Austin, Texas — Since premiering in 1999, South By Southwest Interactive has become a must-attend event for many tech and marketing professionals. Ad agencies this year have certainly taken notice, sending scores of reps to observe keynote speeches, discussion panels, conference halls, and sponsored parties. And all the species in the digital ecosystem are present, including CEOs, CMOs, creative directors, and the IT pros who provide the backbone for ad campaigns.
Illustrating the degree to which SXSWi has become an “it” event in the marketing world is David Eastman, CEO of 146-year-old agency JWT North America, who will sit on a “Brand Journalism” panel on Saturday. Eastman, who also holds the title worldwide digital director, has led an effort for JWT client Microsoft to create a so-called social media geek squad. The Microsoft initiative is designed to promote new products, correct spreading misconceptions, and generally put out emerging fires throughout the blogosphere.
In the below video interview, shot indoors to escape the roar of the crowd, Eastman takes in the SXSW scene and defines “Brand Journalism.”