This company won SXSW with St. Bernard puppies and free beer

“Oh my God, did you see the puppies?!”

I heard some variation of the same line at least half a dozen times at SXSW, the mega tech conference in Austin, Texas, last weekend. 

The adorable puppies in question came to SXSW because of a collaboration between The National St. Bernard Foundation and the smartphone battery case company Mophie

In the 18th century, monks in the Swiss Alps used St. Bernards as rescue dogs. Mophie makes cases that “rescue” dying phones by providing an on-the-go charge.

So, the whole schtick was that conference participants with low cell battery could tweet at Mophie to have a dog come deliver a free charger.

Even if your phone was fine on juice, you could visit Mophie’s Swiss-lodge-themed station to snuggle the dogs and drink beer. The reps on the street steering people towards the event had the easiest job in the world:

“Free beer!” they shouted from a street corner. “Puppies!” 

Unsurprisingly, the area often had a line to get in. 

The clever marketing stunt created quite a buzz. I heard more people talking about the stunt than about any single other startup or company (besides maybe hot live-streaming app Meerkat).

I personally never saw any pups out delivering juice in the wild, but Mophie says that the team sent out over 600 “rescue missions” over the weekend:



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