SXSW 2016 Showdown: EMS Rates the Top Three Experiential Marketing Programs

It was a battle of the senses; visual, auditory, and even olfactory. Touch and taste converged last month at the Austin, Texas South by Southwest (SXSW) festival to showcase the latest and greatest in emerging films, music, and technologies.

Considered the launching pad for new ideas and creative content, our agency sent one of its own to explore the event first-hand. Upon her return, Maggie reported back on the most exciting experiential marketing programs of SXSW 2016.

Maggie’s Top Picks:


1.  Anheuser-Busch

Never been to the St. Louis Anheuser-Busch facility? Through the 4-D Immersive Reality Brewery Tour, SXSW attendees were given virtual reality headsets so they could see, smell, and even taste how Budweiser is brewed. This “Beer Garage” multisensory event marketing program was both informative and delicious.

Our Rating: A-

2.  Mr. Robot

The award winning television program, Mr. Robot, returned to SXSW to re-engage fans with more than six customized experiences that paid homage to the show. Most notable and impressive was a customized 100-foot ferris wheel that soared above the grounds, and a “hacker lounge” for patrons to watch the season 2 pilot. A true activation program that was sure to impress anyone who considers themselves a Mr. Robot groupie.

Our rating: B+

3.  American Greetings

Offering a new communication perspective to the tech buzz, the greeting card company activated a three-day promotion appropriately named #Analog. Encouraging event attendees to embrace their DIY side, paper-based craft activities such as printmaking, pop up cards, and coloring book murals were featured. You know what’s cooler than a phone selfie? One stitched with thread by a fashion designer.

Our Rating: B