Case Study: Break Through SXSW Noise

Client: Ask.com

SXSW can be a great place to launch a product and build brand awareness – but only if you’re armed with a strategy that can be heard above the deafening noise and brand overload. DLC developed and executed a multi-pronged PR plan to break through the clutter and showcase Ask in a way that would uniquely resonate with festival-goers.

In additional to launching Ask’s social polling app, Pollroll, to heighten awareness before the show (complete with a  SXSW-themed video), DLC helped bring the Ask SugarRush Lounge—a central lounge featuring a rotating menu of bite-size desserts from local chefs and a make-your-own-hoodie bar—to life.

We took things up a notch by tapping tech influencers and Twitter as vehicles to supercharge the conversation about the Lounge. Our “Battle of the Bites” program paired each chef with a tech influencer who was encouraged to activate his/her followers to tweet in favor of the partner chef’s dish over a two day period.

Several well-known technology influencers were secured to partner with each chef, including  David Pogue (Three Berry Pie à la Pogue anyone?), Kara Swisher, Om Malik, Rafe Needleman, Robert Scoble, Erick Schonfeld, Jon Swartz and others. Each dessert was uniquely named for its influencer, many of whom tweeted multiple times in support of the program and dropped by the Lounge to sample their namesake dessert.

The entire PR program was a resounding success for Ask, as measured by the following, pre-determined metrics:

*More than 12 mm Twitter followers reached; hundreds of new Ask followers a day (4x the normal rate); #asksugarrush a top trending topic during event

*Nearly 10 percent brand awareness lift as a result

*SXSW coverage includes interviews and coverage with outlets including: CBS, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Today Show, TechCrunch, Mashable and others

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