Chevy, Oreos and All Other SXSW Sponsors Need To Rethink Their Strategy…

After spending this past weekend at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive, I had some suggestions for the sponsors:

1) Chevy — I loved the idea of having all the new Chevy vehicles at the conference.  I even loved having the opportunity to test drive the Volt, Chevy’s newest all electric car. What surprised me was the fact that the Chevy representative knew little about the actual car.  I questioned her on various things and she had no idea and didn’t provide me with an opportunity to find out elsewhere.

Chevy, don’t you think you should prep your people before sending them out?

2) Oreo Cookies — Oreo had dozens of pedicabs that circled around the town of Austin. When I first came into town, the one honest pedicab driver told me that the ride was sponsored by Oreos and there was no fee for me.  But, after that, I was asked to pay anywhere from $5 for a two block ride to $20 for a ride across the river.  I ended up spending $60 in pedicab rides.

Oreo, don’t you think you should have someone there policing these drivers?

3) American Express — Last year, American Express had a huge presence.  Actually, many of the sponsors had a bigger presence last year than this year.  If you asked me to name some of the other sponsors that were there, I couldn’t even name one.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know American Express was a sponsor until I typed up the SXSW sponsor list on Google.

Sponsors, don’t you think that if you’re going to spend major marketing dollars on being at the biggest conference of the year, you should get more bang for your buck?

I don’t like to be critical of the way other people spend their money but don’t you think that these companies should be aware of what’s going on?

What do you think?



I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.



  1. donaldhump

    I wonder if the lady you spoke with about the Volt really works for Chevrolet. It’s possible they hired an agency to use a model? Or maybe… the technical people were too busy to go and they just sent an any ‘ol intern?

    1. Hilary JM Topper

      Agree… But if they hired an agency, why didn’t they prep them?

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