Chevrolet, exclusive automotive sponsor of SXSW music, film and interactive festival for the next three years, will use its freshman presence to get ideas on best practices and emerging technologies in social media. More important to Goodbuzz, Chevrolet is also using the show to test three social-media applications.
The first is a mobile location app from Austin-based Gowalla that tells a cell phone user's contacts where he or she is. When Gowalla users check in at various locations in Austin, they will get text messages with offers from Chevrolet and SXSW, such as a free ride in a new Equinox for those who use Gowalla when they get to the airport.
Chevrolet will also use Quick Response (QR) codes to tout the three vehicles it is featuring at the show. When mobile phone users photograph QR codes on the display vehicles, they will open a microsite detailing vehicle features. Users who download the Chevrolet iReveal Augmented Reality AR application, available in Beta form, will be able to unlock three-dimensional models of Chevrolet vehicles. The application will provide key specifications of the vehicles, and insert the virtual image of the car over the actual streetscape viewed through the smart phone camera lens.
Finally, Chevrolet will run a team-based road rally called "See the USA in your Chevrolet: A SXSW Road Trip," in which teams will drive to Austin from various places like New York and San Diego while completing missions selected by followers on Twitter, and using social media and user-generated content to record their trips.
The GM division will have a Chevrolet Volt Recharging Station for digital devices and a fleet of Camaros, Equinoxes, Malibus, and Traverses for conference attendees. Chevrolet will also offer rides to and from downtown, to exclusive events, and restaurants. “The idea is to contribute to what people are there to do rather than brand all over the place." All we can say is "Go GM!" ;)