SXSW 2013
You Are What You Eat

Doritos and Pizza Hut hit SXSW with social media ploys to promote concerts, find employees

Doritos and Pizza Hut hit SXSW with social media ploys to promote concerts, find employees

Doritos stage at SXSW in Austin
Doritos will be erecting an enormous vending machine-themed theater, the Doritos #BoldStage, for a three-day hip-hop music showcase at SXSW. Doritos/Facebook
Doritos_Arch West
Doritos and Pizza Hut are two brands using social media in their SXSW campaigns.  Courtesy of Logopedia
Doritos stage at SXSW in Austin
Doritos_Arch West

How’s this for a hypoglycemic twofer: a 62-foot-tall Doritos vending machine and rapid-fire interviews for a job at Pizza Hut. Both companies are launching elaborate social media campaigns during this year’s SXSW, except neither really seem to be about eating their food.

Doritos, like last year, will be erecting an enormous vending machine-themed theater, the Doritos #BoldStage, for a three-day hip-hop music showcase, with artists Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Doug E. Fresh and NCIS: Los Angeles star and occasional Grammy host LL Cool J.

But it wouldn’t be SXSW if it wasn’t interactive: three undisclosed acts have been selected to duke it out, battle of the bands style, to be the opening night band — that winner will also be considered to join LL Cool J on his upcoming tour.

It’s all being done pseudo-American Idol-style, where fans vote on Twitter and Instagram using the #BoldStage hashtag. Austin-based social media technology firm Mass Relevance will be tracking the results using their fancy software. The hashtag will also be a part of the concert experience, affecting how special effects are used. 

The stage and the voting are all part of a brand relaunch for Doritos, which has a new logo and packaging it is rolling out worldwide.

Pizza Hut, meanwhile, is also using Twitter to find its next digital media manager. For four hours on Sunday, March 10 at the Hilton downtown, Pizza Hut honchos are holding 140 second interviews for the position, a la Twitter’s 140-character count. (Fear not, aspiring pizza empire employees, they’ll also be conducting those interviews over Skype, too.)

Appropriately, the Plano-based company will be pushing details for how to apply for the gig through its Facebook and Twitter pages. These are, we assume, the first of many waves to be made by big brands — and social media gurus — during SXSW 2013. Stay tuned as more SX buzz unfolds.