The idea of “paying it forward” takes a twist in a new grassroots campaign by myCharge, the maker of portable power chargers for phones and laptops. The effort, dubbed Charge It Forward, will put 30,000 myCharge portable charging devices into the hands of consumers at 12 events this summer. The effort began at the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival in Belmont, NY (June 9-11) and ends with the Tennessee vs. Alabama football game on Oct. 15 in Knoxville, TN. The campaign also will visit smaller events and make random stops as it travels across the country.
“So many companies go out there with promotion codes to get consumers to buy something, but we just want to get our chargers into peoples’ hands and have some fun with it while actually putting power out there for free to people who may be in need of this,” says Julie Pickens, vp-marketing at myCharge. “We try to do things that will really reach our consumer, not the generic, standard way of throwing an ad out there.”
Brand ambassadors will distribute free myCharge chargers, each labeled “Charge It Forward” and marked with a unique number, to attendees at the events. Texting that number will direct the person in possession of the charger to a website where they will join that particular charger’s team. Teams will be able to track how far their charger has traveled on the website. Each month, the team whose charger travels the furthest distance will be eligible to win prizes such as trips, chargers and gift cards. One lucky person will randomly receive $1,000 at the end of the year for “charging it forward.”
The only downside? The possibility that people will keep the chargers and not pass them on, a risk that Pickens realizes could become a reality, and chalks it up to the cost of doing business. “Sure, there will be people who do that,” she says. “And that’s OK, too. Even if they register, they may still keep it. We’re not going to come after it. There’s no downside to the consumer.”
Besides the Belmont Stakes and other sporting events, the campaign stops include music festivals, CE Week in New York City and the NASCAR Brickyard Race. Agency: In-house.