Now Trending: SXSW

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South by Southwest (SXSW) is roaring down in Austin, TX for its 31st conference. For all of us following along on social media, here are some of the most noteworthy happenings from SXSW:

1) HBO Westworld Activation

Westworld takes place in the far future where two geniuses create a wild west themed amusement park that’s populated by androids. In this park, guests can live their wildest dreams and find out if they’re a white hat or a black hat. For the season two premiere, HBO partnered with Giant Spoon to recreate the town of Sweetwater. For the installation, guests immersed themselves in the town by getting a shave, listening to live music and watching actors interact and play out the scripts developed just for the installation. This activation is an excellent reminder that despite all the advances in technology, sometimes the best way to reach your audience is with an authentic, out-of-home experience. With all the noise at SXSW, HBO managed to dominate the conversation.

2) Elon Musk’s Surprise Keynote

Following the successful SpaceX mission that sent a car into outer space, Elon Musk dropped a surprise keynote about business, the space program, and why we don’t have a Mars colony as promised to us in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Musk’s announcement sent everyone into a frenzy trying to secure tickets to the event. People who waited in line for hours were rewarded with an insightful conversation. Most inspiring was Musk’s affirmation confirmation to have faith in your business and trust in yourself, even if it only has a 10% chance of succeeding. You can find a link to the entire keynote on Youtube here.

3) Duet with Yoo

Artificial intelligence has been a dominant part of SXSW for the past few years now. Yamaha continued the conversation with “Duet with Yoo,” an AI experience that lets a human play a duet of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on the piano. The AI technology recognizes key and tempo changes to adapt to how you play the piano.

4) Facebook’s Video Activations

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, video content is King. This year, Facebook created an interactive video experience to explore how Facebook Video, Instagram, and Occulus can shape mobile storytelling. Consumers respond to video content, and everyone is a content creator. By exploring these themes in the activation, Facebook created a super fun, instagramable space.

With SXSW wrapping up, you bet we’ll be watching for more innovations and brands ahead of the curve!

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