Thought Leadership

Top 6 SXSW Picks for Ad Tech

March 8, 2019
By Ryan Christopher, Director of Marketing, Americas

Rubicon Project’s curated list of sessions at SXSW Interactive.

SXSW is a festival that embodies the spirit of taking an abstract idea (be that a compelling story or new technology) and making it a concrete reality.

Rubicon Project has selected 6 top picks for SXSW 2109 that showcase disruptive ideas fast becoming a reality in ad tech.

1. How Data Helps to Unleash Creativity in Media

March 11th at 9:30AM

With so much content out there, how can brands cut through the noise? For even the most voracious media consumers, there is an overwhelming bevy of choices available. Here, data, analysis and reporting tools (like Rubicon Project’s Performance Analytics) can play a key role in revealing how data can inform the creative.

CNN, HBO, and Warner Bros. have been on the frontlines of figuring out what this creatively means for their premium content brands, as well as putting in practice new ways of harnessing and utilizing data. This SXSW panel will discuss these developments and what’s on the horizon of this brave new data-informed world.

More curious about privacy? Here’s another option for you at the same time:

2. User Privacy in a Post Cambridge Analytica World

March 11th at 9:30AM

GDPR has ushered in a new era for consumers, with a well overdue refresher on Internet and data laws that hadn’t been updated for more than 20 years. Likewise, social networks have renewed their commitments to user and data privacy through both policy and platform change.

As a result, marketers have had to reassess how they spend their money, where they spend it, and even the content they choose to produce. In this session, Spike Jones, SVP Strategy of Spredfast, explains how these shifts are actually a good thing for the industry, and how marketers, users, and the networks can create a healthier, more open ecosystem for all.

3. Optimizing Marketing Workflow with AI and Automation

March 11th at 12:30PM

Optimization and more specifically, Supply-Path-Optimization (SPO), are hot topics in today’s ad tech world. At Rubicon Project, we’re committed to optimizing the supply-path by working with vetted supply partners and following best practices to provide maximum accountability and transparency to our buying partners.

In this SXSW panel, marketers and technologists will debate the current state of the marketing workflow and the role of AI in optimizing and automating the development of creative content. Can human intelligence and AI work together to bridge the gap between efficient workflows and creating real business value? Join other listeners to learn how they already are.

4. An Anthropological Approach to Reaching Customers

March 11th at 2:00PM

As buyers seek to reach their ideal customers, they strive to create premium advertising experiences that truly engage. Meanwhile, human behavior is constantly evolving, and advertisers often struggle to anticipate these changing behaviors to reach customers in meaningful ways. In our short attention span world, how best can we connect? One thing is certain: inventory quality is paramount.

In this panel, experts in technology, anthropology, and advertising will discuss how deeper societal truths can transcend marketing trends to create true omnichannel experiences.

5. Design Patterns for Spatial Sound in AR

March 13 at 12:30PM

With the growth of programmatic audio, buyers are presented with the opportunity to reach targeted audiences, often in an emotionally engaged state, at scale. In 2019, we’ll continue to see marketers take advantage of this emerging market in innovative ways. Looking forward, imagine being able to deliver an experience that isn’t just limited to “linear sound,” though.

This SXSW session explores a reality where markets could programmatically surround a client with “spatial sound.” Just as VR made video games 3D, listeners will someday be able to move their head and hear different sounds in their periphery, based on their movements. While it’s still early days, spatial sound could soon be a new opportunity for programmatic audio advertising.

6. Restoring Transparency in Advertising with Blockchain

March 13 at 2:00PM

While progress has been made in the last few years, lack of transparency continues to be a thorn in the side of programmatic buyers. Programmatic’s full potential will remain stunted until it can be made simpler and less opaque.

As Rubicon Project shared in our open letter to advertisers and publishers, the core standards of efficiency, standardized formats and the elimination of infrastructure waste are best practices for shaping a more transparent programmatic future. Now, blockchain may be playing a role in making how ad dollars flow through the supply chain more efficient and transparent.

In this session, the speakers will discuss how Mediaocean, Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, Pfizer, Kellogg, and IBM are collaborating on a blockchain-enabled advertising network to improve transparency, fight fraud, and simplify the supply path.

For more info about Rubicon Project’s products and services, reach out to us at

Tags: , , , , , , ,