In Brief: Most Contagious NYC

I had the pleasure of attending Most Contagious in New York City last week.  It was inspiring to see so many unique companies, products and projects receive recognition for what they’ve done over the last year, including  S. Korea’s Tower Infinity (a skyscraper that blends into its surroundings in Seoul, South Korea), Vodafone’s “Fakka”   campaign, where they literally launched a new type of “currency” in Egypt (allowing re-charge cards to double as small change in transactions at little shops all over the country) and the Brck internet device which is designed to allow always-on Internet access in remote and developing areas.   I also loved a feature that was created in Coca-Cola’s “Ekocenter”  concept, showing that marketing endeavors can take many forms.


Keeping ahead of the marketplace with wearables, it was also great to have our own emerging technology lead, Mike DiGiovanni, participate in the exhibition area where he provided insight and demos of Google Glass for attendees that were eager to learn more about the hardware and software that has received so much hype over this last year.   As we have done a lot of work with Google Glass, it was also interesting to see Ed Sanders, Head of Marketing for Google Glass, address the attendees and give his own perspective on what Glass means and where Google wants to take it.

The team at Contagious did an exceptional job of balancing the day with interesting case studies, awards and recognition, and presentations that summarized insights across a variety of topics, including movements, purpose, contextual integration, experience and design.   The lineup of speakers was top-notch and included both Contagious staffers (Dan Southern, Arwa Mahdawi, etc) as well as some very interesting entrepreneurs including Debbie Sterling (Founder and CEO of Goldieblox), Erik Hersman (Founder if iHub Nairobi and BRCK), Rock Ridgeway (VP, Patagonia) and Eli Pariser, Co-Founder of Upworthy.

One recurring theme across all of these categories was that change is afoot and the rules around how brands and consumers interact are changing. The near future will provide unlimited opportunities to embrace new thinking and ways for brands and consumers to relate to one another. At Isobar, we have concentrated on customer-focused experiences for quite some time, and the message at Most Contagious reaffirmed that our approach is right on the money.

All of the work presented at Most Contagious was featured in the report of the same name, which you can peruse here for inspiration.