Behind the scenes: Amazon Prime at SXSW

Amazon Prime staged a 'secret radio' takeover at SXSW festival, inspired by hit shows available to stream on the online video platform.

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Guests were invited to step back in time and experience a World War Two (WWII) enviroment at downtown Austin's Market+Tap Room, which had been transformed into a 'Resistance Radio Network' inspired by Amazon show Man in the High Castle. The experience took place from 11-14 March, and on entry, guests were "welcomed to The Resistance" and given a chip activated wristband, which gave them access to various touchpoints throughout the event, including the general store where they could personalise free merchandise.

Visitors were then led into an Amazon Prime air display, where the retailer’s drone delivery technology was showcased to the public for the first time. Themed cocktails were served throughout the event, and a 'silent streaming' - a television version of a silent disco - of Amazon's TV shows was also available for guests to enjoy. 

The brand also hosted a Grateful Dead-inspired party to celebrate Amazon Prime Video’s new show, Long Strange Trip. Guests were able to enjoy live music, 'Deadhead'-themed cocktails and customised gifts such as flasks and tins.

For a third transformation, Amazon Prime created a Playboy-themed party, inspired by Hugh Hefner, ahead of the video streaming service's docuseries which will launch soon. The American Playboy bash allowed guests to personalise their own pair of Playboy boxers and enjoy a night in a venue decorated by exclusive original images from Hefner's life while being serenaded by jazz singers.

Finally, the brand brought its show Patriot to life with an interactive, open-mic style experience, featuring themed drinks, customised gifting, and live music performances. The show's lead actor, Michael Doorman, was one of the performers, and guests were able to see him perform tunes from the show in a cozy rooftop setting.

In January, Amazon rebranded Westminster tube station to Webminster to publicise its web services and cloud computing business. Later this month, Universal Channel will bring the bar from hit show Chicago, Molly's, to life for one night only.

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