adHOME’s Take on SXSW

Javier presented his Breakfast Club this week on SXSW (a.k.a. South by Southwest), a festival that took place from March 11th to 20th in Austin, Texas, with divisions each for what they dub interactive, film, and music.


SXSW is known as a place where artists and brand names get their start. In music, for example, James Blunt, John Mayer, and Hanson were all “discovered” at this festival by those who would catapult them to the top. In film, the hit HBO show, Girls, as well as films The Hurt Locker and Ex Machina debuted at the festival. In the past, SXSW Interactive has been the place where both Foursquare and Meerkat – Periscope competitor – launched, and Twitter gained traction their in its first year. All told, SXSW is an important festival in the creative and tech industries.

This year, US President Barack Obama spoke at the event’s interactive kickoff about it being “much easier to order a pizza” than to vote, as well as the FBI’s ongoing feud with Apple over security. Michelle Obama also made an appearance to discuss her Let Girls Learn initiative. Even Drake made a surprise appearance.

More than anything though, this year’s SXSW was about experiences, such as Mophie’s Saint Bernard powered phone charging that partnered up with a dog rescue foundation. Thankfully, they didn’t make the dogs run to generate power, but rather sent them running around to users whose phone battery was low, to help them charge up with Mophie’s wireless charging.

Saint Bernards SXSW

The experience in film was for the show Mr. Robot, which featured a mini theme park styled after one featured in the show as well as a place where guests could see the pilot of the show, all of which fit the branding since they were plastered with an iconic show image, a black and white moustachioed face that looks strikingly similar to the Guy Fawkes mask.

There was also an activation for Budweiser’s Beer Garage, where a Virtual Reality (VR) headset was donned by visitors and they were taken through a multi sensory simulation of how Budsweiser is made.SXSW the beer garden

Lastly, because the Oculus Rift was released just after the festival, a company called Krush demonstrated just how immersive VR can be. Their device, the Moveo, is a capsule that a person sits in, attached to an arm that moves the capsule in tandem with what is being seen on the Oculus Rift.

It is quite possible that VR, like that which was used both in the Budweiser Beer Garage and Moveo will become the next logical step in experiential marketing because it allows a consumer to tour facilities, for example, that they otherwise could not reach, or give a client a tour of a house on the other side of the world that they want to purchase. Our Breakfast Club on Monday mornings not only allow us to kick off the week with a fun and interesting get together, but also keep us up to date on the newest technologies, like VR, which we can use in future campaigns.