Greetings from day six of SXSW! Interactive week is sadly coming to a close, but we were still able to squeeze in a bit more learning.
At one of the most interesting sessions of the day, “How a Whale Brought Fans Closer to Nickelodeon,” Brian Chiger (Sr. Director of Consumer Marketing at Nickelodeon) and Donny Makower (Co-Founder and President of RED) presented the new show “Game Shakers.” It centers around two seventh grade girls who create their own game app called “Sky Whale” for a science project and become an overnight app sensation. “Game Shakers” was inspired by Nickelodeon’s kid research, which showed that many are interested in video game design careers and skills such as coding, app creation, entrepreneurship, etc.
The uniqueness of this series is that so much of it revolves around a game. In fact, “Sky Whale” is a free and real downloadable app which means kids can feel like they’re truly engaging with the television show. Nickelodeon was challenged to make sure the game was a true hit, so that the show could mirror its real life success. They brought the game to market in a way that aligned with gaming culture, not only advertising on their owned and operated channels, but enlisting gaming influencers and platforms such a Lasercorn and Twitch.
In addition to the Nickelodeon session, we took a trip to the Giorgio Armani house to experience “Films of City Frames,” a 360-degree immersive video experience that showcased five films from five different cities. Armani presented the third installation of “Films of City Frames” in conjunction with an Armani chatbot that gives users real-time access to bonus content and information about the films, the authors, and the Frames of Life collection.
We also attended a panel called “Making AR Work for Developers and Designers” with the CEO of Meta, Meron Gribbetz, a neuroscientist by trade. He discussed the ten principles developers and designers should abide by, as well as how augmented reality will build a beautiful future if we deepen connections without interrupting experiences.
In unrelated news, the Colorado River gleamed majestically beneath the hot Austin sun today, and I might just stay in Austin forever…but hotel checkout is at noon tomorrow so probably not! Stay tuned until tomorrow’s final thoughts on SXSW 2017.