Brands That Went the Extra Mile at SXSW 2015

SXSW fever hasn't died down just yet!

The annual event wrapped up in style with some phenomenal perspectives on contemporary brand engagement and marketing concepts. The Austin, Texas-based festival needs no introduction, and is widely credited as the breeding hotspot for new ideas and cutting-edge technology. Twitter and Foursquare were two social platforms that used SXSW to launch several years ago. Brands were looking for their own 2015 breakout moment.

Driving thousands of tech loving fans every year, SXSW has three components: Film, Interactive, and Music.

Each year brands do their best to outperform the consumer activation events from the year prior. With PR stunts, brand activation, and experiential marketing galore, only a handful of brands get noticed as the standout SXSW campaigns. Here are the best marketing campaigns that made SXSW 2015 memorable:

HBO & Game of Thrones' Iron Throne Pedicabs

HBO promoted the next season of its widely popular series, the Game of Thrones, by having SXSW attendees roam around Austin in a pedicab with the Iron throne! The Game of Thrones themed pedicabs turned out to be an instant hit.

Why didn't anyone think about an Iron Throne city ride before?

#5in1RoadTrip with Kingston Technology, Green River Ordinance & The Gabbie Show

Kingston Technology went the extra mile with their #5in1RoadTrip campaign from Dallas to Austin, Texas for the SXSW Music Festival with the Green River Ordinance band and notable digital influencer The Gabbie Show. Hashtagged as #5in1RoadTrip, was how Kingston Technology marketed to consumers the five features of the 5-in-1 MobileLite Wireless G2.

Source: Kingston Technology

As a component of product education during the #5in1RoadTrip, Kingston Technology taught fans at Green River Ordinance performances how to download the MobileLite app and how to use the 5-in-1 MobileLite Wireless G2 device. Kingston Technology co-hosted a Q&A using newly launched platform Meerkat in combination with Twitter. The Q&A with fans was co-hosted with The Gabbie Show and band members from Green River Ordinance. Kingston Technology live-streamed Green River Ordinance's acoustic performance at Winflo Osteria. Fans who followed the #5in1RoadTrip and posted photos using the hashtag were automatically entered to win the new 5-in1 MobileLite Wireless G2 device. Kingston Technology also provided MobileLite devices to other musicians and influencers in the Green Room of the Pandora Showcase while Green River Ordinance performed. The creative geniuses at Kingston Technology knew what needed to be done, and they definitely did it in style.

Roi Koi & Disco Balls

Roi Koi, the employee referral firm, grabbed a lot of eyeballs with its crew roaming around the Austin streets wearing a giant disco ball on their heads. This is the sort of thing that you could only expect to see in Austin during SXSW. Not only did the people love the idea, they wanted to find out more about the firm that was behind this sort of promotion. Such a big win in the end for the Roi Koi team., Human Squirrels & Book Love

Squirl lets you find books in your area. Yes, it is the Tinder for book lovers; in fact, it is much more than that. The startup chose to take a route similar to what the guys at Roi Koi did at the 2015 SXSW, but with a completely different and radical style. Guess what they did? Human squirrels were seen in Austin reading books! The idea was both loved and adored by the people. Human squirrels reading books seriously. Classic!

Isn't this just delightful?


Meerkat, the live-streaming app startup, took the 2015 SXSW Austin by storm. The app went viral in the blink of an eye, and before anybody could understand what was going on, Meerkat became media's favorite topic. The app quickly became the favorite digital toy of SXSW attendees, and sparked off a Hollywood chain reaction with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jimmy Fallon, Ashton Kutcher and Snoop Dogg --- all joining the Meerkat bandwagon.

In fact, this four-week-old startup made so much noise at the SXSW that big brands were completely overshadowed. Mashable reports that Meerkat's popularity jumped 30 per cent daily during the festival.

Which among the brands at this year's SXSW was the most memorable for you?