Last year, music-sharing site Mugatunes got paired with agency Viewpoint Creative in the 2nd Annual Brandathon. The agency went on to take home 1st place bragging rights and a cash prize, and Mugatunes got a full re-brand. You can watch Viewpoint Creative’s full brand pitch here.
Brandathon 2016 is now accepting entries. So we sat down with Drew Meagher, founder of the college-focused site that’s out to ban “shitty music”, to find out how post-Brandathon life is treating the young company.
Can you give us a brief history of Mugatunes?
So we were founded at Trinity College. Last year we were a part of Brandathon, which was huge for us. Now we’re still going very strong. We’re on almost 100 campuses. We’ve really grown a lot there. We have over 200 contributors. We’re about to have a brand new website. We’re about to get funded, hopefully, this summer.
What was your experience with Brandathon like?
We actually found it just totally coincidentally…. We were like, “Wow, this looks like something we have a really good shot of winning.” It was an incredible experience, for us as young entrepreneurs, to just, experience our first real taste of the industry, and startup world. Then, obviously, what Viewpoint came up with was unreal; we still use their branding. We had a pitch in Canada the other day, and we used all their stuff.
One of the best prizes for us was the three months of office space in [IdeaSpace], which we took advantage of in the fall. Again, as young entrepreneurs, actually having a conference room to bring clients into, and do that kind of stuff, is great for us. It was an unbelievable opportunity.
How did having this new brand identity change Mugatunes?
The work they did for us was very legitimizing, because of how professional it was. The logos, the videos, the marketing materials they put together for us, really took us from a college startup, to people taking us seriously. We really tried to utilize all of the content they gave us. Like I said, I think when we first applied Brandathon, we were at about 25-30 campuses, and now we’re almost at 100. We’ve really grown a lot.
What would you say to a startup who was thinking about entering Brandathon, but wasn’t sure if it was worth it?
I think that first of all, you have nothing to lose…It’s really not a startup competition, it’s a branding competition. We just kind of got to sit there and let them do all the work, and reap the benefits. There’s really no downside. Huge reward, no risk, and again if you’re a young company, just get your foot in the door.
The amount of connections we’ve made just from the original first meetings, we met people, and obviously, now this is the fourth or fifth thing we’ve done with you guys. It really is just an unbelievable opportunity, especially in Boston with The Ad Club. You guys have so many connections… I would definitely say that any startup that thinks they have shot, absolutely go for it. You have nothing to lose.
So when they started pitching, you were in the audience, and you actually hadn’t seen any of it yet…
It was unreal. We were dying laughing, first of all. It was hysterical. We couldn’t believe that they had done all that in 72 hours. I think that was the biggest thing, the amount of creativity too.
Their campaign was to stop spreading shitty music on campuses, like it’s an actual epidemic. It was so smart, so funny, and everything, like I said was so well done. We almost couldn’t believe that this was our company that they were doing this with. We were very nervous too, but it was just so cool to watch what they’d done in front of us, with our baby. It was really cool.
What was your reaction to seeing it that first time?
Oh man I don’t even know. We were very excited… I know that Kathy [Kiely, President of The Ad Club] has a funny story about what she saw my partner say when he first celebrated. We went pretty crazy… I’ll leave it at that.
I know they were really proud, and we were really proud of them too, just very grateful for everything they did for us.
Do you still keep in touch with your agency, Viewpoint Creative, at all?
Yeah, we send them a lot of our important creative things, just to get their feedback. We had a pitch in Toronto a few weeks ago for this startup competition. We sent them our whole investor portfolio. We said, “Will you take a look at it?”
They’ve been really great mentors for us. We follow along with what they’re up to, and do our best to share their cool stuff too. We definitely, hopefully, have a lifelong relationship with them, thanks to you guys. It’s very cool.
What did Brandathon mean for you as founders and for Mugatunes, as a business in such its early stages?
It really was just invaluable for us. I think for a lot of us too, we had just graduated college and weren’t totally sure. This was such a leap of faith for us, to try and make this our job. When Brandathon happened, we were finally like, “All right, now we’ve got something to work with.” It was a launch pad for us, honestly. We are the most grateful, and would recommend the program/competition, anything with The Ad Club to any companies that are interested.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
Listen to Mugatunes. That’s the other thing.