Mar 04, 2011 at 03:22 PM
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Chevy Gears Up For Another Round Of SXSW

Chevrolet is back as sponsor of the interactive, film, and music festival South by Southwest (SXSW). In addition to providing comp'd rides around Austin, the automaker is serving up a good activation mix of product information, utility and no-promotional-strings-attached entertainment, and naturally, it's leaning heavily on social media to tie it all together.

Chevy will be debuting an in-car, infotainment package called MyLink that integrates online services using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls via Bluetooth device connectivity.

"South by Southwest is a perfect backdrop to introduce people to Chevrolet MyLink," said Chris Perry, GM vice president, U.S. marketing. "Like South by Southwest itself, MyLink is the ultimate combination of music and technology. The festival also offers an opportunity for Chevrolet and OnStar to evaluate new technologies that may soon help Chevrolet drivers safely stay connected while behind the wheel."

All Chevy vehicles at SXSW will feature MS Tags that attendees can scan with their mobile phones to access information about the vehicle's highlights. Chevrolet will also leverage social-media services, including Gowalla, FourSquare, and Qrank, to connect with consumers in Austin. When attendees aren't on the go, the Volt Recharge Lounge will offer them a place to rest their feet and recharge their iPhones, Blackberries, laptops and other electronic devices.

Chevrolet partner, OnStar, will also take a key role in the automaker's activation. In addition to participating in a panel on the future of the connected car, OnStar is orchestrating 10 SXSW road trip teams, who will use OnStar technologies as they drive to Austin. The teams, from different cities throughout the United States and Canada, will drive to Austin in Chevrolet vehicles, using OnStar to receive instructions for the trip, post updates through social media channels and download directions to their next destination.

"Over the course of the last 15 years OnStar has grown from delivering safety & security to offer connected in-car mobility services," Nick Pudar, vice president, OnStar Business Development and Planning said. "In the future, with mobile broadband technology and social web platforms evolving we see an incredible opportunity to leverage the power of OnStar to safely provide drivers everything from access to streaming internet content to hands-free, social-media status updates and many other customized services."

All of this builds on last year's activation, which was by most accounts a social media success. Check out this video for a summary of that, and keep an eye on for more info about Chevrolet's 2011 SXSW activities.