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A Halo ad took over the Austin night sky with drones shaped into a QR code

The QR code Paramount+ and Giant Spoon used to lead people to a Halo ad during SXSW. (Dennis Hegstad/Twitter)

A QR code serving as an ad for the new Halo series lit up above the Austin skyline Sunday and Monday night.


The purple light creation involved a swarm of drones put together by streaming service Paramount+ and ad agency Giant Spoon. When scanned, it took users' phones to a trailer promoting the new Halo show based on the Xbox video game about a war between humans and aliens known as the Covenant.

To promote the show, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival yesterday, a display about as big as two football fields towered above the Fairmont hotel, at 300 feet tall and 600 feet wide.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the display involved 400 drones was best viewed from Rainey Street and the East Side Tavern. The drones also shifted into other designs like the Paramount+ logo.

The Hollywood Reporter also noted Austinite Dennis Hegstad took photos of the display from his balcony and heard what sounded like a swarm of bees.

Halo The Series (2022) | Official Trailer 2 | Paramount+www.youtube.com

People on the Austin subreddit were quick to make jokes and warn about scanning random QR codes. Some commented that they expected it to be crypto-related. While that wasn’t the case this time, crypto ads are easy to spot throughout Austin.

The show, starring Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief, is set to release next Thursday.

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What's new in Austin food & drink this week:

  • Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
  • Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
  • Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
  • Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
  • Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
  • Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
  • The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
  • Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
  • P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.