Creating an inspiring and energizing space to showcase Shell’s journey to net zero






General Public

The Shell House at South by Southwest (SXSW) was located in iconic blues club, Antone’s. We created a place where the general public could meet, network, listen to vibrant presentations, enjoy live music and learn more about Shell’s journey to net zero.

Check out our case study video, or if you prefer, read the details below.

The client

Shell are a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with more than 80,000 employees in more than 70 countries. They use advanced technologies and take an innovative approach to help build a sustainable energy future.

The challenge

The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, is a three week showcase of the latest innovations in tech, film, music and culture.

Our venue, Antone’s was also one of the festival’s official music venues. SXSW is an environment where there are an unusual number of highly interactive and informative experiences competing for the attention of a highly influential audience.

Shell wanted to communicate their innovations on the journey to net zero and share a sense of progress and positivity, creating dialogue.

The intelligence

Audience insights

The audience at SXSW is be made up of a combination of Energy Sceptics and Energy Supportives. The sceptics would tend to be young and affluent, not believing energy companies are a force for good. The supportives are ready to be advocates, but may not know all that Shell is doing and will want to know how far they have already come. However, it remains that these are all people who love tech, creativity and most of all, are curious about what’s next.

Brand insights

Shell has always been an innovative company, a technology company and a company that looks to the future. They are focused on powering progress to a net zero future in 2050. They need to engage the audience in the concrete measures they are taking to reach their 2050 commitments in a way that reflects their innovative nature and brings them on board. 

Context insights

SXSW is about what’s next. Trends, innovations and futures are on every corner. Therefore, it is a celebration of positivity and progress – even the most difficult stories are discussed and debated with a solutions-based mindset that responds to curiosity. For Shell, being at SXSW gives them a rare chance to interact directly with their end consumer.

The solution

We created the Shell House at Antone’s. Over two floors, our audience could meet, network, enjoy live music and try out one of five brand activations exploring Shell’s journey to net zero. Our theme was Energise, highlighting the idea of energy as an invisible source of power that invigorates a space.

The first floor was a vibrant presentation space by day and an energetic music venue by night. The second floor was home to brand activations and our ‘recharge lounge’ where visitors could take a break, network and recharge their phones. The brand activations included an ‘energy quiz’ vending machine which gave participants a free gift, 2 VR experiences exploring hydrogen technology and an interactive map explaining Shell’s work across the US.

The Results

    • visitors over 3 days

    • of visitors went to all spaces

    • of visitors to the immersive gallery used the digital experiences

    • talks were standing room only

    A standout experience