Five WTF Examples of Marketing at SXSW

Yes, that kid's shirt does say Sex, Drugs & Dubstep. This is our future.
Yes, that kid's shirt does say Sex, Drugs & Dubstep. This is our future.
All photos by Audra Schroeder

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.

Five WTF Examples of Marketing at SXSW

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?"

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!


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.)

When all else fails, just put your shit over other people's shit. It's the American way.

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