Welcome to Urgent Genius, a collection of found and created content from around the globe. If it's trending we're on to it. At iris we've been tracking the trend of real-time creativity and Newsjacking since 2010. We call it Urgent Genius.

Every day our Editors trawl the planet for the best examples out there. And we're constantly creating new work of our own. The content that we have discovered or have conceived on this site demonstrate the principles of an Urgent Genius mindset. Urgent Do it swiftly. Genius create powerful social ideas. If you've created or stumbled across any Urgent Genius work then send it to us at

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The Editors

Grant Hunter
Grant is the Regional Creative Director,
APAC for iris Worldwide. He co-created Urgent Genius in 2010 with Jon Burkhart and spoke at SXSW interactive 2011 and 2012 on the subject. He set up and co-authored the Urgent Genius Book with Jon. Grant is responsible for iris’ creative output across India, China, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. He blogs for Campaign Asia and contributes to industry titles such as Contagious, Marketing and Campaign Brief. He has work published in the books Guerrilla Advertising and Advertising is Dead, Long Live Advertising.


Jon Burkhart
Jon is a Social Media Creative Consultan
t and Innovation Director. He coined the term "Urgent Genius" and co-created the social media HQ of the same name in 2010 with Grant Hunter. The pair also spoke at SXSW interactive 2011 and 2012 on the subject. He is now co-authoring the Urgent Genius book with Grant. He helps global clients like Sony Ericsson, Philips and adidas create shareable content and find ways to have a voice in the hot-topic conversations going on right now online. His work has featured on and offline in places like The Guardian, The Telegraph, Campaign and Rolling Stone. He also works with BBC Comedy as a social TV consultant. He tweets at @albinoriotman usually while commuting to work on his Kickped, the world’s fastest adults-only push-scooter.


Sean Reynolds
Sean Reynolds is the Global Creative Dir
ector of iris. As one of the founding partners from 1999, Sean has been responsible for the iris creative vision, it’s creative model and build of all the iris creative departments across the globe. Sean has been based in New York since 2007, where he has built another three creative offices in the region. In his role as Global CD he has also developed the creative product in other regions such as India, China, Singapore, Australia and Latin America. Sean studied at Central St. Martins, graduating in 1995 and has won a wide range of global awards across all disciplines. Sean’s opinion is regularly sought and he has talked at numerous events and seminars within the industry and he also sits on a number of adjudication panels for creative awards.


SXSW 2012 Panel Picks: Entertaining must-sees you must vote for

Five days of conference with close to 20000 attendees, and up to forty different talks assigned to any given time slot.. SXSW Interactive can seem like serious business. Which is why we’re pleased to see a few talks in the running for 2012 that aim to entertain as much as to inform.
Voters can take their pick from buzz topics transmedia and Social TV, or opt for the slightly more niche topics of visual effects or even cinema’s chosen poster-font. Here are ten picks for 2012 that are sure to entertain you. Because much as we want to learn, we also just like to mess around with lasers…
All Eyes on You–Visual Effects & Viewer Engagement 
Filmmakers these days don’t just create entertainment, they need to be experts in the science of short attention spans. Katherine Hays of GenArts Inc ( aims to break down and explain our ‘visual traffic’, in this talk on what the future holds for visual effects, and on how VFX are now a crucial part of viewing both for Hollywood films and online.
Web Originals: Television’s New Guinea Pigs 
If the idea of a panel including Friends alumnus Lisa Kudrow isn’t enough to interest you, then the debate, pitching old-school TV stars against new-school interactive media execs, will be. This panel talk, organised by CBS Interactive, addresses web-to-TV crossovers like Adult Swim’s ‘Children’s Hospital’, and recent statistics which put online viewership at an all-time high. The central question: Should networks take the leap, or are online and on-screen shows still mutually dependent?

Interactive Music Videos Killed The MTV Star
Are we ready to bring back real music television? And is music television ready for us? This talk from video producers based at New York University looks at how interactive content could make music videos interesting again, and whether experiments so far have been a failure or a success.
Reinventing Tribal Music in the Land of Earbuds 
Tangled up in headphone wires and myriad social networks, are we really free to pick and listen to the music we like, or are our preferences more tribal than ever? Hal Purdy of AT&T labs proposes a talk that speculates on the future of musical social media, how listeners’ preferences are changing and how these musical tribes police themselves.

Lucky Accidents: A Formula to Viral Magic
Industry experts and a few of Meme-land’s erstwhile stars sit down and try to make sense of their success. Seeking an answer the eternal question of how convoluted ‘random’ fame can really be, this talk by our talented friends at Lucky Branded Entertainment pits branded content against homespun creations, to determine what the online public wants; calculated success or genuine DIY oddness..

Two Decades of Trajan in Movie Posters
Type isn’t just for graphic designers and Swiss kerning pedants; this slightly quirkier talk by Yves Peters of The Font Feed ( addresses one of the most familiar and most controversial fonts around (more so than Helvetica? Hell yes!). The talk will track the rise and fall of cinema’s favourite poster-font, and will bring us up to speed on the new typefaces waiting to replace it.

Movie screens with frickin’ laser beams
Hyperbolic, interactive, innovative entertainment WITH FRICKIN LASERS!!! One hundred of them, to be exact. Aside from giving audience members free reign to let the lasers loose, this talk will address mass participatory viewing and how viable it might be as a more widespread option for cinemas. twitter

How to Break into Transmedia
Buzzword ‘Transmedia’ is explained and put to the test. We’re intrigued by this entry-level talk, in which freelance creative Andrea Philips, aka Deus Ex Machinatio ( will give a tour of an emerging field, or perhaps simply a new definition for what was previously a set of disparate disciplines. twitter

The Not So Allied Forces of Social TV Comedy
UK underdogs do their take on Social TV. Or do they? Success or chaotic failure, this real-time comedy experiment promises to be a hoot and a half. Oh, and it happens to be an Urgent Genius production (we wouldn’t pimp it out unless we knew it’s going to be great). twitter

Making Love to the TV
Cinema’s favourite trash-monger John Waters, hosting a talk on viewer’s reaction to ‘the foreign object’ and the androgynous identity of the laptop? This one seems so inimitably bizarre, it might not be for real. But if enough of us vote for it, then perhaps it will be…

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