This year’s South By Southwest Interactive conference has revealed a much larger attending audience, and much more brand participation. While many attendees have told PRNewser that the festival is “what you make of it,” there are still some vocal detractors who label it as nothing more than a Spring break-like booze fest for digital types.
We asked B. Bonin Bough, Director of Digital and Social Media at PepsiCo, what his take is on all of this. “People just don’t understand the event,” he said.
“This is the Davos of digital…the reason why we’re here is this is the center of new thinking in this space.”
PepsiCo has 52 employees at SXSW, he said, and the company has launched a “SXSW Edition” of their Pepsi Refresh Campaign, which will dole out $20 million over the course of the year, to “bring digital pro social ideas to life.” The SXSW Interactive edition will award $50,000. (See our previous coverage of the Refresh campaign.)
The company is also a “super sponsor” of the event, said Tammy Lynn Gilmore of SXSW Interactive Press and Publicity.
“At the end of the day it’s about delivering real social impact” said Bough. “We’re plugging people into the Refresh network.”