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Five Winners Announced for Contest at SXSW Interactive 2014

Five Winners Announced for Contest at SXSW Interactive 2014

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The second annual contest is now officially closed and five winners have been chosen. The concept behind the contest was to pitch Austin home owner and MobileFOMO editor-in-chief, Anne A. Ward, with a plan to promote MobileFOMO at SXSW Interactive 2014. The folks with the best pitches have been declared the winners and get to stay at her house for free during SXSW.

The first winner was Loveumentary founder Nate Bagley, announced appropriately on Valentine’s Day. Nate spent a year traveling around the United States interviewing happy couples about true love. He says,

“MobileFOMO’s PitchMyHouse at SXSW is the place where connection is made, and relationships are formed, and I couldn’t be more excited to attend.”

Another winner is Leslie Guttman, a nonfiction writer and independent journalist based in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in the New York Times’ horseracing blog, the Washington Post Style section, Men’s Journal, Salon, Orion, and the San Francisco Chronicle, where she worked on staff for over a decade. Guttman proposed a marketing campaign inspired by nonfiction author Po Bronson’s famous “Apology Engine”.

Jai Decker, CEO and co-founder of DrivenTide is the third winner. DrivenTide speeds online growth through performance-based search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and social media marketing. Decker is organizing an exciting Twitter campaign as well as a discussion with industry influencers.

Ben Berliner, the Director of Direction at, will also be staying at Ward’s house. is the world’s leading platform for change, providing a free petition tool to 45 million users and also hosts sponsored campaigns for organizations. Berliner is on the core team behind the Social Good Hackathon at SXSW, where he will spread the love of MobileFOMO through word of mouth and the incorporation of social media.

Tushar Makhija is the final winner. Makhija is the VP of Business Development at Helpshift, the world’s first end-to-end mobile help desk. Helpshift’s business model is mobile-centric and aligns very well with MobileFOMO. Makhija proposed one year of free Helpshift customer service support for MobileFOMO as well as a social media marketing campaign.

“Some entries simply blew me away,” Anne A. Ward, contest creator and editor-in-chief at MobileFOMO says. “The most ‘out there’ pitches were for free Maine lobsters and one was for a personal bagpiper. But I am truly excited to be hosting these five incredibly creative professionals at my house and seeing what they bring to the table.”

Some recent criticism of SXSW has been that it is too commercial. is a move away from that. SXSW Interactive in 2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year. The contest was designed to spark innovation while providing people with a place to stay. A major reason people do not attend SXSW now is the expense and inconvenience of hotel accommodations in Austin.

Teams of up to six were allowed to enter, but majority of entries ranged in size from about 1 to 3 people. Most contestants were looking to stay during interactive rather than music or film. As far as pitches, the most common was to provide MobileFOMO with social media assistance, specifically strategy.

Last year, Funny or Die won the contest and created relevant and funny tweets for their audience of over 7.8 million Twitter followers and also certainly provided great company. The FOD team will be stopping by Ward’s house again this year during the Music portion of the conference.

“We received lots of entries this year but these five pitches stood out for many reasons,” says Ward, “I’m inspired to work with these individuals and to see what we can accomplish together at SXSW.”