Shell House at SXSW

A man wearing a denim jacket climbs the staircase in the Shell House at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin, Texas. A neon sign reads, “Building a Net-Zero Future.”
  • Customer Experience (CX)
  • Animation & 2D/3D/FX
  • Progressive Web Application Development
  • Event Management & Execution

Shell’s legacy is in oil & gas, but the corporation is in the process of transforming itself into a far more diversified energy company.

Shell is broadening its range of energy sources and actively participating in the global drive toward net-zero carbon emissions. Communicating this transition to stakeholders and the general public is essential to successfully evolving perceptions of the Shell brand. The young, influential audience at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference are the kinds of people Shell needs to engage. And the Shell House experiential activation, taking over a long-time concert venue just steps from the epicenter of SXSW, was just the ticket.

Outside the Shell House at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin, Texas. The name “Shell House” is displayed on a marquee above the door.


Antone’s is a legendary downtown Austin club just three minutes’ walk from the center of the SXSW Conference. Transforming it into a showcase for an initiative aimed at shifting perception of energy giant Shell among a young, influential, and somewhat skeptical audience? That’s our kind of challenge.

The Approach

Shell House wasn’t for a passive audience. The experience we created was highly interactive, featuring hands-on and interactive digital experiences — many of which linked to a custom mobile application. In-app quizzes helped test participant knowledge, and for every app user, Shell provided carbon offsets to make the participant’s journey to and from SXSW carbon neutral.

Lanyard for Shell House at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin, Texas


Our outputs included a strategically planned visitor journey throughout two floors of the venue; exterior and interior branding and graphics; touchscreen interactive experiences; hands-on displays — including an EV and hydrogen “retail service station of the future” — a mobile app with quizzes and gamification; and more.

Arrangement of four photos taken inside the Shell House at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin, Texas, showing people attending the event and graphics displayed on the walls.

Why Adcetera

Shell is one of the world’s strongest and most recognized brands, and their presence at SXSW was a chance to introduce new priorities and new commitments. Our vision was to turn what could have been a lecture into a conversation. Shell House at SXSW sparked genuine engagement through a physical customer journey enhanced with human interaction, digital interactivity, and a chance for participants to make their own contribution through Shell-donated carbon offsets.