How Brands Can Stand Out at SXSW

There are two types of brands at SXSW: established and un-established. Both want to capture as much attention as possible, but that’s no easy task.

One way to attempt to do so is by plastering posters on columns. End result? Becoming part of an artistic collage and receiving very little brand awareness.

FE7A0225By no means am I trying to belittle such efforts, but this picture illustrates the inefficacy of such methods.

On the other hand, there is another way brands can capture attention, and at events as massive as SXSW, it really seems to be the best way to do so.

Experiential Marketing

Offering consumers an experience of some sort is how the top brands at SXSW are differentiating themselves, and it’s working.

FE7A0196The most widespread example is Chevrolet due to the fact that they have two ways for consumers to experience their product (cars):

  1. Take a test drive of a Chevrolet vehicle
  2. Use a Chevy as a free Taxi around downtown Austin. This has been quite the hit.

Experiential marketing of this kind gives the consumer a way to interact with a brand, and that interaction could be the start of a longstanding consumer/brand relationship.

From games to virtual interaction, there are other examples as well, but Chevrolet is the brand that has made the biggest impression on me thus far.

About Ryan Shell

Ryan is Senior Manager, Online Communications, for Ketchum. He's an avid cyclist and blogger, and is proud of his Southern roots. Feel free to check out his personal website, or connect with him on Twitter - @RyanShell.