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A very modern rescue dog

As part of a SXSW stunt for American mobile battery case company ​Mophie, St Bernard rescue dogs have been given smartphone battery packs instead of brandy barrels, giving some of those who tweeted the company detailing their lack of juice a much-needed charge for its Stay Powerful campaign. 

The dogs have traditionally been bred in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland to help rescue travellers who became lost in the snow. They may or may not have carried a small barrel of brandy around their necks – Mental Floss has  sensibly pointed out that if you were freezing in a blizzard, alcohol would be the last thing you’d want as it dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow away from the body’s core – but the barrels have become part of their image in popular culture, regardless.

Mophie worked with a group which rescues abused or unwanted St Bernard dogs, the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation, to coordinate a team of St Bernards that roamed the SXSW Interactive conference distributing battery juice to attendees with ailing devices.

To be “saved” by one of Mophie’s rescue dogs, SXSW attendees had to tweet @mophie using the #mophieRescue hashtag with a screen shot of their dying smartphone battery icon and their current location. The company then tweeted back to selected users with a public reply, providing a link to an interactive map, powered by Uber, which tracked the real-time location of their designated rescue dog.

And by all accounts, the dogs and their cargo went down a treat. 

Earlier this year, Mophie also stumped up a few million for an apocalyptic Super Bowl ad showing how terrible it was to have a drained mobile. Even God made an appearance. 

As Pete Favat, chief creative officer at Deutsch North America told Adweek: “When your phone loses power, you lose power. We’ve all had that feeling of vulnerability where all bets are off and the predictability of your day becomes chaos. For us, that might mean missing important meetings, getting lost while traveling or being unable to make that one important phone call. For the most powerful being in the universe, losing power truly means losing power.”

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