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Tagged goes for Texas-size limos

AOL goes artsy photobooth

Microsoft pitches to the masses

The free food extravaganza

Chargers galore

CNN Grill

Pepsi returns, bigger than ever

Another parking lot takeover: A carousel

Nikon and Ashton Kutcher

PopChips pillows

Mog did--what?

Zazzle and its free iPhone cases

Hooters gonna hoot

The presence of marketers at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (or SXSWi as it's historically been known) was ubiquitous--even right after landing at Austin's airport. Social network Tagged was just one of the companies that had arranged complimentary private transit, like this flashy white limo.

Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
SXSWi ran alongside the SXSW Film Festival, so AOL had set up shop at the Austin Convention Center as "AOL Studios," geared equally toward filmmakers and geeks.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET, a personal profile start-up that AOL acquired earlier this year, had its own setup at "AOL Studios," where a professional photographer would take pictures for SXSWi attendees' profiles.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
Microsoft's big event at SXSWi was launching its Internet Explorer 9 browser at the W Hotel on Monday night (complete with a concert by hipster staple Yeasayer), but it also had set up a pretty big display at the Austin Convention Center.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
Offering free food in proximity to the Austin Convention Center was a big-time marketing promotion at SXSWi this year. Messaging service GroupMe set up shop with free grilled cheese; coupon broker Groupon sponsored an empanada truck; and here, publishing platform Squarespace had a big free-food distribution outlet across the street from the expo hall.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
Another popular variety of marketing at this year's SXSWi: Gadget-charging services. Auto brand Lincoln, which sponsored business magazine Fast Company's space at the Moonshine Patio restaurant, offered chargers galore.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
Cable channel CNN was a newcomer to the SXSWi brand scene this year, completely taking over a bar called Max's and temporarily renaming it the "CNN Grill." It held events, receptions, and parties in the space all week.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
PepsiCo was a big-time sponsor of SXSWi last year, and this year it was back for more. Its "Pepsi Max Lot" took over an entire parking lot, and the company co-sponsored a concert by hip-hop star Big Boi with geolocation company Foursquare.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
GE's Ecomagination initiative made a splash at SXSWi with a solar-powered carousel in a parking lot. Called "Carousolar," it was also the site of an impromptu party on Tuesday afternoon that featured free tacos and the band in which actor Michael Cera plays bass.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
Camera company Nikon sponsored multiple parties at SXSWi, including a massive concert in partnership with video company Vimeo, as well as a scavenger hunt in which participants had to track down the whereabouts of actor, investor, and Nikon poster boy Ashton Kutcher.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
Speaking of Ashton Kutcher, one of the companies in which he has invested--snack brand PopChips--was all over SXSWi with promotions. On Sunday night, giant PopChips pillows were tossed about in the VIP section of a party at Hangar Lounge.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
Music service MOG made an announcement at SXSWi about making its technology available in cars. To commemorate that, it commissioned a...MOGmobile?
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
Zazzle, a company that lets users design custom gear, was giving away free iPhone 4 cases emblazoned with whatever users wanted to put on them.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
Some companies eschewed a bigger marketing presence in favor of having a mascot strut around late at night in Austin's rowdy bar district. Here's the owl mascot for social-media client HootSuite.
Caption by / Photo by Caroline McCarthy/CNET
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