With SXSW getting bigger and bigger each year, it's interesting to see which marketers will stand out from the crowd. Often times, it's the little things that seem to capture attention best. At least in our opinion.
Last year, mobile parking app ParkMe placed fake paper boots on the wheels of cars all over the city of Austin to call attention to its app. It got a lot of buzz and the app is quite successful one year later.
This year, task app TaskRabbit has tricked out a vehicle to make it look like, well, a furry rabbit. With so many people out and about in the city traversing the city to attend panels which have now grown well beyond the confines of the Austin Convention Center, the streets are prime space for marketers to hype their offerings.
We're quite sure we'll see more examples of this as the week progresses.
Photo Credit: Mashable
As we wander around Austin during SXSW we love to spot unique marketing stunts brands activate. One such stunt comes to us courtesy of Syfy Channel. Reacting (in a way) to the lack of housing available during SXSW, the cable channel erected a pop-up hotel. Constructed out of containers (those big ones you see on ships and behind 18 wheelers), the "hotel rooms" were decked out in as posh-like a manner as is possible with, well, a metal container.
Marketing pranks come in all shapes and sizes. Some better than others. Most are innocuous and playful. But this stunt from German deodorant maker Nivea pushes past what most would consider acceptable limits. Of course, that doesn't detract from the fact it's an epically awesome stunt.
So how does a freelance creative get new work? If your Floyd Hayes, you send out a 3D replica of your head. Yea, that's what you do. Accompanying the head is the following copy.
"It is time for me to get some new business in the door. In addition to email, social media, meetings and word of mouth, I thought I'd send out 3D printed heads to key prospects. I quite like the line "tiny head big ideas" - as in real life I do have a small head :)"
And...there you have it.
Here's an interesting one. On December 1 on a chilly and overcast day in Philadelphia, The Cheesecake Factory sent tams dressed in all white carrying giant bouquets of balloons all throughout Philadelphia. Each balloon handed out carried the message "Pop it". Once popped, the balloons according to color would reveal the scent of Peppermint Bark Cheesecake (for red), Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake (for brown) or Original Cheesecake (for cream).
Inside each balloon was a message from The Cheesecake Factory which "Try a slice on us" which could be redeemed for a complimentary slice of cheesecake. One of the best promotional uses of balloons we've seen in a long time.
As the run up to the end of the world nears, more and more brands are capitalizing with various stunts and promotions. Swiss car maker SEAT placed the new SEAT Leon FR in an emergency survival box at the Winterthur main station in Switzerland. This car has features that protects it's driver both actively and passively...which could come in handy Friday. As the brand advocates, "he perfect vehicle to make it to safety, in case of the apocalypse."
You know that rat race we all refer to sometimes when we're sick and tired of the same old crap we have to go through every day just to keep the wheels of life turning and the homeless shelter from becoming our next address? Well, Clemenger BBDO has taken a different...ahem...spin on the notion we humans are living life on a gerbil wheel racing towards, well, nothing really. Except in this case, people dressed in rat suit hop on the wheel, see how fast they can go just to get a bag of Fantastic Delites Vintage Cheese & Red Onion Flavor chips.
Perhaps riffing off the Free Hugs stunt of yore, Italian agency Nimai Digital put together a guerrilla campaign for Bologna, Italy in which a street team offered free Italian kisses to those roaming the streets of London. It was all to call attention to the friendly people of Bologna and to promote an all-expenses paid trip.
Street teams directed Brits to a Facebook page where after liking the page (of course) they could enter their contact info along with several of their social media profiles to be entered to win the trip.
Hey if two Italian girls kissing Brits can up tourism numbers to Bolonga, also known as the capital of machine-formed meat scraps, then we're calling this campaign a success.
OK, this is pretty cool. To have a little fun, Red Stripe turned a corner shop into a singing, dancing, musical performance by transforming products and items within the store into the music-making instruments. Every time a customer chose a Red Stripe from the shelves, the instruments were triggered and a musical performance began.
Pretty impressive stuff. We just wonder what might have happened had a shopper grabbed one of the items that was supposed to function as a musical instrument.
KesslerKramer's KK Outlet developed the idea and Stinkdigital worked with Hirsch&Mann to make the idea happen.
A new GE campaign that centers on the Brilliant Machines Tumblr blog features video and photos of robots of various shapes and sizes making their way through a number of cities in the United States. Sightings have been reported in Pasadena, Los Angeles, and along Hollywood Boulevard, as well as some undisclosed subway stations and industrial parks.
The campaign has been accompanied by real life robot appearances in San Francisco with those that spot the robots tweeting their photos with the hashtag #brilliantmachines.