The 38th edition of the SXSW Conference and Festivals in Austin is officially underway, providing nine jam-packed days (March 8-16) of sessions, music and comedy showcases, film and tv screenings, exhibitions, tech competitions, awards ceremonies—oh yeah, and killer experiential marketing activations.


Photo: Courtesy of Audible

Brands are peppered across the city this week, with some activating as official sponsors, and others in town to reap the benefits of engaging a massive audience of creatives and techies. For a taste of the hot-sauce-drenched action on the ground, check out our first recap, live from SXSW 2024. (And stay tuned for more coverage.)



Have you ever ridden a Ferris wheel in downtown Austin? At the carnival-themed Audible Sound Experience, the brand’s giant ride, and its audio-enabled gondolas, was the talk of the town. Indeed, the storytelling-forward Sound Experience activation served as an over-the-(big)-top affair offering carnival staples, including cotton candy and corn dogs, Audible entertainment-themed games like “Hi-Fi Toss” and “Pitch Perfect” that yielded branded prizes, and larger-than-life costumed characters walking the footprint and engaging attendees (we had a quick chat with the Queen of Hearts).

There were also airbrush tattoos, photo moments, festive balloon installations, listening stations and a bar and patio area where attendees could cash in two drink tickets and chill out. We’d like to send a quick shout-out to the powers that be for skipping clowns on this one.

Agency: Civic Entertainment Group

— Kait Shea


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