Some of the weirdest marketing gimmicks we saw at SXSW

The location-centric app Highlight put Highlight t-shirts on some adorable dogs in Austin this weekend to promote the company. (And gather up dog fans.)

When it comes to SXSW, it appears that the accepted mentality is go big or go home. And that doesn’t just apply to raging parties, open bars, or the number of times you say the word “innovate.”

As The Onion so perfectly noted, SXSW is a haven for marketers and advertisers looking to make more people aware of their companies and products. But a tent and a sign doesn’t exactly cut it here (sorry, Samsung Galaxy tent.) This is a time for the big guns. And people went all out.

Below are photos of some of the most absurd orĀ bizarreĀ marketing stunts we saw this weekend. Know of one we shouldn’t miss? You can leave a comment or tweet at us if we should check something else out:

TaskRabbit SXSW 2013

TaskRabbit rolled out a rabbit van, and you could see the fur blowing in the pre-thunderstorm breeze.

Checked out the Flickr app? Flickr representatives let you take your photo in the Flickr filter, upload them to the app and then print out.

Checked out the Flickr app? Flickr representatives let you take your photo in the Flickr filter, upload them to the app and then print out.

Glow in the dark drinks at MIT Media Lab's party.

Glow in the dark drinks at MIT Media Lab’s party.

Hootsuite put together an owl bus and had it rolling through town.

Hootsuite put together an owl bus and had it rolling through town.

AT&T provided colorful charging lockers for you to hook up your devices.

AT&T provided colorful charging lockers for you to hook up your devices.

Highlight also rolled out popsicles, with the co-founders handing out treats for people to photograph and then tag on the app.

Highlight also rolled out popsicles, with the co-founders handing out treats for people to photograph and then tag on the app.

Google debuted talking basketball sneakers at SXSW, and set up a small basketball court and playground for participants.

Google debuted talking basketball sneakers at SXSW, and set up a small basketball court and playground for participants.

This dude told me he wasn't marketing anything but apparently does infomercials all the time in his question mark suits. My skepticism really shines through here.

This dude told me he wasn’t marketing anything but apparently does infomercials all the time in his question mark suits. My skepticism really shines through here.

The ride-sharing company Lyft broke out a different kind of transportation in Austin this weekend: piggyback rides. The company's representatives donned  the well-known mustaches to give people rides around town.

The ride-sharing company Lyft broke out a different kind of transportation in Austin this weekend: piggyback rides. The company’s representatives donned the well-known mustaches to give people rides around town.

The location-centric app Highlight put Highlight t-shirts on some adorable dogs in Austin this weekend to promote the company. (And gather up dog fans.)

The location-centric app Highlight put Highlight t-shirts on some adorable dogs in Austin this weekend to promote the company. (And gather up dog fans.)

Livefyre rented out a firetruck, really amping up the crazy car genre.

Livefyre rented out a firetruck, really amping up the crazy car genre.

 

A pedi-cab driver dons a panda suit to give rides around Austin. Companies like Uber were giving rides all through the weekend as a promotion.

A pedi-cab driver dons a panda suit to give rides around Austin. Companies like Uber were giving rides all through the weekend as a promotion.

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