PepsiCo Plugged-In Stage: Flash Panels Set in Motion!

Highly regarded Mashable editor-in-chief, Adam Ostrow kicked off PepsiCo’s first Flash Panel of the week at SXSWi withBrands and Digital R&D: PepsiCo10”.  

Featuring PepsiCo’s Senior Manager of Digital Media Communications, Joshua Karpf and fellow panelists Tracy Brown (Evil Genius Designs), Benn Gurton (FanFeedr) and James DeJulio, CEO, (Tongal), the panel commenced around PepsiCo10 – yet the dialogue evolved to center on the more recently pioneered ways brands have been participating in digital innovation and why it’s vital that they continue to do so.

Crammed with insight, the discussion ultimately came down to how brands must continue to challenge their vision of marketing and communications.  It’s about exploration, examination, striking smart deals and partnerships and showing continued dedication to emerging technology – a space in which we all must live and breathe.

Next on the PepsiCo Plugged-In Stage was Bubble or Bubbly?, where Mark Silva, Founder and EVP, Emerging Platforms at Real Branding moderated a packed house with an all-star lineup of the industry’s top VCs. Silva challenged their take on the resurgence of tech valuations, IPOs, M&A and start-up activity, and more specifically, how they’re addressing and ultimately assessing it in a high-growth capital setting.

A few provoking thoughts from the key players:

Guy Kawasaki (Garage Ventures):

  • “The VC business is fundamentally flawed. It causes these bubbles because there’s no incentive to be conservative…When the sailors go on shore, they don’t use eHarmony.”

Jason Calacanis (Open Angel Forum):

  • “All the options there are, and how many entrepreneurs there are now compared to 1995 – that’s what gives me hope for the future of America.”
  • “You don’t have unsustainable businesses.”

This also sparked positive and noteworthy conversation on Twitter:

Other featured speakers included: Tony Conrad (True Ventures), Kent Goldman (First Round Capital), Charles Hudson (SoftTech VC) and Lou Kerner (Wedbush Securities).

And finally, today’s PepsiCo Flash Panels came to a close with The Future of Reading Online: a 1-on-1 with Khoi Vinh and Fast Company’s Alissa Walker.” Walker probed when it comes to design principles that make publications effective, it calls for the right approach to interactive platforms.

“They’ve [NYT] spent two years developing the pay wall and the only people who are going to sign up for it are their older readers, 45+, so they’ve spent two years developing a product only a fraction of their audience is going to use,” said Vinh.

Coming to You Live from Austin

For the first time ever, PepsiCo is livestreaming at SXSWi and today marked high “energy” discussions and keynotes.

Tony Schwartz, President and CEO of The Energy Project, brought “The 90 Minute Solution: Live Like a Sprinter”, proclaiming the foundation of energy is weak because people are not mastering all four sources of energy: quality, quantity, focus and purpose. “Humans are not meant to operate the way computers do, with high speeds, multiple programs and for long periods of time.” Schwartz continued, “When you learn to move in a rhythmic way, then you are able to work at very high levels of effectiveness.”

Seth Priebatsch, CEO and Founder of SCVNGR, hosted a keynote on the next decade of technological interaction where it’s about game mechanics in the real world to motivate action. Using the example of the evolvement of the social layer, the decade when we made our connections, digitized them and took them online, this has already been developed.  “Now, it’s time to build out the game layer,” said Priebatsch.  At a fundamental level, rewards work.

Super Shopper Exclusive

Gaming may be the new social, but it’s the amusing and engaging interactions that make a game standout. Premiering at SXSW, the PepsiCo Super Shopper game, developed by PepsiCo10 winner, Evil Genius, is played through a motion sensor camera that captures body direction as a player directs a shopper in a race to pick up various PepsiCo products.  Recent PepsiCo coverage on Tumblr and its exclusive SXSX blog portal has mysteriously showcased pictures of SXSWi attendees making these movements and shapes.  Now people in-and out of Austin can watch the exclusive video of all the “fun and games” here.