On occasion, panels at sxsw are infiltrated by buzzwords, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t incredibly valuable. This morning’s panel on Banking on Big Brands/Cells for the Web was one of those panels hat featured a few great panelists seasoned with a bit of snakeoil.
Comedian Kevin Pollak was great talking about how celebrities can leverage the internet to create an independent platform for themselves to create original content about which they can get really passionate. On occasion, this content can ally with a brand to create some social media and internet marketing heaven, but when it goes wrong, the audience can see directly through the gimmick rendering it useless.
Joined by a great moderator and others in the entertainment industry, Kevin’s points and anecdotes about what I’ve dubbed celebranding made for a really educational panel.
But he was joined by a buzzwords specialist from AOL. I don’t know how this woman qualified to be on the panel but she (and on occasion the rest of the panel) spoke of ‘quality content’ without defining quality and spoke as if impressions were the number one way to manage brand engagement. In this case, I think she has a lot to learn about social media and branding, especially since the AOL content farm rarely produces what I’d rate as quality.
The panel, though making a great point about taking control of content from the main studios and finding a niche audience on the internet, did not apply any of these tactics to their branding strategy. They talked about getting the most impressions, but views do not measure brand loyalty or effectiveness, and are considered by most effective social media pros as poor ways to measure community. To pick on the low, Charlie Sheen acquired a large following quickly but how many of those are just watching the proverbial car wreck.
I’ll rag on the AOL chick because ignoring her buzzwords is possibly the best content filtering tool I can think of, but after siphoning off her contributed, the panel was actually very informative.
Eliza Dushku also sat two seats in front of me and srmiled at me so this might just be my favorite panel this year.