event marketing ideas

SXSW 2017: Experiential Marketing of the Future

If there’s any marketing extravaganza industry leaders get hyped for, it’s South by Southwest. This year, SXSW rolled out a slew of hot experiential trends. The world’s leading conference in high-tech business, digital innovation and—of course—business promotion is back. Now, we’re here to bring you the highlights.

Neuroscience in Marketing

Yeah, it sounds ambitious. It’s surprisingly capable, however, and it was showcased as a live marketing art display. The brain-friendly experiential displays highlighted SXSW’s collection of high-tech displays, showcasing AI-powered neuroscience bots. Dubbed ‘pre-suasion,’ the event mashed up digital complexity and the average consumer’s daily wants and needs.

Sony’s Wow Factory

Above all brands, Sony’s tech display probably won. Its knock-out collection of ‘techsperiments’ revealed its global Wow brand campaign. Packed with sonic motion music entertainment, projection-mapped VR experiences and an encompassing ‘Wow Factory,’ Sony thrived in SXSW.

Amazon’s Delivery Drones

While Amazon’s high-tech delivery drone program might be old news, its live demos have been heavily anticipated. SXSW became Amazon’s platform for presentation, proving the delivery program’s existence. Until now, many have rightfully scoffed at the feasibility of such a program. Tested across the UK and Germany, Amazon’s drone fleet hasn’t seen many audiences—until now.

Xperia Touch

Consumers are knowledgeable about touchscreens, but Sony—again—surpassed all expectations. It presented the Android projector, the Xperia Touch, and let visitors test out its flat-surface projections. Useable on the wall, the floor or even on a table, the Xperia Touch promises to be one of today’s leading augmented display technologies.

Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket

The clothing brand, Levi’s, got its presentation as well. The brand has partnered with Google to make ‘smart clothes’ capable of integrating SMS, Google maps and more. Levi’s presented a live tech demo, letting users try out its Commuter Trucker Jacket. Capable of reading swipes, taps and a slew of other inputs, the Trucker Jacket was one of SXSW’s most hands-on displays.

The Fortis Exoskeleton

It’s about to get weird. While the rest of SXSW went crazy over self-driving cars, projectors and jackets, Lockheed Martin presented its Fortis exoskeleton. Strapped to the body, the exoskeleton adds skeletal support. It helps the frail walk, helps construction workers lift heavy objects and—well—exists as one of the event’s coolest pieces of technology.

The Mountain Dew Dance Party in Chicago


Moderne and Latin Works partnered to deliver Mountain Dew’s own brand of party to Chicago’s Cuban Festival, Taste of Mexico and Puerto Rican Festival. A summertime bash, the Mountain Dew party celebrated with lights, a flash tattoo station and on-the-spot snapshots to show brand support.

A Taste of Something Different

Mountain Dew’s appearance wasn’t at all unfounded, but it spiced up Chicago’s Hispanic events with a huge, multi-night bash. The Mountain Dew Party, premiering its all-Dew dance floor, presented lights, a Mountain DJ and a reason to remember its presence.


Taste of Mexico, the Chicago Cuban Festival and Puerto Rican Festival were prime locations for Mountain Dew’s presence. South-of-the-Border food-lovers, culinary masters and Chicago’s Little Village residents were all exposed to the event’s musical happening, and flavorful food was certainly not forgotten. Above all, Mountain Dew’s presentation aligned its all-fun strategy with some of Chicago’s best food. A taste of something different, Mountain Dew promised a fantastic pallet cleanser alongside each event’s much-sough-after food. Nearly a dozen Chicago restaurants presented all-time-favorite dishes, ranging across enchiladas, tacos, flautas, gorditas and tortas.

The Culinary Stage

Chicago’s wild events didn’t stop there, nor did Mountain Dew miss an opportunity to pair off with Chicago’s nightlife. Each event’s non-stop musical lineup, food workshops and daily cooking demonstrations took place on a big-time culinary stage. Top chefs, arts and crafts and even carnival rides were present, and the brand’s flexible approach to excitement, sports and hospitality was a welcomed guest.

Marketing Via Snapchat

Probably Mountain Dew’s most memorable addition was its snapcode-driven marketing event. Within the Mountain Dew dance, event-goers were given the chance to scan Mountain Dew snapcodes—signing them up for the brand’s own Snapchat channel. You’d be correct in guessing Mountain Dew’s strategy, here. Nightlife, action, food and music are all wonderful Snapchat opportunities, and event-goers didn’t miss a beat in hopping to the brand’s Snapchat channel.

Sent Snapchats were given event-exclusive geofilters, making Mountain Dew’s presence clear. Printing Snapchats, too, was an option—an option presented to immediate guests to support the event’s all-access environment.

Drink Variety and New Flavors

While dancing, Mountain Dew party-goers were also urged to try Mountain Dew’s bartending station. Its hosted variety of Dew drinks included eight flavors—including the brand’s much-loved Kickstart Orange Mango and Voltage flavors. Kickstart Orange Mango, in particular, has been deserving of the brand’s marketing love for some time. Chicago, ever-sought for its attribution to fine dining and drinking culture, couldn’t have served as a better platform for it. Where get-out-and-go marketing efforts are considered, Mountain Dew dominates in selecting prime advertisement real estate. Many event-goers sampled, promoted and became lifetime lovers of the Dew—making this event a win-win at every angle.