To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, our Hispanic/Latinx affinity group, GSDyM, has put together a list of recommendations ranging from hit Netflix shows in Spanish that have become internationally successful to works of literature to authentic places to shop/eat. There is an abundance of Hispanic talent out there…. Please enjoy our recommendations to help support the Hispanic community as you become inspired by our beautiful culture.

Movies

We created a selection based on our favorite award-winning movies and some “classics.” Some of these movies are great for learning Spanish. If the Spanish is too quick for you, we recommend using subtitles to follow along, or simply watch in English and know that you are supporting Hispanic filmmakers. Grab some Takis con salsa and hit play.

TV Shows 

Netflix and other streaming platforms are doing a great job bringing Spanish-language shows to the U.S. AND making them international hits. Here is our list of must-see TV shows:

Literature

Book-lovers, check out these must-read titles in English or Spanish!

Music

Whether you enjoy music for dancing, relaxing, inspiration or nostalgia, these bands and albums have you covered!

Website/Blog/Media outlets

Rejoice, social media hounds and webbies, we’ve got your online entertainment right here.

ATX Restaurants 

Hungry? Restaurants are slowly starting to open back up, but there’s always “para llevar.”

Local Culture

Creators (artists, local craft makers, etc.)

Gift-giving season is right around the corner!

By Jefferson Burruss, Executive Producer
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Mr. Leonard Nimoy passed away today.

Ad Age has published a memorial of a kind already. Mr. Nimoy was no stranger to advertising, of course. His real influence, though, was never the equity he brought to marketing. Rather, his unique interpretation of the half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, and the Star Trek science fiction narrative served as a vision and inspiration for all that was possible in the world for generations of us worldwide. Perhaps no other series of stories has brought to life a future of technology in which doctors have life-saving apparatuses an arm’s reach away; where space travel is everyday; computers have at their disposal the full knowledge of the entire human experience; machines learn and process massive data in an instant, provide reason and advice; and vessels of our own (and alien) design travel at the speed of light. And most of the technology featured is intended for the good of man, for the purposes of peace and to satisfy the insatiable thirst of human exploration and curiosity. And where weapons seemed to have a default state of stun, and not kill. A universe where anything seemed possible and it all seemed so real.

Reflecting on this brings me back to a whole course of events leading up to this day. Bear with me; this nostalgia comes from a place of honest grief. This is a eulogy of a kind.

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By Regina Flanigan, Communications and Isabella Naranjo, Business Development

Fans of Harry Potter who are unable to travel to London to see the Harry Potter set at Warner Bros. Studio can now stroll down Diagon Alley in Google Maps street view. Inspired by the opportunity to virtually geek out, here are ten more places (in no particular order) we wish we could visit on Google Maps.1. Heaven – obviously. What does it look like? Who is there? Is there guacamole? (of course there is guacamole).2. The city of “Hey, Arnold!”– the 90s cartoon that is still a great watch today takes place in a fictional city based on Seattle, Brooklyn and Portland, OR called Hillwood. This show was a great introduction to urban life for a kid growing up in suburbia – remember the vacant lot Arnold and the gang used to build a baseball field? Those resourceful city kids! We should also be able to see inside Arnold’s room, the coolest a kid could wish for.

3. The worlds of Firefly – if Google can map Mars and underwater terrain, then they can create a clickable version of this fictional corner of the universe for fans to explore. Sure, there are maps of  the ‘verse out there, but I want to be able to explore down to the street level.4. Wonderland – wouldn’t it be cool to explore the Queen’s garden and hang with the Caterpillar? Bonus points if Google Maps includes a version of the trippy early 90s show Adventures in Wonderland, which has one of my favorite theme songs of all time.5. Metropolis – full disclosure: I haven’t actually seen Metropolis yet. But since the city from the 1927 film laid the foundation for nearly all sci-fi cinema dystopian cities to come, it deserves to be explored.6. Wan Shi Tong’s Library – I would love to explore everywhere in the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe (not the movie – we don’t talk about the movie), especially a library built “with the intention to preserve all the world’s knowledge” that has been buried under a desert.

7. Thugz Mansion –  Tupac’s version of Heaven houses some of the greatest artists of all time like Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Sam Cooke. Definitely another building I want to see the inside of.

8. Atlantis – Probably the best scuba diving expedition you’ll ever go on and you don’t even have to get wet. Keep in mind you won’t get to collect any buried treasure since the city is still, in fact, lost.

