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Inside SXSW 2024 Brand Activations

Inside SXSW 2024 Brand Activations


Austin, Texas, is brimming with brand activity this week as South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual series of festivals and conferences, takes over the capital city.

In its 37th year, the event is known for major tech launches, movie and documentary premieres, a first look at up-and-coming musicians and a plethora of knowledge on its conference stages. For advertisers, it’s an opportunity to reach a unique cross-section of people—many of whom travel to Central Texas from all over the world.

In a slight diversion from previous years, which welcomed festival-goers into the worlds of Yellowjackets, Game of Thrones or Westworld, the brand activations at SXSW 2024 are largely rooted “more in the here and now, as opposed to a fictional reality,” Peter Lewis, chief partnerships officer for SXSW, told ADWEEK. Aside from notable exceptions like Prime Video’s post-apocalyptic Fallout activation, the theme of this year’s brand activity has felt focused on transporting people into a unique space or reality while also imparting useful information about the brand’s products—like Porche’s new EV and video game skin, Delta’s new personalized entertainment experience or Sharpie’s new line of markers.

Spanning industries from streaming and travel to CPG and auto, here’s a look at the biggest experiential marketing stunts at SXSW 2024.

The Delta Lounge

Open to all Delta SkyMiles members with or without an official SXSW badge, the airline rolled out the red carpet for fans with the Delta Lounge in downtown Austin. At the activation, visitors were introduced to Delta Sync—a personalized account for travelers using Delta’s in-flight entertainment that keeps track of what users watch, allowing them to pick up right where they left off at the end of a previous flight.

“Delta’s presence at SXSW is our latest opportunity to extend our SkyMiles program benefits and connect directly with our members,” said Delta chief marketing officer Alicia Tillman. “We want our SkyMiles program to deliver value to customers in ways that connect them throughout their travel journey to exclusive moments spanning special-access opportunities, community engagement, content experiences, and unique epicurean and musical adventures.”