How 2 Brands Walked the Talk of Ad Innovation at SXSW

“Keep Austin Weird” bumper stickers have once again attracted the flamboyant and nerdy to the quirky capital city of Texas. ‘South by Southwest 2014’ kicked off on March 6th, and is keeping Twitter, Instagram, and other social channels popping with news and keen observances by the weird, wacky, and wonderful.

Advertising, branding, and marketing professionals are amongst the thousands on hand to share and experience interactive trends, music, and film. The Ad Council presented five panels. Adweek’s Tim Nudd is participating as well.  And names like Kevin Bacon, Mark Cuban, and Gary Vaynerchuk are flying around, too.

The best part of SXSW for ad types and branders are to watch with a keen eye how Brands themselves embrace innovation at SXSW. But we all know that SXSW is not about the panels and the breakout sessions. Below are two industry gems taking place this year, a reminder that brands continue to be amazing!

Trending Vending:  Global candy manufacturer Mondelez (Oreo, Cadbury, Trident Gum) has debuted its Oreo Trending Vending Lounge that delivers customized snacks based on real-time data collection. Two custom vending machines at SXSW allow attendees to create their own snack based on trending social conversations. Twitter is partnering on the project, using the hashtag #eatthetweet. If that’s not far enough over the edge for you, the Oreo cookies are being made with 3-D printing technology, which creates the personalized cookies in less than two minutes.  Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez, says, “We’re connecting trending moments to the cookie itself in real time and in real life.”

Mario Kart Races: How could Shell introduce its new Pennzoil synthetic motor oil brand to 18-to-24 year-olds who don’t read traditional auto magazines? The company’s ad agency, JWT Atlanta developed “Mario Karting Reimagined”, a perfect blend of go karts, gamification, and Nascar race tracks. SXSW attendees in Austin became the target of the campaign. An article on explains: “Pennzoil is launching Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus Technology, a new offering under the Platinum line that is made with natural gas. The company is eschewing Nascar and appearances in auto magazines for “Mario Karting Reimagined,” an activation that will let South By attendees jump inside a life-size Mario Kart for a racing experience.”

What are some other Brand innovators at SXSW?



About Patricia

Patricia Wilson is president of media agency BrandCottage.
Specializing in cross-platform media plans for brands and companies.


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