We have this weird phrase at Motive that gets thrown around often: “Motive Style.”
Sure, it sounds like a fratty rally cry of sorts (especially when it’s most often said at a rather high volume level and accompanied by a high-five or fist bump) but, to us, it means so much more; so much we don’t often articulate.
It means the level of perfection and professionalism in which we get things done. It means defying client expectations and eliciting those “holy s#*t, this is BIG” moments. It means working relentlessly to get it right, long after the lights have automatically shut off, the cleaning crew has gone home and the elevator is locked for the night.
“Motive Style” is about setting the bar higher than anyone else ever has, and then flailing ourselves over that bar like a high school high-jumper going for state.
This year’s SXSW client activations can be summed up in no terms other than “Motive Style.”
Last summer, when A&E Television asked us to give them some fun ideas to help launch Season 2 of Bates Motel we had no idea that we’d end up creating a fully functioning “pot” brownie* vending machine that would be featured on Mashable as one of the most innovative brand executions at SXSW. And when Mtn Dew asked us how they could create endemic branded content for their target consumer, we had no idea that just months later we’d be in Austin watching Robert Rodriguez (yes, THAT Robert Rodriguez) on a stage talking to the media about our idea to host an Open Call for filmmakers to join the DEW content machine as an incredibly innovative way for brands to communicate in a crowded marketplace.
We also had no idea that we’d be hot-wiring the electrical to the neon on said vending machine while receiving muddy (at best) direction from an electrician via iPhone, or that we’d be scouring Craigslist overnight for movers when not one, but two moving companies no-showed on us and we accepted that we could not move a thousand pound machine on our own. We had no idea that at 11pm the night before our Open Call announcement, Robert Rodriguez would need to delay our entire event by two hours because he had an issue on set, and that we’d spend the morning helping the PR team call each invitee just hours before the event was scheduled to say, “don’t come yet.”
We didn’t expect these, or a myriad of other unplanned obstacles, annoyances or surprises, but – somehow – we did it. We pulled it all together, pulled it all off and even got that “atta boy” pat on the back we covet from our favorite clients. Although, in this case that pat came in the form of a post-event cocktail, which was in this case – to be real – even more meaningful.
After this year’s SX, one big thing was solidified in our minds: SXSW operates under it’s own set of rules (kind of like Motive): it’s got it’s own nuances, a very unique set of executional protocol, and it’s own host of unknowns (not unlike any other event). At the end of the day, the thing that makes you successful at SXSW is that you’ve got to be ready for anything at any time. Literally.
To say that Motive’s 2014 SXSW experience and accomplishments were a surprise would be a lie; because, damn, we worked our asses off to get it all done. But to say it was a proud moment where we could actually pause, smile at one another, wipe the sweat from our forever-furrowed brows and say, “We pulled it off. Again.” would be accurate. Truthfully, we know no other way. Big ‘effin ideas, clients that believe in us enough to let us run with it, and the guts to make it happen (and happen perfectly, no matter what it takes). That’s Motive style.
A&E’S BATES MOTEL:
A subplot of the original series, Bates Motel, the White Pine Bay marijuana trade will be cropping up even more in Season 2. To create buzz (not literally) and drive awareness for the Season 2 premiere, we crafted this custom vending machine that distributed “pot” brownies from the deck of a Bates Motel façade. Named after the shows to inimitable characters, Norma and Norman, each type of brownie was said to induce such side effects as “obsessive compulsive disorder, the intense urge to control, and the spontaneous need to shout ” or “unexpected blackouts, intense feelings of rage, and the Oedipal complex…or just the munchies.”
The experience was live during the Film portion of SXSW, with the vending machine stationed at the SXSW Official Opening Night Film Party, and then positioned later at the full Bates Motel facade located just outside of the convention center.
MTN DEW’S OPEN CALL:
At SXSW, Mtn Dew announced the launch of their newest program: Open Call. Directors Robert Rodriguez, Robert Orci, and Skate Filmmaker, Steve Berra joined DEW to make the announcement, letting the world know that Open Call is the opportunity for filmmakers, content creators and day-dreamers to submit their work, and themselves, in consideration to become an official content creator for Mountain Dew. 10 entrants will be commissioned to create an official piece of banded entertainment for DEW, receiving $10,000 to do so. Each of these pieces will be showcased at a Mountain Dew film event in NYC this summer, with one of the entrants scoring the chance to officially join the brand’s content house, Green Label Studios, as a content creator for a year; earning a $250,000 production budget and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to receive mentorship from acclaimed cult film Director, Robert Rodriguez. Motive is leading the program for the brand.
*no real marijuana was used in the making of these brownies.