OMD Insider Intelligence: SXSW 2023
11 April 2023

By: Kassandra (Kass) Kirk, Director, Integrated Media Planning OMD U.S.

SXSW brings the newest innovations in tech, film, and music together in one place. We saw VR in multiple applications, including pre-recorded therapy sessions, to allow for more accessible care. Holograms were a big draw in showing how the technology can react in real-time and may have to ability to replace Facetime and Zoom in the future.  Some of the biggest movies premiered, including Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Evil Dead Rise, and Flamin’ Hot.  We also saw some of the biggest up-and-coming musicians, including Armani White and Balming Tiger. Doritos® and Doritos® Dips activated at SXSW by leaning into their AR Triangle Tracker technology and their cultural relevance in music.

To kick off the second week of SXSW, Doritos® created a multi-sensorial activation located at the end of Rainey Street on Monday, March 13th, and Tuesday, March 14th. The 15ft triangle structure transported passersby into the world of Doritos® After Dark™ through the smell of BBQ Doritos® (their newest flavor), music, sounds of crunching chips, and visuals featuring Doritos®, Doritos® Dips, and most importantly, Doritos® inspired meals.

After walking through the kaleidoscope of food euphoria, consumers were encouraged to scan the Snapchat code to unlock the Triangle Tracker AR lens. The Snapchat lens featured a world lens that gave users the ability to scan the triangle they just experienced and turn it into a Dorito.

Attendees then entered to win a chance to gain access to the Doritos® After Dark™ Billboard House after party on March 16th featuring an all-vinyl set from DJ Pee Wee (aka Anderson Paak).

Thursday, March 16th, kicked off the evening at The Stage to see Lil Yachty. Doritos® had a Snack Bar as attendees entered that gave them a taste of the new Cool Ranch Jalapeno Doritos® Dips on their choice of food, including chicken tenders, carrots, or mini corn dogs with a side of BBQ Doritos®. The Snack Bar doubled as a photo opportunity in front of the reflective material with red and blue neon lights.

With The Stage concert ending early due to lightning storms, attendees rushed to the after-party for shelter and a great time. When first entering 800 congress, you were greeted by a chandelier of Doritos® with Doritos® dispensers offering 6x different flavors.

The evening was filled with Doritos® inspired cocktails, mocktails, and food. This fully immersive culinary experience gave consumers the ability to try Doritos® in different forms and encourages the usage of chips outside of the snacking occasion. Chefs performed live demos as they cooked the creations, and some of the consumers’ favorites were the Doritos® Flamin’ Hot® Nacho Corn Puppies, Doritos® BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos, and the Doritos® Flamin’ Hot® Limon Margarita Cheesecake. The cocktails featured a Doritos® rim coupled with Mountain Dew mixers.

To top it off, the music and energy were high. The evening opened with Soxxi. Anderson Paak played a 1-hour all vinyl set, ending his time on stage with a ding of a triangle. Fans lined up around the building and even listened outside the doors to catch a glimpse of the performance.

Doritos’ activation showed how technology like AR is becoming a part of everyday life.

The ease of scanning a code to unlock a digital experience and translating that into an IRL experience is the key to success. At SXSW, it’s been made clear that technology is continuing to innovate, and we are closer than ever to having AR and VR being integrated into our everyday experience. There will come a time when we can’t imagine our lives without this technology, just as we can’t imagine our lives without our smartphones. OMD guides our clients to move forward, faster, harnessing these opportunities to guide brands and businesses in writing the next chapter for growth.


Kassandra (Kass) Kirk

Director, Integrated Media Planning


Stay in the know

Sign up
Successfully subscribed! Thank you!