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SXSW Interactive 2013

Addicted to Mobile, The New Cigarette

In many ways, mobile is the new cigarette. Like a pack of Marlboro Reds, this powerful machine of cool fits in our pocket so it can always be activated. Just as smokers have no compunction about going up to someone with a cigarette and asking to bum a smoke, mobile users have created a sense of understanding among mobile device-clad peers. It comes from shared experience. Mobile is how we connect with each other and how we keep company with ourselves. It’s still true that a PC can do plenty of things that tablets and phones can’t, but it’s that mobile device that is always with us. Sure, it can be a crutch, yes it’s addictive – but it is also indicative of a major cultural change. In a conversation with Jeremiah Zinn of Viacom, Doug Grinspan of SAY Media will explore the shrinking divide between screens (TV, desktop, tablet, mobile), noting how media consumption and commerce habits have changed.

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  1. How is mobile becoming the modern-day cigarette - what makes it so addictive that we can barely function without our devices?
  2. What ways are brands, like Viacom, leveraging our addiction to mobile to engage with audiences across a number of mobile devices and digital platforms?
  3. How are different demographic groups using their mobile devices and how does their consumption behavior impact mobile strategies?
  4. How do you need to adapt content to work across mobile, encouraging interaction and facilitating active participation?
  5. If it is comparative to a cigarette today, what will mobile become in the future and what will be the next big thing brands need to address?


  • Doug Grinspan, Global Mobile Sales Director, SAY Media
  • Jeremiah Zinn, EVP, Digital Products, Viacom


Kristin Mitchell, PR Manager, SAY Media

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Level: Intermediate
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