7 Ways Television Marketing Is Big at SXSW

The game of shows battles it out

From experiential activations to free food and actual broadcasts, network and cable TV outlets have left their stamps all over Austin. It is clear that the marketing of television to SXSW attendees is just as important as any other medium. Here are just a few examples.

HBO—Game of Thrones

HBO is everywhere in Austin. Not only are there Iron Throne pedicabs whizzing around town, but the premium cable channel has teamed up with virtual reality headset manufacturers Oculus Rift in order to give attendees a virtual experience of the show.


A&E—Bates Motel

Camera crews interviewed festivalgoers and gave away free brownies at a replica of the titular inn.

FX—The Strain

By far the most ambitious television activation is FX’s “Transformation Station.”

The Mexic-Arte Museum has been converted into a “vampire spa” featuring sleep pods with Samsung tablets playing footage of the The Strain, which premieres on FX in July.

Festival attendees sign up for an appointment, and take 20-minute naps, which are billed as a cure-all for “The Strain of SXSW.” 

Showtime—Penny Dreadful

The cable network has an aggressive outdoor strategy, splashing messaging for its new psychological thriller across Austin’s fleet of SXSW Shuttles. Penny Dreadful bows on Showtime Sunday, May 11—two months after having its world-premiere screening at SXSW.

NBC—Late Night With Seth Meyers

There’s somewhat of a late-night war at South By. Late Night with Seth Meyers show is partnering with Danny Meyer’s famed Shake Shack on a witching hour food truck that serves up free burgers. The show also partnered with SXSW’s official bike-share program, SX Cycles, providing free rides while promoting the #SethXSW hasthtag.

Bravo—Watch What Happens Live

For the second straight year, Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live is filming shows on-site, chatting up the likes of Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Rogan.

ABC—Jimmy Kimmel Live

Promos for Jimmy Kimmel Live! are plastered all over Austin’s Metro Rail and as such are hard to miss. Kimmel will be airing from SXSW March 10-14th and will feature such local guests as Texas Governor Rick Perry, country legend Willie Nelson and featured speaker Robert Duvall.