The South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival has become to digital technology geeks what Burning Man is to… well, those people. So why, then, are traditional corporate mainstays like Chevrolet and Microsoft tagging along for the ride this year? It’s like having your dad show up to a high school rager with a bottle of Chablis and Yahtzee – very not cool (unless you really like Yahtzee).
Or is it? It’s not the first time that the suits from corporate America have tried to get in tight with the cool kids in order to get a leg up on the next big thing. After all, SXSW is one of the premiere venues for the early-adopter crowd – the place where social media phenoms like Twitter and Foursquare made their debut. And with everything going digital today, maybe it makes sense for the old brass to get in with the new crowd.
Just how much brands like Chevy and Microsoft can connect with the increasingly mobile and tech saavy generation remains to be seen. But with the Music-Film-Interactive festival wrapping up this week, we may still have some surprises on the horizon.
On the plus side, it might not be all bad if establish brands learn something from the up-and-comers. Just think – what if you could get a Tweet from your Prius reminding you to increase your life insurance policy just before it takes you on a 94-mph death ride on the San Diego freeway? Genius.