Some of the biggest brands in film and television were at South by Southwest this year, inviting consumers to take an active role in their favorite TV series and highly anticipated films.
The Austin, Texas-based pop culture festival has become known as a hub for innovative, immersive marketing that gives consumers a memorable experience. And some of the most noteworthy brand activations every year are by entertainment properties.
Fresh from SXSW, here’s a look at some of 2016’s splashiest activations:
This May, the supernatural, darkly comedic drama, “Preacher,” based on the comic of the same name, will come to AMC. To drive buzz for the series, executive producer Seth Rogen presented the show’s world premiere at the SXSW Paramount Theater.
Cinemax is getting a comic adaptation drama of its own, as well: horror series “Outcast.” Creator Robert Kirkman (of “The Walking Dead” fame) made an appearance at SXSW to present the world premiere of the new series.
Comedy Central’s “@Midnight with Chris Hardwick” launched a live broadcast on the streaming site Periscope to reach the fans that were unable to attend the annual festival. This was the first time a late-night show broadcast a full episode live on the social media platform.
From A+E Networks, FYI takes a modern spin on traditional lifestyle programming. FYI transformed the downtown Driskell Hotel into the FYI BiteClub, where festival-attendees were invited to feed their imagination and treat their taste buds to the best of Austin eats. Hosted by Michael Chernow of FYI’s “Food Porn,” programming included a “Quesoff” competition with nine different styles of cheese, portrait espresso drinks by coffee artist Michael Breach, an edible wall installation, culinary-inspired podcasts and mini studios that taught the art of taking Instagrammable food photos.
HBO’s upcoming dark comedy “Vice Principals” screened at the Alamo Ritz Theater, followed by a Q&A with cast members Danny McBride (“Eastbound and Down”), Walton Goggins and Kimberly Hebert Gregory, along with executive producers Jody Hill and David Gordon Green. HBO also held a panel for “Silicon Valley” to promote the show’s upcoming Season Three premiere.
Photo via Getty Images.
After the wild success of its debut of “Mr. Robot” at SXSW last year, USA returned to the festival to give fans an unforgettable experience. The network recreated the titular character’s hacker den, a 10-story Ferris wheel and a retro arcade, a nod to the series’ Coney Island setting.
Awesome video via Ad Week.
The hotly anticipated superhero flick, “Suicide Squad,” comes to theaters this summer. To get fans at SXSW buzzing, Warner Bros. took over the local Austin’s Affinity Tattoo and Body Piercing and transformed it into Harley Quinn’s Tattoo Parlour. Inside, people could get fake or real tattoos of original artwork inspired by the film’s characters.
Showtime threw its own three-day music festival featuring 27 bands in celebration of Cameron Crowe’s new music series “Roadies.” To honor SXSW’s own roadies, all backstage staff were invited to come check out the festival as VIPs and receive free massages, food, cocktails and swag.