Homeless Hotspots: the best, worst, smartest, dumbest part of SXSW
The most important thing that happened at SXSW Interactive wasn’t an app launch or a keynote presentation. It wasn’t a major acquisition or a surprise takeover. In many ways, it was a controversy that broke out over a questionably brilliant marketing campaign by BBH Labs, in partnership with Front Steps, an Austin, Texas homeless shelter. The result was “Homeless Hotspots,” several real, live homeless men equipped with Verizon MiFis, wearing specially printed t-shirts which say, for instance, “Hi, my name is Clarence, I am a 4G hotspot, SMS HH Clarence TO 25827 for access,” with a link to the Homeless Hotspots website.