Samsung's Takeover of SXSW Was Legendary

This post is about a month overdue – but I’ve been thinking more and more about how Samsung is making a BOLD transition from being a tech company, to becoming an all out lifestyle company. And their presence at SXSW made it obvious and clear that they are well on their way. 

Besides the 2016 release and promotional events for Samsung’s take on virtual reality with their Gear VR device (which is awesome by the way) they not only decided to infuse their take on virtual reality into SXSW, but did so by creating activations and events that you HAD to be at. 

During my time at SXSW Interactive (May 11th through the 13th) Samsung had multiple activations going on – what they dubbed ‘Galaxy Life Fest’ that included free shows (if you had a Samsung phone, which I did) to huge acts like;Public Enemy, ColleGrove, the new superstar duo composed of 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, The ArcsSiaThe StrokesElle King, and Santigold. Check it out below.


Beyond those nightly shows, held just a few blocks away from the Austin Convention Center, Samsung also had a FLEET of Black Cars that would drop you off anywhere you wanted to go in the City of Austin. All you had to do was flash your Samsung phone, and boom, you were in for a free ride.

Samsung had done this type of thing before with free pedicabs, but getting your own free black car, was an unreal benefit to being part of Samsung’s ‘Galaxy.’

In addition to the plethora of free shows and free rides, Samsung opened up their Samsung Gear VR Lounge, which you could try on their new virtual reality headset and sit in a motion-controlled chair next to strangers while experiencing a full Six Flags Signature rollercoaster in VR. And damn…let me tell you. It was surreal. (Click here for the full video and recap) 

And if you want to experience it in real-time, you can go to Six Flags and actually ride a rollercoaster while in VR. Sound crazy to you? Well yeah, cause it is. See here for the full details on how Samsung is making ‘Magic Mountain’ even more intense for Six Flags attendees. 

As if all of this wasn’t enough – after you got off the ‘rollercoaster’ experience in the moving chair, you could then sit down and enjoy another Samsung brand collaboration with Mountain Dew, where they created a fully immersive Dew 360 Snow Experience called: Backcountry Snowboarding that truly brought you into some waist deep pow.

And I’ll admit, while this was my first VR experience, I was highly skeptical going in. But after coming out of Samsung’s VR Lounge, I was highly impressed. If I were a full time Galaxy owner, purchasing a Gear VR device would be an absolute no brainer! IT’s only $99 bucks, and for fully immersive experiences under five minutes, why wouldn’t you take a break and get some adventure while you can?

Read a full review of the Samsung Gear VR device here

And last but not least, Samsung a had their new version of a retail pop-up (called the Samsung Studio) open from Friday March 11th through Tuesday March 15th for anyone that wanted to interact with the latest devices and services, or get access to exclusive events, unforgettable experiences, and special rewards for Samsung Galaxy Owners. You could also purchase the new Galaxy S7 (or S7 Edge) phone on-site at SXSW, and receive the ultimate festival bundle turning your phone into an all-access pass to special programming and events.

All in all – I was MORE than impressed with Samsung as a brand and my opinions of them clearly shot up through the roof. They “get” what consumers want. And in comparison to Apple or Microsoft? They definitely showed it at SXSW Interactive.

Perhaps I’ll be making the switch from Apple to Samsung when I’m due for an upgrade in May too…

For more info on Samsung’s takeover of SXSW Interactive 2016, feel free to read this article or watch this YouTube video to get a feel for what I was talking about. 

Email me:

Follow @CamKing747 on Twitter

Follow @INPHANTRY on Twitter