SXSW Interactive 2013

Requiem for a Brony: Keep Social Media Weird!


Brand conversation and content all too often falls flat, unable to compete with the bizarre array of options found throughout the social world. Who would choose to watch a video from Tide or Ford when you can check out the world’s first lip dub proposal? Despite the success of the Old Spice Guy and the latest iteration of My Little Pony (and the Brony phenomenon), not to mention social activations from Skittles to Allstate, Lululemon, Coke and K-Swiss, most brands remain hesitant to embrace the weirdness that abounds online.

In this panel, we will discuss the advantages of agencies embracing the beautifully odd within their brands to deliver success above and beyond what they’ve seen in the past. We’ll also look at examples of shareable content and activations that capture attention without sacrificing brand fidelity, alienating consumers, or feeding the common Internet troll.

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Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Why should brands stop running away from the strange and bizarre within? What are the benefits of doing so?
  2. How can brands develop content and activations in this field and stay true to themselves?
  3. How can brand representatives push these ideas through their organizations without getting derailed, fired or institutionalized?
  4. How can brands work with influencers with a reputation for the strange, speak their language and come out looking amazing?
  5. Is there a high water mark on weird? Will there come a day when there's no bizarre territory left to explore, colonize and exploit for its gold/spices/recreational pharmaceuticals?


  • Richard Goldsmith, Director, Social Media, R/GA
  • Hannah Hart, My Drunk Kitchen Host, Harto and Co.
  • Bonnie Burton, Senior Social Media Strategist, Revision3
  • Kathryn Friedrich, Head of Video Solutions, Americas, YouTube


Richard Goldsmith, Director, Social Media, R/GA

Meta Information:

  • Tags: content
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Culture and Entertainment
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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