Brand managers: Vevo senior VP of music programming, talent and operations Doug McVehil, director of marketing and strategic partnerships Derrin Woodhouse
Brand plans: Vevo is taking over the Ghost Room on West Fourth Street and rebranding it as the Vevo Control Room for a series of events March 12-16. The space will play host to daytime lounge events, nighttime live performances and an after-hours lounge as part of a partnership with Dream Hotels, with design from HGTV talent to create a “downtown Austin loft” vibe. DJ Earworm will be the venue’s video DJ all week. Separately, Vevo is prepping a news announcement that will be made during the conference on March 12.
Official SXSW event? Yes.
How it will stand out: Teaming with Dream Hotels will help Vevo create an entertainment and art space reminiscent of the hospitality company’s flagship Dream Downtown in New York, as it plans to expand similar activations to all Dream properties throughout the year. Special eats will be prepared by 2012 “Top Chef” winner Paul Qui out of his East Side King food truck.

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Brand manager: Doritos marketing manager Mike Messersmith
Brand plans: Having made a big statement in 2012, Doritos is returning with a stage in the form of a giant, 56-foot vending machine, this time to promote its new Bold flavors. This year’s stage will also have interactive features that will let fans do everything from select the opening act at three showcases to control the special effects by using the hashtag #boldstage on Twitter and Instagram. Fans will also be able to live-stream the show at Doritos’ Facebook page. In addition, the brand will coordinate efforts with Taco Bell’s promotional plans.
Official SXSW event? Yes.
How it will stand out: As if its oversized presence won’t make a big enough statement, Doritos is also tapping three hip-hop legends for a special performance guaranteed to be a “knockout.”

Taco Bell
Brand manager: Taco Bell chief marketing officer Brian Niccol
Brand plans: Taco Bell returns as sponsor of the Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel, a venue that’ll play host to many acts who’ve participated in the fast-feeder’s Feed the Beat campaign. Set for Austin’s Whitley March 12-16, the Hype Hotel will also offer free samples of Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos Locos, which will be available nationally March 7. Last year’s event played a key role in the historic launch of Doritos Tacos Locos, which sold more than 350 million tacos in their first year.
Official SXSW event? No.
How it will stand out: Taco Bell will host some of the must-see showcases of the week -- with free tacos to boot. Last year’s Hype Hotel boasted a performance from EDM wunderkind Madeon, who was signed to Columbia within hours as a result of his appearance and later booked as an opener for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball. Among the buzz bands booked by the Syndicate and Hype Machine partner blogs this year are Disclosure, Charli XCX, Everything Everything, Fort Lean, Solange, Rudimental and Kids These Days.

The Fader
Brand manager: Fader president/publisher Andy Cohn
Brand plans: Back for its 12th consecutive year, the Fader Fort celebrates its second year as an official showcase, with Converse once again onboard as a presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors this year include Dell, LG Electronics, Hard Rock, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Hobnob Wines, vitaminwater, SiriusXMU and Glass Is Life. The Fader will also host a live stream of its concerts at, while Dell will help festival-goers unable to make it down to the Fort stream this year’s performance at some of their favorite Austin hangouts. Additionally, LG will promote its Optimus G smartphone through unique activations at the Fort.
Official SXSW event? Yes.
How it will stand out: By having one of the week’s most eclectic, exclusive artist lineups. Among previous headliners at the Fort: Kanye West, Nas and, just last year, Rick Ross.