Saturday SXSW Party Wrap: Where We Met Faith

By Kiran Aditham 

It might be Mardi Gras or something to that effect on 6th St. in downtown Austin, but we chose to settle in the confines of 4th St. for the evening, which had its fair share of Saturday night revelers. After attending the packed Razorfish happy hour event at the Phoenix, which had attractive bartenders and an open bar like most other agency-sponsored events as well as enough blaring techno to take us back to the rave days, we headed to the “exclusive” Mr. Youth party at 219 West that herald what they call the “S List.”

The New York-based Mr. Youth, a social media shop that has done work for clients ranging from Sony and HP to Starbucks and MSN, enlisted the hosting services of former NBA star Rick Fox and his lady friend, Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Dollhouse alum Eliza Dushku. The snazzy-looking pair have become social evangelists as of late and as we sat in the back lounge of the 219, the couple along with Mr. Youth CEO Matt Britton expanded on Fox’s panel discussion earlier in the day called Banking on Big Brands/Celebs for the Web.

Amidst the free food/booze, deep cuts provided by NY’s DJ Vikas and TV screens featuring real-time check-ins and social media stats, the trio described Fox’s recent team-up with Mr. Youth and HP on the Campus Legends basketball tournament. While no video, audio or pictures were allowed to be published, Fox and Dushku were cordial/engaging enough, discussing how celebrities can boost their respective “brands” on Twitter/Facebook, maintain a deeper relationship with fans, Charlie Sheen’s Twitter effect and the pair’s social media-related philanthropic activities including the Twitchange celebrity auction to benefit Haiti.

Yeah, we know it was a PR campaign of sorts, but it was refreshing to get some firsthand perspective from celebs who seem to be digging deeper with the service than just amassing followers and tweeting innocuous garbage. Insert snark here in the meanwhile, but we’ll have some pull quotes to add to this shortly.