For those of you who have not attended South By Southwest Interactive (SXSW) in Austin, it is branding/marketing mecca. Major brands literally take over every inch of downtown Austin, disrobing commercial spaces of their current signage and furnishings to adorn them with their own creatively branded themes for the duration of the show, with no expense spared. Even parking lots are fair game for event site transformation; it is almost as if the Austin you know goes into the witness protection program as it morphs into a creative tech-wonderland for a week. Mashable is known for their highly anticipated Mashable House, Samsung creates a Samsung Studio, IBM has a Cognitive Studio, Google Fiber takes over a huge commercial space, and the list goes on, down to tents and vehicles that roam the streets hoping to catch your attention. Advertising takes on all forms.
The best of branding was an obvious standout.
The platinum award goes to Mophie.
Last year Mophie partnered with a St Bernard Rescue organization, and magically transformed a parking lot into a swiss alps “lodge” for a few days, where rescue puppies lounged and played while their adult mentors were dispatched wearing casks to go “rescue” SXSW Interactive attendees who tweeted that their mobile devices needed juice. For those who didn’t need battery juice, the lodge was open to hang out and listen to live music, drink a beer, fall in love with the rescue puppies, and shop the mophie product line (without any hard sell). The concept was brilliantly executed and show attendees could not get enough of the Mophie Lodge. Mophie charging products sold like hotcakes. The brand has no shortage of loyalists, especially in an enormous crowd of product-savvy mobile device users.
This year Mophie decided to do a variation of the rescue dog theme, partnering also with Indian Motorcycles to morph the same outdoor location into a Los Angeles biker-style “Bad to the Bone Bar” for a few days.
When Mother Nature dealt them a rainy day on opening day, Mophie, quite impressively, thought beyond themselves (and their investment), and focussed on the well-being of the rescue dogs they had partnered with. They seamlessly put the word out via social media that The Bad To The Bone Bar would be closed for the day while they treated the rescue dogs to a spa day. They posted heartwarming videos of puppy pampering. They took the bad weather in stride, with class. Kevin Malinowski (Mophie Marketing Manager), when asked how he felt about losing one of the few days they had the “lodge” open, he graciously did not skip a beat, answering that “It’s all about the dogs, so we did the right thing and did something for them. They deserve it.”
Mophie, Indian Motorcycle, and St Bernard Rescue take it to the streets to assist SXSW attendees
Mophie handled an unfortunate situation with honor, giving their customers more reason to respect and trust their brand. The next day they were out across downtown Austin, generously rescuing people with low phone batteries and giving away powerstation chargers, while the Bad to the Bone Bar was open to graciously welcome and refuel show attendees. People couldn’t get enough of the feel good vibe of precious puppies, cool products and first class hospitality.
Their product line just get better and better, with an exciting new line on the way that promises to be groundbreaking. Just for the sake of scale, you see the iPhone 6+ alongside the slim Powerstation 1X, and then the Powerstation 8X (with fast charge capability and bluetooth monitoring). Mophie showcased an impressive range of power stations between 1-8 and other styles and sizes, with a trade show discount and no hard sell. Mophie gets my vote for great product, design, most reliable charging, and consistent branding that represents their high level of quality and ethics. Explore the Mophie line here.