2019 SXSW Creative Experience “Arrow” Awards Announced

Sony WoW Studio - Photo by Aaron Rogosin

Announcing the winners of the SXSW Creative Experience "Arrow" Awards which celebrate creativity and innovation from brand experiences at SXSW 2019.

In addition to the three inaugural categories (Best Immersive Experience, Best Use of Technology, and Spirit of SXSW), an additional category was added (Best Exhibition Experience) this year to recognize the creativity and impact of experiences at SXSW, with plans to expand to a larger program in 2020.

"As agencies, brands, and other groups continue to bring their most ambitious experiential ideas to life at SXSW, we will continue to broaden the awards to recognize that creative spirit," said Roland Swenson, CEO of SXSW. "Well-executed, thoughtful activations enhance the overall experience for our attendees, and we are always inspired by what our partners create at SXSW."

The SXSW Creative Experience "Arrow" Awards jury was comprised of select SXSW staff and industry advisors.

SXSW 2019 Creative Experience "Arrow" Winners

Best Immersive Experience

The New Japan Islands by media artist Yoichi Ochiai, produced in collaboration with Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry department (METI) and other partners

A collaboration between multiple partners, The New Japan Islands immersed visitors in landscapes and visions of the future based on culture original to Japan. The project included more than 25 different activations from a Japanese market scene to food samples to pachinko, from karaoke to J-Pop to haikus—all designed to allow visitors to take deeper looks into Japanese culture, technology and philosophy. The message was “to consider a Nostalgic Future, that is, to revisit the original ways of human life to construct a future that softly connects industry and culture,” according to the project’s website.

Best Use of Technology

Sony WOW Studio by Sony Brand Design Platform

Sony presented a variety of sessions and exhibitions exploring the theme “Will Technology Enrich Human Creativity?” Showcasing R&D projects applying Sony’s newest technologies and prototypes, the studio featured The “CAVE without a LIGHT,” an experiential exhibition of inclusive design that allowed visitors to play music together using sound and haptic technology in a pitch-black cave-like setting.

Spirit of SXSW

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library by Comedy Central

Perfectly situated in Austin’s historic Driskill Hotel, “The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library” showcases the Commander-in-Chief’s preferred vessel for communicating with the public, his Twitter feed. In this case, the tweets of Donald J. Trump were curated and displayed in an installation that led participants through a museum-like experience with interactivity and humor. The attraction was a timely fit for SXSW 2019, with its exploration of politics, journalism, and the impact of social media—but also of comedy and entertainment.

Best Exhibition Experience

The Time Machine by NHK Enterprises and Rhizomatiks

Within the walls of the SXSW 2019 Trade Show, NHK (Japan’s public broadcaster) unveiled its new virtual reality experience, “The Time Machine,” taking users back to 1964, the last time the Olympics were held in Tokyo. By using old photographs gathered at that time, producers recreated a past environment that included the busy Shibuya district and other well known Tokyo attractions. Designed to demonstrate the possibility of revisiting any place at any time, the producers are also appealing to the public for more material in order to recreate other historic moments in time.

Dive into 2019 Music Tracks

Sony WoW Studio - Photo by Aaron Rogosin

By Jordan Roberts