Just last week we reported on Chevrolet’s efforts to understand emerging technologies at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Conference. But besides those efforts to explore the worlds of social media and interconnectivity, Chevy also had a few other activities at the conference that showed off the bow tie brand’s product.
See The USA In Your Chevrolet: A SXSW Road Trip
For starters, Chevy organized a road rally dubbed See the USA in your Chevrolet: A SXSW Road Trip. It provided Chevy vehicles for eight teams where participants completed missions selected by followers on Twitter. The teams, which drove to SXSW from as far away as New York City and San Diego, used technologies such as (GM’s own) OnStar and Facebook to track and report their progress in the race, all in real time. While the value of this particular event may be somewhat difficult to comprehend for the social media simpleton, the concept is very creative and interesting.
Basically, Chevy listened to requests on Twitter and then relayed these to the respective teams. The end result is an increase in buzz-building Chevrolet-related conversations that draw attention to the rally and – ultimately – to Chevrolet and its products.
Volt Recharging Station
The second part of Chevy’s SXSW activities included the Chevrolet Volt Recharging Station – a lounge area with more than 100 electrical ports for recharging cell phones, notebooks, and cameras. SXSW Interactive is a very tech-centric event drawing a plethora of technology luminaries from around the world. A common downside of such conferences, however, is the lack of electrical outlets to charge up gadgets. While at the Volt Recharging Station, attendees could “… plug in, [get] a professional chair massage, grab a beverage, or just chill out” all while getting “your first look at the 2011 Chevy Volt.”
Fleet Transport And Test Drives, Catch A Chevy
Chevy also brought along a fleet of its favorite cars that it used to transport conference attendees to and from high-trafficked locations in downtown Austin. The fleet, consisting of the Camaro, Equinox, Malibu, and Traverse, was also available for rides to other exclusive events such as the drive to Salt Lick BBQ, a South by Southwest gathering outside of Austin. We also heard that some lucky SXSW attendees were given the opportunity to take fleet vehicles for short test drives.
The GM Authority Take
These are very creative marketing efforts that this humble writer applauds. As a whole, the SXSW crowd is very educated, creative, and dynamic, with some attendees being very influential in the respective (tech) communities. So it should go without saying that marketing to this group of people is very desirable. Most of all, however, this audience knows when they are being marketed to and can smell the “advertising bullshit from a mile away” (as one attendee put it).
As such, marketing to this group should be done in a very innovative and careful way so as not to cause an instant defense reaction. From the looks of it, Chevy delivered.
Now if only we could speed up the development of the next-gen Impala so that it’s ready for next-year’s SXSW, that would be outstanding.[Sources: SXSW 1, SXSW 2]