A little bit of Texas in our lives: Spotsi teaches us about knives, and UGC
After a few days of checking out social refrigerators, cats who can play iPad games, and touchscreen everything, we realized we were missing something in our SXSW experience. One of the questions we asked most of our interviewees was “What is the most Texas thing you’ve done since arriving in Austin?". We thought it only fair that we try to answer the question.
On our way back from the Beauty Bar, after indulging in some new mobile apps and nail lacquer, we came across the Spotsi activation, in the middle of some prime SXSW real estate. While many brands were focused on handing us every kind of swag imaginable, Spotsi was teaching people to throw knives. Yes, knives. While this may not seem like a logical fit for a company who featured UGC online tour guides, we caught up with Spotsi's CEO Lauren Wolff who explained the method behind their knife-throwing madness.
What does Spotsi do?
Spotsi is a Web and mobile platform for user-generated tours. That also includes highlighted celebrity tours that designers, musicians and artists curate. People can create their own tours around any theme: 8 hours of Portland, top 10 burgers, what to do with people from out of town. People can even create personal nostalgic tours. There’s no limit, that’s why we talk about it as a platform.
Where did you come up with the knife and tomahawk throwing activation?
The knife-throwing is taken from a tour that Sam Gosling, my co-founder, made called “Austin-tacious” It’s all about what to do with people from out of town and it goes from Chicken Sh*t bingo, to dancing , to an Amelie-type brunch place. One of the featured places is the back of a knife-sharpening store called “The Knife Sharpist”, where you can learn how to throw knives and tomahawks. Sam thought, why don’t we bring it to the people from SXSW to help them understand how Spotsi can help them find these hidden gems. (Sidebar: She cursed!)
Spotsi is a new company, how to you see brands fitting into the platform in the future?
We’re actually part of an incubator called the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) at Wieden + Kennedy. We’ve gotten to talk to some big brands because W&K really believed in our product for brands specifically. It’s a great tool for both individuals and companies to talk about product location, or to do promotions based on seasonal tours. We’re working on a platform that includes branded pages, kind of like YouTube channels, where brands can upload their own logos and backgrounds and can promote their own specific tours.
To our surprise, by the end of our lesson Grace and I had both hit a target - that's right, with a knife. We thought it was a great way to bring a new brand to the masses at SXSW.
If you'd like to check out Spotsi for yourself, download their free app from the iTunes App Store! But, please - leave the knife throwing to the professionals.
Keywords: sxsw 2012