9. King’s Landing – Let’s be honest, a street view tour is the perfect opportunity to scope out a path to Joffrey’s bed chamber and plot to get rid of the little turd once and for all. I’m sure there would be great sights and handsome knights gawk out while we formulate our fictional plan of attack.10. Krypton – Decades of fawning over the Man of Steel and finally we’re able to make him take us home with him… and man, what a home it is.

Honorable Mentions: The Death Star, The Land of Ooo, Oz, Gallifrey, Gotham City, Neverland, Downton Abbey, Middle Earth

Did we forget any amazing places? Let us know!

There are few things that go together better than independent film and small town Texas. Next weekend, the Hill Country Film Festival will bring the best of both worlds for a three-day independent film festival in the heart of Fredericksburg, Texas. As a fan of daytripping my way across the Lone Star Scene and catching indie flicks that are inaccessible via Netflix, three days of trading in the hustle & bustle for some eclectic R&R way out West sounds to me like a perfect way to celebrate Springtime in Texas. Amid this setting, HCFF presents a unique outlet for up-and-coming actors, producers, and writers to show their work nestled within Fredericksburg’s independent charm, which also includes some great shopping, art galleries, historical sites, restaurants, vineyards, and more as an added bonus. If you happen to make your way west for next weekend’s festivities, here are a few recommendations whether you’re interested in catching a film or just savoring the picturesque Hill Country.

Three Films to Check Out:

Buck Wild

Buck Wild knows exactly what it is and embraces its identity with reckless abandon. Image courtesy of Dallas International Film Festival

Set in Goliad County, this Texan comedy-horror zombie flick has been catching buzz at film festivals all around the world. The film satirizes both genres and follows four friends on a hunting-trip-gone-wrong in small town Texas. Think honky-tonk college version of Shaun of the Dead. It is currently nominated for Best Feature Film and Best Texas Film for the festival’s Closing Night Party & Awards.

 

Curfew

This film won an Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film back in February and received best-of awards at over twenty film festivals last year. Written and directed by Shawn Christensen (frontman of indie rock band Stellastarr*), Curfew tells the story of a depressed young man, played by Christensen, who is asked to take care of his young niece at the lowest point of his life. It’s simple, but guarantees to touch every little corner of your heart.

 

The Boy in the Bubble

Voiced by Alan Rickman and directed by Kealan O’Rourke, this animated short take viewers on a Burtonesque 3D journey as Rupert, a ten year old boy, falls hopelessly in love for the first time. When it all goes terribly wrong, he turns to a book of magic and invokes a spell to shield him from emotion forever. This film has been touring the festival circuit all year and won both the James Horgan Award for Best Animation and the Don Quijote Award for a Short Film at the this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. Plus, who doesn’t love Alan Rickman?!

 

If film isn’t your thing and you’re up for a weekend getaway in the Wine Country other than your token Enchanted Rock hike, our resident Community Relations/Texas History expert David Rockwood has supplied me with some hot spots that emanate with local flavor deep in the heart of Fredericksburg.

 

Three Things To Do in Fredericksburg:

Pioneer Museum

Wanna get a first-hand feel for the town’s rich German heritage? Here’s your chance. Tons of preserved German structures and artifacts dating back to the early 1800s occupy this 3.5-acre complex right off of Main Street. Living history reenactments, making your own ropes and eating fresh biscuits give you a (delicious) glimpse how the pioneers of Fredericksburg lived.

Fredericksburg Winery

As I mentioned before, Fredericksburg TX is Wine Country, folks. Nestled along the Texas Wine Country Trail, Fredericksburg Winery has an expansive selection of Texas wines and and offers personalized wine tastings throughout the week. Great way to nourish your palate after sampling all the German noms or to kick-start a self-guided Texas vineyards tour.

Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site

Included as a part of the National Museum of the Pacific War, this centerpiece explores the rich history of World War II inside its Pacific Theatre along with the life of U.S. Navy Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Expect to spend several hours here if you’ve got the time, because this is no short tour. The size alone on Fredericksburg’s Main Street belies just how much there is to the museum and museum grounds.

 

The Hill Country Film Festival runs May 2nd – 5th and the winery and exhibits are open year-round. Now go enjoy the best of the West! Readers: What are your favorite things to do in Fredericksburg?

