Challenging Brand Communications at SXSW 2017 10th March 2017

At this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival, global creative network MullenLowe Group presents three distinct panels that defy category norms, break conventions, and will challenge the way you think about brand communications. MullenLowe Group talent from media division MullenLowe Mediahub, MullenLowe U.S., and MullenLowe Lintas Group (India) will share their perspectives and learnings for marketers, demonstrating what it means for brands to gain an unfair share of attention in their communications strategies.

Sounds Without Boundaries, presented by MullenLowe U.S., Boston President, Geoff Cottrill will lead an exploration of how brands and musicians can work together to create content that contributes to society. Geoff is chairman of the board of the GRAMMY Foundation, and ran music partnership programs for Converse, Starbucks and Coca-Cola. He’ll be joined by Jon Cohen, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Cornerstone and The FADER magazine, who is on the board of directors for Sweetgreen where he’s helped produce the Sweetlife Festival. In addition, Nick Stern, Manager at Vector Management who currently works with Phosphorescent, The Black Angels, Saint Motel, Eagulls, Kid Rock and more artists will join the panel. The group will talk about how to reciprocate the historically one-sided exchange between brands and music, making it about what brands can do for the artist, not what the artist can do for the brand. Geoff Cottrill comments, “If you want to work with musicians to build your brand, take a minute to think about them first. Don’t ask yourself what the artist can and will do for you. Ask yourself how your brand can help the artist. Find ways to be useful, and to do meaningful things for and/or with the artist if you want to truly connect with consumers with music.”

The Love Algorithm exposes how new, cupid-driven data sets are derived as a result of the new ways relationships are changing online – creating an opportunity for marketers to create stronger, more cohesive communications with consumers. Data and lifestyle experts from, Inc., Nielsen Catalina Solutions and NCC Media will join Jazmin Correa, Planning Director, MullenLowe Profero for this panel, who says, “We now have tons of data at our disposal, and when we marry the right data together we can uncover new insights that dimensionalize our consumer in ways we’d never thought of. Targeting by relationship life-stage, for example, has typically been done by focusing on macro life-stages – dating, marriage, babies, divorce. Data now allows us to gain deeper insight into the nuances within each life-stage, like “third daters” “sharing my Netflix account” or “actively cheating”. These insights can help us reach consumers in more insightful and relevant ways.”

Cozy With Cookies raises the question: does comfort lead to complacency? The panel led by Archana Iyer, Senior Brand Planning Director, MullenLowe Lintas Group, India, explains: “Web based cookies act like comfort food for our brain. Our world view and self-worth are influenced by behaviorally targeted ads and tailored feeds – this phenomenon is transforming the landscape of digital media today.”  Specialists from Google and the Universities of Maryland and South Carolina are also participants of the panel. They will discuss how trails of information created by cookies curate a behavioral targeting mechanism that may inhibit a consumer’s internet experience and can ultimately limit discovery and personal growth.

MullenLowe Group thanks the SXSW Conference and Festivals for the opportunity to share our point of view with the industry and greater SXSW audience. We look forward to connecting with those attending as well as with those following the action from afar.



What: Panel on psychology and behavioral targeting at the 2017 SXSW Interactive Festival

When: March 11th, 12:30 – 1:30pm

Where: Hyatt Regency



What: Panel on new data sets formed by online relationships at the 2017 SXSW Interactive Festival

When: March 12th, 3:30 – 4:30pm

Where: Hyatt Regency



What: Panel on music and brands at the 2017 SXSW Interactive Festival

When: March 15th, 2:00–3:00pm

Where: JW Marriott

This article was first published on