South by Southwest, or as it’s more commonly known, SXSW, is a convergence of creatives across the interactive, film and music industries held annually in Austin, Texas. Marketers exhibit brand roll-outs and new products and applications to attendees.
One brand activation at the 2019 festival featured a group of talented students from Ringling College of Art + Design. About 35 students, studying graphic design, game art, illustration, motion design and business of art and design, launched “Wet Dog Corp.” a futuristic, arcade-style virtual reality game that takes the player through various levels where dirty dogs on conveyor belts are waiting to be cleaned.
“Wet Dog is a zany, fun VR dog washing game that some of our Game Art seniors made in collaboration with Flight School. We thought it would be a fantastic idea to debut the game at SXSW at their Gaming Expo,” says Jamie DeRuyther, a Game Art and Virtual Reality Development faculty member at Ringling College. “It really kind of blossomed into this really, really amazing marketing campaign.”
To attract people to the VR game, the Ringling team wanted to personalize and brand as many eye-catching items as they could. From water bottles to banners to vehicle decals, the Wet Dog logo was everywhere. “It’s real-world stuff with real clients in a real product in real time,” says Jeff Schwartz, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
Tallie Malka, majoring in business art and design with an emphasis on marketing, stresses the importance of brand identity. “Branding this company [Wet Dog Corp.] and promoting what we’re doing is what I want to do for a career,” Malka says. “Every touch-point that these people have, they know our brand. That’s why we have branded water bottles, branded everything.”
The students of Ringling and the professionals at LexJet joined together in a collaborative effort to design the graphics, choose the right media, and print the images needed for the project.
LexJet provided the media and offered tips to create many of the large-format printed assets for the experience including banners, displays, vehicle graphics, target boards and water bottles. Here’s a peek into how the students brought Wet Dog Corp. to life:
- Because the team set up outside, they chose HEYtex Mesh for the eye-popping graphics printed on 60/40 pattern, providing see-through visibility.
- Easy-to-read graphics printed with LexJet Production Display Film SUV were displayed with banner stands and strategically placed throughout the booth, providing directions and hints to gamers. This durable film was selected because of its excellent image quality and water-resistance.
- Vehicle branding is one of the easiest, but most important marketing opportunities. The Wet Dog team rented a van for the event and created temporary door and hood graphics using HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP. This calendared vinyl offers a gray, repositionable adhesive and is perfect for fleet and flat-paneled vehicle graphics.
- In addition to the VR game, a carnival-style game was created with images of dogs printed on HP Prime Gloss Air GP and then installed on backboards. The calendared vinyl with a gray, permanent adhesive is a print service provider’s best asset. This versatile product can be used for indoor and outdoor signage, menu boards, stickers and decals, and many other applications.
- Using the HP Latex 335 Print and Cut, labels were printed on HP Prime Gloss CP allowing the students to personally brand the water bottles in the booth, on demand. The calendared vinyl with clear adhesive is perfect for stickers, decals and other graphics on clear or light-colored substrates.
The Wet Dog Corp. experience garnered over 900 visitors in a single day. To see more about this successful brand activation as well as see the products in action, click on the video above.
If you are interested in these or other products from LexJet, give us a call at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com, today.