We are a full-service brand development agency. We partner deeply with great clients, pushing creative boundaries to shape all parts of the consumer experience.

Established: 1996
Location: Austin, TX
Employees: 150

Five SXSW PanelPicker Topics from MCJ

Post Date: 8/18/2013

SXSW PanelPicker is open for community voting and this year MCJ has put forward five topics. Check them out and lend us your vote.

Treat Your Brand Like a Startup

Clay Langdon, MCJ Strategy Director and Ash Maurya, founder of Spark59

A brand is a product is an idea is an experience. Ash Maurya and other acolytes of “lean” have created insights, tools and practices designed to help startups get better faster.

Lean startup principles, now commonly applied to product experience development, can also be applied to branding, content development and marketing.

In this duo, Clay Langdon, Strategic Director at McGarrah Jessee, and Ash Maurya, founder of Spark59, will discuss how a variety of insights, tools and practices can be directly applied to strategic marketing, advertising communications and beyond.

We aim to leave the attendees with the desire and know-how to make their organizations “lean” so that they may achieve tighter focus and more robust innovation within their own company.

Visit the PanelPicker page to vote for this topic.

UX Isn’t an Online Thing; It’s a Brand Thing

Britton Upham, MCJ Integration Director

Companies like Zappos, born in the digital age, have extended the principles of user experience to everything they do. They've put customer consideration at the forefront of their business priorities. Their belief is the rest will follow.

How would it change your company if you considered UX not just in the context of online experiences but across all consumer touch points, and in a connected way?

Most company leaders would agree: from trial to transaction to delivery and support – there exist opportunities to enchant. But then, few exceed routine.

What traditional UX methodologies can be utilized to achieve a broader experiential focus? What other companies small and large are leading by this example?

This session will examine breaking through to a whole brand UX – achieving emotional connections at every consumer/brand interface.

After all, UX isn’t an online thing; it’s a brand thing.

Visit the PanelPicker page to vote for this topic.

Going Viral: Success vs. FAIL

Courtney Buie, MCJ Integrator; Melissa Rosenthal, BuzzFeed Creative Strategist; Henri Mazza, Alamo Drafthouse Chief Creative Officer

Is there a formula for making content go viral? Is it just plain luck?

While there’s not a lot to explain the weird virality of LOLcats and "Charlie bit my finger!" videos, there is a formula, honed and mastered by the Internet's most successful content creators. Is it a formula that can be applied by brands, artists and individuals to create planned virality? Of course. Can it be done without coming across as canned? Well, that’s where the art comes in.

In this panel Melissa Rosenthal from online media phenomenon BuzzFeed, Henri Mazza from the iconic Alamo Drafthouse and Courtney Buie from creative agency McGarrah Jessee will explore how to balance formula and finesse to create viral content.

And for a little fun we’ll apply an A/B test flight of two pieces of content to see which piece gains more viral momentum in 50 minutes.

Visit the PanelPicker page to vote for this topic.

Turn Your Idea Into an Ownable Brand

Jerrett White, MCJ Motion Design Lead, James Mikus, MCJ Executive Creative Director and Libby Anderson, MCJ Planner

You have a product, and it has a story – allow people to relate to your product. This workshop will help you discover the brand stories you need to tell, implement creative at every point of contact and let consumers help you evolve. Each brand has an emotional core – consumers support brands that don't serve them bullshit.

You will experience a hands-on session with storytelling and creative exercises. And you'll leave with a tangible representation of your brand story. From there, you can bring your story to life.

Visit the PanelPicker page to vote for this topic.

Too Digital for Our Own Good: A Case for Analog

Oscar Llarena, MCJ User Experience Lead

Experience eats digital for lunch. And sometimes even comes back for seconds. The pursuit of new and cool technology advancements has caused many of us to lose sight of what our job is … to create memorable and value-added experiences.

The choice of whether to go digital or analog should be driven by this question: does it create the emotional experience we are looking for? This isn't an "either-or" question, it is a "both-and" strategy that forces us to dig deeper and ask tougher questions when it comes to which media we choose.

This talk explores the often overlooked questions and provides thought-provoking insights related to creating the experience your clients want and have paid for.

Visit the PanelPicker page to vote for this topic.