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How To Be a Brand Whore at SXSW

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South by South West is in its 27th year, and it has come a long way from its grass roots origins. A show that used to be about discovering all things indie and new in the world of music, film and tech, has now become not only a celebrity destination, but a hot mess of branding opportunities. So whether its Microsoft, Ketel One, or even Grumpy Cat, big brands have their stamp all over the city of Austin.

Fortunately, there are perks to these brand sponsorships and those perks are SWAG and freebies. Here is a list of some of the freebies you can find littering the streets of Austin.

 

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Chevrolet

Chevrolet is giving out free rides around the city. This is a necessity in a city that has cab line queues of at least an hour. They’re also letting folks go for test drives in their cars. After a test drive, you get rewarded with a free SXSW shirt. But there is a catch – you need to take a breathalyzer test before you get to drive. We failed. #driveachevy

 

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Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy lounge is offering plenty of freebies. They’re giving away everything from t-shirts, to sunglasses, bags, tanks and car chargers. You just need to listen to a demo about one of their new products or participate in a challenge. They are also offering up free drinks and food. #thenextbigthing

Battery out of power? Tweet at Samsung and they’ll come find you and juice you up… with a battery pack of course. Oh, and make sure that it is a Samsung phone that you drained, or it will just be awkward. #poweron

 

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GoToMeeting

Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? Download the GoToMeeting app and you can pick up a free grilled cheese lunch across the street from the convention center.

 

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Pennzoil

Have you every wanted to Go Kart, Mario-style? Well this was your chance. Pennzoil was offering up a free Mario Kart experience. Bonus: you got a free Super Mario shirt at the end. #MotorOilReimagined

 

A&E

A&E has a make shift Bates Motel set up where you can pick up free brownies from a vending machine. The last time we checked though, Mother was out of brownies. #batesmotel

 

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GoBank

This one might be our favorite brand-pimp at SXSW because it involves PUPPIES! GoBank and BarkBox are offering free beer, drinks and cell phone stands when you stop by to check out the adorable puppies that are up for adoption. Take a look at this adorable guy – how can you not get in the car right now to scoop him up, and give him a good home? #puppyhour

 

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HBO

There is a touring Game of Thrones exhibit happening in SXSW and the lines for it are pretty ridiculous. But if you need to get over there, HBO and AT&T have sponsored little electric cabs around the city that will take you there for free. Just spot one and get them to pick you up. And don’t forget to tip. There is nothing worse than a cheap nerd. #GOTexhibit

 

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Fast Company, Woodford Reserve and WannaGo

Fast Company, Woodford Reserve and WannaGo are offering free drinks and grub at the Cedar Door. Not on the list? No problem. Just download the WannaGo app and show it at the door. Oh, and that Woodford Reserve whiskey goes down really smoothly, just saying.

 

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Cottonelle

Cottonelle is giving out free fresh hair and makeup touch ups. They also take the crown for the most entertaining hashtag of SXSW. #LetsTalkBums

 

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Nespresso

Last but not least, if you’re attending SXSW, then there is something that you probably need a lot more than free booze and that is coffee. Fortunately, Nespresso is offering free tastings, all you have to do is listen to a short demo of their new Nespresso pod machines. #TheCoffeeRevolution

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Esurance

Esurance is giving away 10,000 Access Passes. The RFID-enabled passes reveals opportunities to score VIP or priority access to parties hosted by Mashable, Pandora, Pitchfork, SPIN, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, and VIBE during SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music. Both official SXSW badge-holders and non badge-holders can register for Esurance Access Passes at the Glove Box, Esurance’s hub in the Austin Convention Center. Access Pass holders will also gain exclusive entry to the Esurance Fuel Lounge (6th and Trinity), a VIP retreat powered by Esurance’s new online gas price predictor, Fuelcaster. #EsuranceAccess