywhere from two weeks to five weeks for some DTC brands low on product inventory.
Beyond remote work: Bringing serendipity back to the office
This article is part of the Future of Work briefing, a weekly email with stories, interviews, trends and links about how work, workplaces and workforces are changing. Sign up here. Kai Micah Mills had been working in a different state from his work partner for years. More recently, though, his partner, Ben Adamsky, made the move […]