We helped Krush build an unforgettable experience at the biggest annual tech blowout in one of America’s hippest cities: South by Southwest in Austin, TX.
Fresh off its debut at CES in January, the emerging technology brand Krush needed to wow a whole new audience at SXSW. This digitally-literate crowd is used to seeing lots of super cool tech, so Real Art had to really blow minds with an experience that would be worthy of their time, attention, and participation.
To promote Krush and its line of products—from the virtual reality simulator Moveo to a suite of new mobile apps—we engineered a multifaceted showcase that did more than just engage. We made sure the name Krush would be on the lips of SXSW Interactive Festival attendees all across the city.
Out on the street, curious passersby were drawn in by the Krush-branded high striker game. Having piqued their interest, we invited them to enter the experience, walking first through an immersive “tunnel” before emerging into the interior chamber. Melding technology and culture for a 360-degree sensory experience of product messaging and pumping beats, the impact on visitors was immediate and lasting.
An Artful Intro
The breadth of the visual aspect of the Krush experience was massive. Wheatpasted wild postings inside and outside relayed an edgy vibe, with over 1,950 square feet of prints painstakingly hand-applied to plywood by Real Art team members. The content ranged from recruiting for Krush with a bold black and white propaganda style to individual product showcases. Quirky, serious, and at times absurd, we were able to mash up the best of the brand.
An emphasis on interaction meant that there was no shortage of digital stimuli to keep attendees busy. Overhead, a striking 24’ x 24’ video display featured footage highlighting the Krush product portfolio and its message of merging humans and machine with both traditional and new technologies.
An interactive video tower on the demo side of the space cycled through product and brand messaging. Two adjacent demo stations with dangling smartphones let visitors test out the very latest Krush products. Two of the playable apps are now available for download: Heystax, the twisted social discovery game, and Emotit for President, the app that surveys the nation’s emotional reactions to the 2016 U.S. Presidential race.
Centerstage featured the main draw with Moveo, the world’s first free rotation VR simulator built to enhance the Oculus experience. Attendees who were lucky enough to ride Moveo were treated to a stunning, seamless blend of physical and virtual worlds that signals Krush’s ambitious development in the realm of VR.
The Moveo pod rotates on 3 independent axis, while players control the motion and navigate through space in a virtual reality game (now available on digital distribution platform Steam) built specifically for Moveo. Even those who didn’t get the chance to ride Moveo were transfixed by simply watching the spectacle.
Have Yourself a Drink
Accentuating the scene’s positive vibe was DJ Gatsby spinning an eclectic mix of music alongside a custom-built bar stationed on one full side of the event space. Austin, Texas’ own Tito’s Handmade Vodka supplied a bounty of vodka and served specialty themed cocktails, appropriately named “Orange Krush.” Stations where bartenders crushed oranges for the drinks were a cheeky nod to Krush’s mission to mash together different kinds of technologies.
The casual, laid-back, fun atmosphere meant that many attendees spent extended periods of time enjoying the drinks both inside and outside. Tito’s also supplied boozy gift baskets to the winners of Krush’s high striker game. Once we had them in, we kept ‘em around.
Nearly 6,000 SXSW attendees came through the Krush showcase over three days, drinking down upwards of 5,000 Tito’s “Orange Krush” cocktails (that’s 1,350 oranges and 600 1.7L Orangina bottles, FYI). In the news, the Krush experience at SXSW 2016 picked up coverage in Tom’s Guide, Yahoo, Gizmag, Brainjet, and Commerce+Creativity, among others. For Krush, the exhibit offered many business leads plus great recruitment opportunities for the fast-growing company.
“This was one of those projects that perfectly exemplifies the Real Art approach. It was a complex creative, technical and logistical challenge that required contributions from nearly every internal team as well as some great external partners. And in spite of the rain during set-up, it kicked ass.” -Mark Kargl, Creative Director at Real Art
“As they always do, Real Art created an insane experience for us at SXSW. Sometimes we think they’re nuts. But then the press comes knocking.” -JP Nauseef, Chairman at Krush Technologies
“Tito’s Handmade Vodka mixed with virtual reality at this SXSW experience (but there was nothing virtual about the punch packed by the Orange Krush!)” -Jose Fox, Content Coorindator at Tito’s Handmade Vodka