5 of the Craziest Model Activations at SXSW

From HBO’s ‘Bleed for the Throne’ part-renaissance-fair part-blood-donation-event to Comedy Central’s artwork gallery of framed Trump tweets, this is a take a look at the over-the-top advertising pushes at SXSW 2019.

14, 2019

5 min learn

Very similar to synthetic intelligence, growth-hacking and collaborative innovation, South By Southwest (SXSW) is an oft-used phrase that may be tough to wrap your thoughts round — and even more durable to clarify.

The annual convention, if you happen to may even boil it all the way down to that, triples as a music showcase and movie competition, incorporating panels on subjects from “Meals of the Dystopia: Past Bugs and Beans” to “Combating Homelessness With Moral Know-how.” It’s a cornucopia of occasions, workshops and discussions on subjects together with interactive media, tech, movie and music, to not point out enterprise and leisure.

After which there are the “activations” — experiments in experiential advertising by giant manufacturers who appear to take a position increasingly cash annually to outdo one another in producing buzz. There was the time Doritos paid Woman Gaga to carry out inside a 62-foot-tall “merchandising machine.” Mattress model Beautyrest as soon as held an eight-hour music efficiency for 150 strangers sleeping alongside one another on its merchandise. And there was the yr USA Networks took over downtown Austin by way of a 100-foot working duplicate of the Coney Island ferris wheel to advertise Mr. Robotic.

SXSW’s mission is “serving to inventive individuals obtain their targets,” and the over-the-top model activations taking up Austin this yr had been nothing if not inventive. Listed here are 5 of probably the most buzzed-about experiential advertising pushes.

HBO’s “Bleed For The Throne”

Picture credit score: Amy E. Value | Getty Photographs

To advertise Recreation of Thrones, HBO put collectively an expansive renaissance fair-like occasion, full with costumed Dothraki, Wildlings and bannermen from the homes of Stark and Lannister. The community additionally partnered with the American Pink Cross to encourage SXSW attendees to “bleed for the throne,” and costumed priestesses acknowledge those that donated blood. Different highlights of the honest: fortune-telling, sword fights and even a full 24-piece orchestra performing sections of the rating.

ADP and Wired’s “Breaking Obstacles”

Picture credit score: Jim Bennett | Getty Photographs

Wired teamed up with payroll processing agency ADP to ask SXSW badgeholders to don protecting helmets, goggles and jumpsuits and simulate breaking office obstacles. Friends had a selection of what they’re combating towards — the glass ceiling, outdated know-how, wage inequality or work-life steadiness — then they entered the corresponding “break room” with a sledgehammer and smashed the illustration of that barrier to smithereens. On-site workers changed glass ceiling panes, rows of wall clocks branded with phrase “work,” piggy banks and outdated know-how (ike cumbersome 2000s-era desktop computer systems) after every visitor.

Amazon Prime Video’s “Backyard of Earthly Delights”

Picture credit score: Diego Donamaria | Getty Photographs

Amazon Prime Video constructed an expansive walled backyard (extra of a grassy open space with a “tree of life” bearing fake apples and string lights) to advertise an upcoming authentic present, Good Omens. It’s primarily based on the cult favourite fantasy novel of the identical title by English authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and for additional publicity, the community despatched actors dressed as angels and demons to wander round and ask conferencegoers their plans for the apocalypse. Upon coming into the Backyard of Earthly Delights, guests had been requested to decide on between heaven and hell, then escorted into the activation, which features a stage for a string of musicians and DJs, a “hellhound pet pen” spotlighting costumed animals from the Austin Animal Shelter and extra.

Vice’s “Skateland”

Picture credit score: Robin Marchant | Getty Photographs

Vice remodeled an Austin parking zone right into a four-day pop-up curler skating rink, full with a bar, rotating set of DJs, professional skaters, a merch sales space and the traditional Viceland bus. Friends had the prospect to make it into pre-taped segments of the community’s new collection, Vice Stay, as host Zack Fox was on the lot conducting superstar interviews and capturing fan video. And because the satan was within the particulars, even the curler skates’ laces learn “Viceland.”

Comedy Central’s “Presidential Library”

Picture credit score: Rita Quinn | Getty Photographs

It’s not the primary time Comedy Central remodeled President Donald Trump’s well-known/notorious tweets into an “artwork set up,” however it’s the primary time the gallery made it to SXSW. After making its method by New York, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the ornate gold frames displayed in Austin, Texas, this week complemented traditional tweets resembling “Regardless of the fixed destructive press covfefe.” The corresponding plaque provided a curator’s take: “Right here in his single-tweet Minimalist part, the true topic shouldn’t be Trump’s wholly authentic non-word, however slightly that which isn’t seen: the ghostly reminder of the sentence that might have adopted.”

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