Mophie Shops for a Lead Creative Agency

Smartphone case maker looks to raise its voice in marketing

Mophie—a big name in smartphone cases with batteries inside—is looking to make a big splash in marketing.

The company is close to hiring its first lead creative agency, nine years after its launch. Three shops are vying for the assignment, which includes a fall campaign to start and an ad on the Super Bowl next year, according to sources.

Sources identified the contenders as Deutsch L.A. in Marina del Rey, Calif., R/GA in Los Angeles and Innocean in Huntington Beach, Calif. Final presentations wrapped up this week.

With a lead shop in place, Mophie will likely spend significantly more on media, with sources projecting an annual spend of $15 million. That would be a significant uptick from the past few years. The company spent just $352,000 in media last year, down from more than $1 million in 2012, according to Kantar Media.

"We really are interested in going beyond what we have done in the past," a Mophie representative told Adweek, noting the much of the company's marketing to date has been produced in-house. "And that would require a creative agency to provide some direction."

The rep declined to discuss the contenders or other details of the search, but did say that Mophie hoped to complete the process in the next few weeks. The agencies declined to comment.

Mophie, which is based in Santa Ana, Calif., sells cases that not only extend the battery life of phones but also those that increase hard drive capacity, such as for storing photos or music. The battery-inside cases, dubbed Juice Packs, sell for between $79 and $119 and the hard-drive extender cases (Space Packs) start at $149.

Other brands in the space include Lenmar and Incipio. But Mophie has been around longer than many rivals and is a sales leader in North America. Accordingly, the company has assumed Kleenex status: Tech-savvy consumers use its brand name as a synonym for battery cases.

The challenge for the winning ad agency? Further broaden that appeal and turn Mophie into a bona fide household name.