Five WTF examples of marketing at SXSW

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

During SXSW, and especially in the last five years or so, Sixth Street turns into one long, strange sensory overload. People nearly give you eyeball papercuts trying to get their fliers in your hands, before they're promptly tossed on the ground. If you get the right combo of marketing types hollerin' at you, it can make you question your life choices. If you get the wrong combo, well, ditto. This year, Sixth Street has felt especially like everything you look at is a billboard, right down to the controversial "homeless hotspots." These are a few of the more curious hawkers we saw:

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, WHY NOT JACK AN ENTIRE BUILDING? ​This stage is hyping the new "Jacked" Doritos, which are apparently 40 percent bigger in size and thickness than regular Doritos. Really, was the size and thickness of Doritos a problem before? Yeah, I tried the new Enchilada Supreme flavor, and I felt violated by its boldness. Best overheard of the day: "I know the guy who invented Doritos. You're not gonna let me in?"

WHY, YES, THESE PEOPLE ARE PRACTICALLY NAKED ​Let's follow that up with these folks hawking CoolSculpting, a "procedure" that freezes and eliminates fat cells. Is it dangerous? Do body-image issues really need to be brought up during a music festival where people are subsisting on tacos and beer? Who cares, these people are practically naked!

WHAT BETTER TIME TO PRESS THE FLESH ​Hey, kids! It's Fleshy, your friendly neighborhood Fleshlight! Y'know, just in case you want a sex toy during the festival. As I was taking this photo, a kid behind me asked his mom if he could take a picture with the Fleshlight, and I died a little. (Side note: Seeing the guy take off his Fleshlight costume was actually grosser than thinking about a Fleshlight.)

JUST JOCKEYING FOR POLE POSITION, IS ALL ​When all else fails, just put your shit over other people's shit. It's the American way.

Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.