 

(Photos courtesy of Buck Wild, Hollywood Reporter, IMDB, sanscott.com, Texas Wine Trail, and Trip Advisor)

Follow all of our updates for SXSW and beyond at our new site: http://www.gsdmpresents.com.

 

Full disclosure: Alex Roka and Joel Parr, interviewed in this post, are both fulltime employees of the agency and resident BAMFs. I interviewed them because I think their side venture is pretty awesome. I did not accept any bribes of briefcases full of cash, bottles of nice wine or unconditional love. Now you know.

Living in Austin gets exhausting. Every weekend there’s a new festival,  art opening and underground concert you should be at. And with the added social media FOMO epidemic, things are only getting more hectic. Am I properly taking advantage of all my city has to offer?

Enter Wanderlessa new age, all-inclusive event calendar for the avid Austin socialite created by Anthony DeGennaro and Alex Roka.

Roka is a designer at GSD&M and came up with the idea with his roommate DeGennaro while struggling to find an event during last year’s Wurstfest. DeGennaro, who works for Emo’s , felt like there were lots of events that were going unnoticed throughout the city. They saw a need for an events site that was filtered well and presented in a pristine way.

A few months later, they had a business plan, a name and Roka got to work on the design. The logo alludes to the Austin tattoo culture with everything handrawn. As “eventcasters for the future”, he was inspired by the mystical nature of tarot cards and magic. Before the site even launched, his logo was picked up by Designspiriation.
For the site design, they wanted to keep it clean, intuitive, and easy to navigate, “Apple functionality meets Pitchfork aesthetic.” With help from GSD&Mer Joel Parr, the Beta site was developed and ready for launch last week.

The team of three wanted the site to be used across different devices. “You don’t always have your computer in front of you when you’re looking for something to do, so we created a site that could be easily viewed on a mobile device too,” Parr explains regarding the responsive design he developed.It was important to them that the site remained simple without letting it become too cumbersome by trying to do too much.

And that’s exactly what it does. With three categories (music, film and arts & culture), you can sift through the best events Austin has to offer. Their Eventcast gives you their top choices for the day across all categories for week ahead.

DeGennaro says, “We want to have a constant pulse on Austin.” Whether you’re into Formula One Racing or the East Austin Studio Tour, their events cater to all types. It’s important to them that they give exposure to events that normally wouldn’t be on your radar.

So what are the best events in town according to the Wanderless team? Roka loves the Cinema East screenings. Parr enjoys all of the events around the East Austin Studio Tour and anything presented by Learning Secrets.  DeGennaro thinks the UT Visual Arts Center is oftenoverlooked and often has many great , free exhibits.
Whether you are trying to prepare for the festivities of this upcoming weekend or just looking for a Wednesday night activity, Roka and DeGennaro want to help. Keep an eye on the site as these guys are hoping to continue eventcasting to bring a refined social calendar to the fine folks of Austin.

Pictured above: Joel Parr/Developer/GSD&M developer, Alex Roka/Founder/GSD&M designer, Anthony DeGennaro/Founder

Beautiful Lengths

In 2012, Pantene Beautiful Lengths will donate a record 12,000 real hair wigs to women fighting cancer nationwide and as part of Pantene’s marketing program, they created a branded documentary to capture a compelling story and drive interest in the Beautiful Lengths program. Not only did this SXSW panel include a marketing rep from Pantene (P&G), but also the director of the documentary and a representative from P&G’s PR firm. It was so inspiring to hear their account of how the project came to be, and how personal it is to each of them now it’s over. LET’S GET MORE OF OUR CLIENT PARTNERS ON BOARD WITH CREATING BRANDED DOCUMENTARY – if done well and right, it’s a surefire way to increase engagement and drive interest in the brand. The mental model consumers use to make purchase decisions is changing; they want to feel good about the brands they choose, and that they’re taking part in making the world a better place. Here are a few tips from the panel, after having gone through the process themselves. For anyone considering branded documentary as part of their marketing program, listen up:

1)       Use real stories and real people – they are your best asset

2)      The documentary should be cinematic, and should NOT feel like a marketing video

3)      Engage viewers emotionally, whether it’s drawing a tear or getting a chuckle

4)      Consider your brand’s positioning before committing to a theme / topic

5)      Root your message in powerful insight (e.g. losing your hair is very scary for most cancer survivors)

