Case Study

CONTEXT | The Situation & Solution

South By Southwest Interactive Festival is an incubator of cutting-edge technologies. The event features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology. Yet, Cultural Strategies observed that within the festival’s past programming, there have been few efforts to highlight the contributions made by Latinos in the digital space.

As the online Latino audience grows, they over-index on social media networks and integrate digital media in many aspects of their lives. They also frequently use these online platforms to create change, whether it’s through mobilization for a movement or redefining what it means to be a Latino in American culture.

To address Latino’s under representation at SXSWi we developed and executed The Social Revolución campaign a movement that premiered as the first Official Latino Lounge and Awards at South by Southwest Interactive on March 12, 2012.

APPROACH | Communications Plan & Creative

Big Idea: The Social Revolución

OYE MI CANTO (Hear my Cry) is the exclamation of The Social Revolución: an interactive movement of Latinos using social media as their platform to create change. Through hashtags, pixels, or live updates, these ambitious individuals have used social media to spread ideas, foster communities and inspire a worldwide audience into action. Premiering as the official Latino event at SXSW Interactive, The Social Revolución recognizes and celebrates these online cries happening in cultural shifts and trends, international and local causes, and through the monumental visions of individuals.

The Revolución will not be Televised: A Message Spread through Social Media

In the spirit of what it aimed to celebrate, the Revolución was not driven by traditional media buys, but rather by the organic nature of social media and its power to transform an idea into a movement. As a result,  online networks such as Facebook and Twitter became our main pathways to spark conversations with Latinos online, using our website and Tumblr as information resources to support the campaign. With an established platform we could now do what the revolución aimed to do– to bring attention to Latinos’ contributions in the digital space and honor them at SXSWi.

Creative Direction

The Social Revolución design is reflective of where Latinos are today in social media. The logo and platform are representative of a mural/politico wall in Latin America, yet modernized with the Wifi signal that replaces the accent in the word “Revolución” – strategically this represents the impact and connection Latinos have in social media. In addition, bright colors and textures were used to draw excitement and to pay homage to Latino design. The intent was for there to be a modern look and feel with subtleties that connected you to Latin America while also creating visually a platform where everyone has a voice for the revolution. Creative Elements were an extension of these strategies and reflected the statement you make by becoming a Revolucionario.

The Revolucionario Awards

In the months prior to SXSWi, Cultural Strategies launched an online campaign to select the top Latino individuals and/or organizations that are mobilizing, innovating and inspiring change online. These Revolucionarios were highlighted online and recognized with an award at our event. Seven Revolucionarios were recognized representing individuals and organizations from the following categories:

The New Americano:  These individuals and/or organizations are trendsetters impacting the Hispanic market online.

The Mobilizer: These are Latinos with international and local causes using social media as a strategy to mobilize their audience.

The Innovator: Whether it’s a new app or website, this movement is redefining how we reach Latinos now and in the future.

Lideres of the Revolución: A special award for an individual nominee whose impact and influence encompass all three categories.

Winners were selected through a panel of eleven national industry leaders including:
– Hugh Forrest, Director of SXSW Interactive Festival
– Gustavo Razzetti, Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer at Grupo Gallegos
– Manny Gonzalez, Director, Multicultural Moët Hennessy USA
– Amaya Mendizabal Label Manager at Sony Music Entertainment 
– Hiram Enriquez Director, Digital MediaTr3s – MTV Networks
– Carolina Valencia Manager, Corporate Communications Univision Communications Inc.
– Joe Kutchera, Author of Latino Link
– Dr. Federico Subervi, Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Media & Markets, Texas State University-San Marcos
– Debbie Charnes, Owner at The Write Counsel Public Relations and Communications
– Marissa Treviño, President of Treviño TodaMedia, Founder of Latina Lista
– Robert Egger, Founder and President of the DC Central Kitchen

Campaign Allies & Bloguero Hub

The Social Revolución was brought to life as an online mobilization effort that tapped into over 13 Latino online influencers/blogs and or organizations as partners to spread awareness of the campaign and drive nominations for the awards. These influencers became our allies and brand ambassadors by sharing posts, updates, submitting nominations, and galvanizing their networks to champion the campaign. Together these allies provided an initial reach of over 300,000 people online throughout their networks. They included:

The Social Revolución was also active online during SXSWi through The Bloguero Hub–a team of journalists and bloggers that served as the source for content development, stories, blog posts, updates and tweets during the conference. Over the five days of the conference, our blogueros provided over 30 blog posts that included panel reviews & interviews, Revolucionario nominee and award winner interviews, sponsor interviews, curation of the Spanglish Wall and live updates from the Latino Lounge. Content was posted on The Social Revolucion Tumblr, The News Taco and Univision News. The Bloguero Hub consisted of the following journalists and bloggers:

