~Pourri Brings the ‘Funk’ to SXSW 2024 with Cheeky Activations and NFC Technology

“We have been really pushing toward owning not just a bathroom category with Poo~Pourri, but the rebranding of us being ~Pourri, which is a household name for any product that can touch odors… Then on top of that, we had an opportunity with Rolling Stone to partner together with SXSW to make this a really experiential marketing year for us. We felt like we had all the right products, we were making the right movements. We’re in more stores than we’ve ever been in and have a bigger net than we’ve ever had.”

–Shawn Patel, CMO, ~Pourri

The savviest brands at SXSW recognize that their activations need to be steeped in big, bold, buzz-worthy strategies to have a shot at capturing mindshare—and let’s just say that ~Pourri understood the assignment in its debut at the annual festival this year.

The odor elimination brand (formerly Poo~Pourri) is partnering with Rolling Stone this week on three cheeky events that invite badgeholders and the public alike to “Get Funky. Stay Fresh.” The entire SXSW 2024 campaign is woven together by NFC-enabled “pocket sprayers” (Poo~Pourri samples) that unlock a gamified, multitouchpoint experience, which, as participants earlier this week, we can say felt nothing short of brilliant.

audible-after-dark-party-sxsw24_teaserMore SXSW 2024 Coverage:

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~Pourri invited SXSW attendees to sign up for NFC-enabled pocket sprayers that unlocked festival perks.

“We’re really expanding more and more into that experiential marketing zone,” says Shawn Patel, cmo at ~Pourri. “The feel to SXSW isn’t just music, it’s tech, right? And we’re incorporating a new tech into the festival with our NFC technology. So it was literally the perfect spot to do it because you’ve got tech experts, you’ve got industry experts, you’ve got marketing experts and you’ve got the music junkies everywhere.”

To activate the rewards and perks of the pocket sprayers, which are available at the SXSW Registrant Lounge and at each of the co-branded events, consumers are asked to create an account on ~Pourri’s new, custom app, which officially launches later this year.

Then, with a quick tap, they can use the devices to unlock a series of fully decked-out, clean mobile bathrooms (a premium at any major event) around Austin. The one we checked out was disco-themed and delightfully absurd. Participants also get notified via text of “Daily Drops” through a giveaway and reward system offering them a chance to win exclusive prizes by collecting points.

The pocket sprayers also provide users with access to the funk-themed ~Pourri x Rolling Stone events, which play on “funk’s” application to bad odors and the music genre. The activations include Camp Funk (March 13-16); The Funk Factory (March 14-16); and Future of Funk (March 15). In true ~Pourri fashion, they’re brimming with clever puns, multisensory moments, “unfiltered” discussions and, yes, the brand’s 30-foot-tall inflatable “Giant Poo.”

The Camp Funk experience has taken over a parking lot located a block from the Austin Convention Center with Y2K vibes, the ~Pourri “5-star bathroom experience,” product sampling and gifting, acoustic performances, dj sets and an immersive experience inside the famous Giant Poo. To boot, Camp Funk is hosted by actor Jay Chandrasekhar (“Super Troopers”).

holy shit with suzy pourri sxsw 2024

~Pourri founder and ceo Suzy Batiz launched her podcast, Holy Shit! with Suzy, at SXSW 2024.

The Funk Factory is set up as a speakeasy, and features various (pleasant) aromas, interactive zones, VIP areas, panel discussions and performances by artists like DJ Questlove and DJ Johnny Jane (aka Janelle Monáe). Suzy Batiz, founder and ceo at ~Pourri, and her partner, musician Preacher, are co-hosting celebrity guests on the rooftop terrace during the event for the recording of Holy Sh!t with Suzy, a new podcast series with candid talks covering topics like personal growth, creativity and business insights.

Finally, Future of Funk serves as an industry mixer and talent showcase created in partnership with Music Forward Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to uplifting underrepresented artists. The agenda includes a full day of intimate performances by emerging musicians, like Jimi Brass.

Patel says South by was just the beginning of ~Pourri’s robust consumer engagement strategy for 2024, and noted that the brand plans to make its SXSW campaign repeatable at other music festivals and event tentpoles. Going forward, the gamification experience will also be a go-to tactic for getting a broader consumer base to digitally engage with ~Pourri.

“Reward systems have always been a way to get people to buy more—for us, it was how do we just get people to engage with us,” Patel says. “The psychology behind gamification is: The closer somebody gets to winning something, the more they want to play. And it’s not always driven by having to buy something. [It’s] ‘I can just use my pocket sprayer every time I go to the bathroom, tap my phone on it and I get an extra point.’ At the end of the day, we want to drive sales, but we want also that consumer engagement to be high.” (Agency: Trailblaze, p.r.)

Get Funky:

Photo credit: Rick Kern/Getty Images for ~Pourri

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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