6)      Before you begin, implement a content strategy for roll-out across an integrated campaign

7)      Maintain the integrity of the genre – high-quality film is almost always better than reality-TV style with a  handheld camera

8)      PICK YOUR BATTLES – branded documentary is a BIG leap of faith for most brands and clients

9)      Ask the question – who is being impacted most? Focus on them in your story, not the brand

10)     Set success metrics in advance – here are some examples:

  1. Did people cry when they saw it?
  2. How easy will it be to align with and secure sponsors and partners?
  3. Was there an increase in social media response / traffic/page views?
  4. Did the number of volunteers and participants in the program increase?
  5. Did the documentary pique the interest of influencers in the space?

Take a look at the short-form Beautiful Lengths documentary on link below – I DARE YOU NOT TO CRY!

Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths

By Simon Walker

Last Thursday, following the SXSW premiere of the documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, GSD&M sponsored Big Star’s Third – a celebration of one of the most under-celebrated bands in history. I was asked to create the concert poster for what was sure to be a special night.

Being a bit of a closet astronomy nerd, the first thing that came to mind when I started work on the Big Star poster was a literal big star, sectioned up in the style of a diagram showing all the layers beneath the surface. I’d originally wanted it to feel pretty technical, like a page from a text-book or an infographic from a 60’s classroom wall, but the first iterations were a bit too clinical and dry, so it became more focused and stylized as the process went on. My hope is that the final product straddles the line between a science-book illustration and an epic, pseudo-psychedelic band poster.

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Details coming soon on where you can buy a print of the poster and support the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic.

He's ALWAYS Got Something to Say

Say what you will about Kevin Smith, but he’s the mastermind behind cult movie classics like Chasing Amy, Mallrats, Dogma and Clerks. But he’s a changed man; not totally changed, mind you, because he still dropped tons of f-bombs in his SXSWi session, The Business of Kevin Smith, but hey – it wouldn’t be a talk with Kevin Smith without ludeness. Kevin meant to start out with a short intro to tee up his moderator for a talk about how he does business these days since he’s no longer making movies (by the way, he nobly states that “he has nothing good left to give as a director” so he quit while he’s ahead – WHAT A NOVEL IDEA!). But his intro turned into a 40 minute story about how his dad’s death changed his life. He went on to explain that his dad had a great life, didn’t want for anything and yet, he died screaming in his sleep (literally screaming). Now if that wouldn’t change your perspective, I don’t know what would. And it did for Kevin Smith. He vowed that day to do everything he could to avoid ‘dying screaming’ – to be at peace with himself and what he was doing with his life, above all else. I took that to heart in a major way. I saw a softer side of Kevin Smith at SXSW – and I liked it. The guy’s respectably smart, well-spoken and genuine. And he made Clerks with $27,000 – incredible!

I admit it – while I was poking fun at all the film nerds in the room as they waited anxiously for Smith to come out, I realized I was one….and proud of it! For all you fans out there, a walk down memory lane:

Clerks Trailer (BACK IN THE DAY!)

 

 

 

The 30-minute documentary, Kony 2012, hit 100MM views in 6 days, making it the most successful viral video in history. This post isn’t about the content or politics surrounding the video, but the format and what social media marketers can learn from it. Here are the top 5 lessons:

#kony2012. kony 2012, viral video, viral, videoBreak the Rules – Industry standards say that users have an attention span of about 2 minutes max when it comes to watching online video.  Over 30% of people who watched the video watched the full 30 minutes, blowing the whole 2 minute rule right out of the water.

Simplify your Message – Have a clear call to action for users to take. At the end of the video, users were directed to share it with others. Looks like quite a few of them did.

Follow the Formula – I blogged earlier this week about the 6 Secrets of Viral Videos and what do you know, this video used nearly all of them. Although you can never guarantee a viral hit, there are proven tactics like music, surprise, cuteness, humor and celebrity.

Set Expectations – By minute 2, the video explains how long the video is, what you’re going to learn and, most importantly, what action they want you to take at the end.

Be Prepared – The traffic from the video crashed the Kony2012 site almost immediately, diminishing the amount of action users could take when they were most inspired. Although it’s hard to prepare for 100MM views in 6 days, it’s always good to talk through the “what ifs.”

What do you think about Kony 2012? Do you think anything else contributed to the video’s success that should be added to this list?