SXSW Interactive Festival Rewards Sears for Getting Screw*D

The 19th annual SXSW Interactive festival just concluded in Austin, Texas. The festival which began life with a focus on college music has expanded to become an incubator of cutting-edge technologies, the interactive portion of the event featured five days presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas The festival also features the 15th Annual Interactive Awards which this year honored two retailers: Tesco & Sears.

The awards honored 20 Web developers and designers, chosen from hundreds of entries.

The digital campaign of the year was “Homeplus,” the Cannes Media Grand Prix- winning effort out of Cheil Worldwide that created a digital pop store in subway stations. Commuters could snap pictures of the items with their smart phones and the products would be shipped to their homes.

Digital agency Tool won in the business category for Screw*D, a live, interactive reality show for SEARS Craftsman. The campaign revolves around Alan Weischedel, a decidedly un-handy man who is dropped deep in the Louisiana bayou and asked to take on hands-on challenges. Of course Craftsman tools and a knowledgeable online community assist him.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.