  • Connie Preti – Social Media Manager at Univision News
  • Nuria Net – Deputy Editor at Univision News
  • Mando Rayo – VP of Engagement at Cultural Strategies
  • Sara Inez Calderon, Founder/Editor at NewsTaco
  • Paulina Artieda – Associate Creative Director at Cultural Strategies
  • Jessika Gomez-Duarte, Research Strategist at Cultural Strategies
  • Alexandra Landeros, Director of PR & SM, Descuento Libre
  • Evelyn Castillo – Editor, Latino Metro

Experiential: The Latino Lounge & After Party

On March 12, 2012 The Social Revolución hosted the First Official Latino Lounge, Revolucionario Awards & After Party at SXSWi. The event brought together conference attendants and Latino influencers and innovators from around the world for an evening of celebration at Carlos Santana’s Maria Maria Restaurant. The winners of the Revolucionario Awards were the heart of the celebration and included:

Líderes of the Revolución: Calle 13 – Partnering with Unicef and other cause oriented organizations, these Revolucionarios have crossed over as philanthropists using their music, fans and capacity as artists to inspire and make change.

The Mobilizer: 31K Portraits for Peace & Oscar Morales – Portraits for Peace is the brainchild of Mexicans Diego Huerta and Dany Gutierrez, who are striving to counteract Mexico’s violence through images of people with a blue dove as a sign of peace. Morales is the Colombian-based creator of One Million Voices against FARC Facebook movement who organized anti-FARC protests that rallied 12 million people in 200 cities across the world, considered the largest antiterrorism demonstrations in history.

The New Americano: Maria Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino and Lalo Alcaraz of – Kumar works tirelessly with Voto Latino, a nonpartisan civic engagement organization in Washington, D.C. that engages and empowers Latinos through voter registration. Alcaraz is a nationally syndicated Latino editorial cartoonist in Los Angeles who uses traditional media, the web and social media to convey his reactions to current events.

The Innovator Awards: Lance Rios and Vocabador – Nuyorican Rios created Being Latino, an online network of almost 70,000 Facebook fans that connects and educates people across the global Latino spectrum. Vocabador is a luchador themed app designed  to prepare students for the SATs.

In addition to an official presentation of the awards, attendees participated in the following interactive elements:

  • Bloguero Hub: Live blogging station from our bloguero team
  • Spanglish Wall: Highlighting the way bicultural Latinos are crafting their own words online and off
  • Live Screen Printing: Offering customizable shirts of The Social Revolución
  • Photo Booth: Featuring speak bubbles with hashtags and tweets pertaining to the concept
  • Step and Repeat: Providing a red carpet atmosphere where attendants could see their photos uploaded on our Facebook page
  • VIP Lounge: For special guests and sponsors to network and ignite ideas
  • The After-party: Provided a musical line up including MTV TR3S’ DJ Mauricio Parra, Beatriz Luengo (Sony Latin America), David Garza and Charanga Cakewalk (Cosmica Artists).


After 20 years, The Social Revolución became the first Official Latino event at SXSW. The movement also had great success in building a presence online. With over 100 website visits a day at its peak, over 140 nominations, 13 national Latino online groups as allies, and 800 followers and counting from Twitter & Facebook, The Social Revolución built momentum within a few weeks of its launch in January. Using Facebook and Twitter as our primary medium, our message has reached people in 20 countries, with 40% of our Facebook engagers coming from Outside the US.

During the March 12, 2012 event, 400 people gathered to celebrate the Award winners and exchange ideas in an unprecedented SXSW experience that highlighted Latino’s impact on the digital space. The social nature of the event spread beyond the walls of our venue. On the day of our event, our Twitter pontential reach peaked to 1,341,284 people and our supporters created online conversations throughout the evening:

David Castillo ‏ @dciii: Damn, I wish I was there! RT @sarachicad: The partay is gettin crazay up in here at the @RevolucionSXSWi #sxsw #latinoSXSW

Door Number 3 ‏ @dn3austin: Congrats to a great idea and a great group of people – The Social Revolución at SXSW via @MyABJ @revolucionsxswi

Juan Alanis ‏ @Juanofwords @RevolucionSXSWi It really was a real honor to receive the nom & to meet everyone in person! Real proud of all the winners!#Rev olucionSXSWi

SocialRevoluciónSXSW ‏ @RevolucionSXSWi RT @fanua @SaraChicaD: I think the fact that the@RevolucionSXSWi party is packed points to the dire need for more#latino panels at #sxsw

Our efforts received broad coverage from local blogs to national news organizations:

The Revolución Continues

The campaign has grown organically into an online platform that highlights the contributions of Latinos online throughout the year. As we prepare for our second year as an official event at South by Southwest interactive 2013, we will share news about our Revolucionarios, expand our allies network, and continue to shed light on Revolucionarios that the community supports. No longer ignored, el Canto of The Social Revolución is loud and clear at SXSW Interactive.

@revolucionsxswi | FB Page: TheSocialRevolucionatSXSWi |