FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 18, 2014
Annual Forward Festival Focuses on ‘Next Big Thing’
(MADISON, Wis.)—Entrepreneurs, creative designers, tech professionals and even foodies will have an opportunity to collaborate Aug. 21-28 at the fifth annual Forward Festival, an eight-day celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship.
“With the growth of the event as well as the involvement of our community, we’re excited to showcase Madison’s entrepreneurial ecosystem across several industries,” Bryan Chan, festival co-founder and president of SupraNet Communications, said. “The environment is all about promoting and creating the next big thing.”
The festival’s main event is the Forward Technology Conference, which takes place Aug. 27 at the Monona Terrace. Jignesh Patel, a UW-Madison professor who sold his software company to Twitter, will be the keynote speaker.
Other highlights of the festival include a pitch contest for female entrepreneurs (Aug. 27), the annual Madison Ruby Conference (Aug. 21-23) and the inaugural Edible Startup Summit (Aug. 25), an event geared toward food entrepreneurs.
Originally started in 2010, the Forward Festival was created by Chan, Nathan Lustig of Magma Partners and Matt Younkle of Murfie to bring together professionals from a wide range of disciplines. That is evident in events such as High Tech Happy Hour (Aug. 21), the Badger Startup Summit (Aug. 26) and the Wisconsin Innovation Awards (Aug. 26).
For a detailed listing of events taking place during the Forward Festival, please visit www.forwardfest.org.
Resulting media coverage:
- Wisconsin State Journal (Aug. 8, 2014): Forward Fest broadens focus to all entrepreneurs
- The Isthmus (Aug. 14, 2014): Forward Fest 2014 grows to encompass food, music
- InBusiness (Aug. 14, 2014): Forward Fest keeps Madtown’s best entrepreneurial minds in high gear
- WKOW-TV “Wake up Wisconsin” (Aug. 16, 2014)
- WISC-TV “For the Record” (Aug. 17, 2014)
- Madison Startups (Aug. 18, 2014): 2014 Forward Festival Preview
- Wisconsin State Journal (Aug. 19, 2014): Want to start a food business? Edible summit could help
I admit, I was immediately intrigued when I learned of the T-Mobile Test Drive campaign, in which the company sends you a new iPhone 5S with unlimited calling, data and text messaging to use for one week. Afterward, you return your phone to a T-Mobile store, and there are no strings attached.
First, the campaign had an inauspicious start. I learned about the campaign through a full-page ad in USA TODAY. That ad, as well as the ones in other newspapers, told readers to visit t-mobile.com/7nightstand. However, that site hadn’t been created. It was only after a bit of searching that I found t-mobile.com/testdrive was the correct URL (after a month, T-Mobile has finally created a redirect for /7nightstand).
Second, I discovered Wisconsin is not a T-Mobile-friendly state. You may not return the phone to an authorized dealer; rather, you have to go to a T-Mobile-owned store. The nearest ones to Madison were Brookfield, Wis., and Rockford, Ill. To me, it felt a little ridiculous to drive an hour away just to return a free phone.
Third, T-Mobile doesn’t seem to work on Fridays. That’s when I ordered the phone, but the company didn’t process the order until Monday, and I received it on Thursday.
Just before I received the phone I purchased a protective case. For $20, it helped insure me against damage, which would result in me paying up to $600 for the phone as part of the agreement.
T-Mobile did do a good job in selecting the iPhone 5S as the trial phone. Compared to the iPhone 4 I’ve used, it’s a million times faster. I enjoyed trying apps like Facetime, which I don’t have on my Windows Phone (actually, I basically have no apps for my Windows Phone, because no one will make apps for the platform).
Finally, this experience has taught me how much I value Verizon’s nationwide coverage. In various parts of Wisconsin and Illinois, my Verizon phone would be on 4G LTE, while the T-Mobile phone was on extended network. Sorry, T-Mobile.
Twitter recently announced that it’s acquiring a mobile technology company called TapCommerce. Specializing in mobile retargeting, TapCommerce targets ads based on previous user activity. While this service is certainly not groundbreaking, retargeting isn’t very common among mobile marketing due to the lack of cookies. But through large amounts of data and sophisticated statistical analysis, TapCommerce is able to overcome this problem.
With more and more consumers making purchases on a mobile device, it’s important now more than ever for a brand to target and communicate to its audiences via mobile. While many advertisers primarily focus on activating new users, TapCommerce reminds brands to re-engage with lapsed users and present more relevant content. Re-activating users rather than enticing new ones also can be less costly, as we know in the arena of customer retention.
The acquisition of TapCommerce will give advertisers on Twitter more opportunities for re-engagement and better measurement of mobile marketing. Mobile consumers also will reap the benefits of this team-up by receiving more relevant ads in the apps they use.
Twitter said in a statement that it’s too early to say when users will see TapCommerce technology on Twitter, but the groups are in the beginning stages of creating a product plan.
InBusiness Magazine just named its 25 Most Influential People in Greater Madison. We’re happy to see our client, Ellen Barnard of FEED Kitchens, was listed.
We saw firsthand her tireless efforts to develop FEED from concept to reality. As the article put, “Barnard can be confident that her contributions to society are only growing.”
We wholeheartedly agree. Well done, Ellen!
If you’ve worked in the agency world long enough, you’ve invariably landed a client that had a bad split with its previous agency.
In some cases, the agency wasn’t the right fit. In other cases, the client wasn’t the right fit.
The latter appears to be the situation in Cramer-Krasselt’s public split with Panera Bread. A leaked memo mentioned Panera’s “constant last-minute shifts in direction, the behind-the-scenes politics, the enormous level of subjectivity that disregards proof of performance — all churn people at a rate that becomes much too much even in this crazy business. The previous agency found that out as well. There is a pattern. And in the end, no amount of money makes it worthwhile.”
I applaud Cramer-Krasselt for not letting money prevent them from exiting what seemed like a difficult and frustrating relationship.
Isn’t it crazy to think the World Cup has only been playing for a week and three more weeks remain? Not only is this the month of crazy goals between countries, but it’s also a time for sporting goods manufacturers such as Nike and Adidas to compete. This time it’s about their marketing strategies.
Nike’s commercial, “The Last Game,” features animated avatars of World Cup pin-ups Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr., as part of its “Risk Everything” strategy. The 5 1/2-minute video shows the Nike-signed players playing one last sudden-death match against the clones, who bore spectators by playing “like it’s just a job.”
Meanwhile, Adidas’ commercial features international stars David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane. In their “All in, or nothing” campaign, the duo challenge two individuals playing the FIFA World Cup video game to a real soccer match in their house. Another strategy Adidas is trying this year is shifting to YouTube and trying to introduce real-time marketing to the social platform.
Both campaigns are attempting to show how effectively channels such as video work well with e-commerce and social media. According to communications agency Way to Blue, Nike secured 200,119 social mentions between April 20-June 6 while Adidas grabbed 88,041.
Last night I attended the annual PRSA Silver Anvil awards, which honor the best PR campaigns. The auditorium was full of talented professionals who obviously deserved recognition.
I loved the band, which played a song for every award winner based on the name of their entry. For example, an Alzheimer’s campaign elicited “Who are You” (though that does seem a little wrong).
But my big takeaway was that some of these PR campaigns really are about improving our lives, not just making a profit or strengthening a brand. The top award went to AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign to end texting while driving.
The elements were so powerful that AT&T’s competitors–Verizon, Spring and T-Mobile–joined in. And data showed that several states were projected to have fewer accidents and deaths as a result of texting while driving.
Now that’s some good PR.