At this year’s SXSW 2012 event, brand names vied for exposure in a space teeming with messages and activity, with everything of course being shared in existing and new social media platforms. For more about what’s hot in the digital world and being launched and experienced by the 20,000 visitors to SXSW, be sure to watch the following videos with Launch Expert Julie Hall of Schneider Associates and our on-site correspondent, Lynne Viera, president and CEO of Rival Marketing.
No SXSW conference is without free food and sampling, and this year was no different. Some of the brands displaying innovation and creativity include Chevrolet, Nikon, Miller Lite, Monster Energy, and Doritos. Doritos JACKED, the newest tortilla chips from Doritos, were being sampled at a Doritos sponsored concert that also featured a chance to win special prizes. Doritos also displayed a nearly six-story tall pop-up vending machine with giant oversized quarters, to help promote the new extra large chips flavored as Smoky Chipotle BBQ or Enchilada Supreme. Doritos also recently launched a Doritos branded taco shell which is being served at Taco Bell. For additional commentary on food brand promotions at SXSW, check out the post from Dom Celentano, The Foodpreneur, on About.com.
SXSW also launched its first Tex-Mex Taco Table that featured participating restaurants Taco Deli, Habanero Mexican Café, and Matt's Famous El Rancho. What better place than Austin, Texas to promote foods and restaurants with Hispanic flavor profiles and influences? This year, FedEx delivered food and free coffee from their food truck, along with providing a power up from their human chargers (see photo). Even world champion eater Kobayashi showed up to scarf what we think was a record number of grilled cheese sandwiches. The Today Show also had a food truck, as many brands find it is easier to get the attention of attendees outside the convention by offering free food or other services.
(Fedex Human Chargers)
(Today Show food truck)
Beer company Miller Lite gave its consumers a chance to enter the “SXSW 2012 Instant Win Game” for a $200 gift card or more. Attendees can also "Tweet a Beer" to someone, buying a Miller via PayPal which is redeemable at some bars. They also sponsored giveaways and downloads on Pandora, Spotify, and other music apps. Another beverage brand, Monster Energy, offered free breakfast and morning beverages during its events.
On the non-food front, Chevrolet developed an innovative promotion by providing taxi cab rides to Austin, Texas venues. Dubbed “Catch a Chevy,” the shuttle service showed off a full line of cars including Cruze sedans, Volts, Camaros, Corvettes and Mailbu Ecos featuring their updated OnStar service. People test drove the vehicles from the convention center or hailed a car to take them to their next destination.
Nikon put its new Nikon D4 and D-800 HD SLR cameras in the hands of fans. SXSW attendees sampled the devices by snapping pictures of featured musicians.
The annual SXSW event began in 1987 in Austin, Texas, at the Austin Convention Center, and has become one of the best chances brands have to get in front of a core audience of influencers and trendsetters.
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