News & Views

Don't miss Contagious @ SXSW 2015

by Contagious Team

Join us at South by Southwest this March: editor Nick Parish and Insider Tara Hirebet will be dropping Contagious knowledge at the 2015 SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. We'll have an entire coterie of Contagii in attendance: reach out if you'll be in Austin and we could chow down on some BBQ together!



Brands: Connective Tissue Between People and Tech / 

For the last few years we've been obsessed with how brands are sparking the gap between innovative art, tech and design projects, which we've dubbed Wildfire, and marketing communications. Brands are now just as likely to invest in everyday tools, services and life-hacks as they are traditional marketing campaigns. The most trusted brands are already behaving like lifestyle and wellbeing partners.

So how do brands get *there* from where they are now? Leo Burnett's global head of social and mobile James Kirkham and Contagious' North American editorial director Nick Parish will step into the immediate future to identify miraculous innovations that will quickly be brought into the mainstream by brands. Yes, you heard right. If brands start to divert some of their media dollars into democratizing emerging technology, many of the techno-miracles you read about will soon become part of the mainstream.

We'll be exploring how marketers that strive to solve pain points can become the connective tissue between amazing new technologies and real people.

Presenters /

Nick Parish, editorial director, Americas, Contagious
James Kirkham, global head of social & mobile, Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett

Friday, March 13, 17:00, Hyatt Regency Austin, Zilker Ballroom 3




Winning Over China's Wired Women / According to a 2014 study from MLS, 15 percent of Chinese women would give up seeing their families for a month over giving up their smartphones. Chinese females are also more trusting and less private online. Making them more digitally addicted and behaviourally different from women (and men) in the West.

75 percent of Chinese women control home budgets and 30 percent of China’s millionaires are women. They are today’s biggest digital influencers and the engine driving one of the world's largest economies. This perfect storm of technology, income, independence, and anonymity is empowering them to become disruptive game changers – and a demographic for everyone to clock.

Our talk will explore the macro forces driving this trend: from a changing “cosmopolitan” China to a growing domestic tech and e-commerce market. We'll discuss different demographics of Chinese women and how technology is shaping their diverse habits, desires and behaviours and how businesses can innovate and cater to these unique behaviours and needs.

Panelists /

Tara Hirebet, head of Asia Pacific, Contagious
Padmini Pandya, strategic business planning APAC, SapientNitro
Jonathan Koh, technology, BBH Shanghai
Evelina Lye, head of marketing Asia Pacific, SapientNitro

Sunday March 15, 12:30, Austin Convention Center Ballroom E



Culture Clash: When Marketing and Product Converge / The rigid division between product and marketing departments is breaking down, driven by the need to constantly innovate. Marketing teams are becoming innovation groups, where radical new concepts are developed and tested on large audiences. Product departments are inviting marketing and a new breed of innovation agencies into product ideation. Smart brands are considering how products can link to digital marketing before they even go into production and pitches are being replaced with prototypes.

In a discussion free of buzzwords and bull, we’ll dissect how to create a culture of innovation within your organization. Contagious will conduct a straightforward conversation with Deeplocal, the innovation studio that created a mind-controlled bike and a World Cup ball with eyes; Hallmark, the greeting card company that is innovating in cards while developing new product categories that are emotionally and digitally connected; and Google, the search giant that is investing in “moonshots.

Panelists /

Nick Parish, editorial director, Americas, Contagious
Tyler Bahl, brand marketing lead, Google
Nathan Martin, CEO, Deeplocal
Ann Herrick, marketing director, Hallmark

Sunday, March 15, 15:30, Hyatt Regency Austin, Hill Country ABCD