New Year's has champagne and sparkly things, Christmas has mistletoe, and Halloween the proverbial sexy costume. Thanksgiving, however, isn't generally considered a holiday to get all hot and bothered about. Yet this past Turkey day, CytoSport, makers of Muscle Milk, went about changing that perception, while at the same time working on its own rebranding.
A viral video called “Sexy Pilgrim” debuted online on November 20, featuring an R&B slow jam and plenty of dancing to lyrics about partying in the New World and going to the “musket show.” At the end, the video encouraged consumers to drink Muscle Milk, a sports-oriented protein shake, to “take you from so-so to sexy pilgrim.”
But Muscle Milk's promotion didn't end there. Costumed Sexy Pilgrims infiltrated major cities across the US, and one lucky lady even met Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA).
“Sexy Pilgrim” became the top viral video for the week of November 23, according to video monitoring site Visible Measures, and was the second-largest No. 1 debut this year, after the “How to Eat a Burger” video from Carl's Jr. in June. The success of the video and the campaign bodes well for Muscle Milk, which is working to extend its brand and reach beyond the gym-rat set.
The video and the stunt was a move that could have easily fallen flat with consumers. However, Muscle Milk got it just right with its silly jokes making gourds, pilgrim dress, and giving thanks sound dirty. The viral nature of the campaign, which enabled fans to send the video to friends via Facebook and Twitter, only added to the buzz.
Muscle Milk succeeded in creating a funny video, which actually resonated with its target audience, and extending the campaign beyond the Web, giving people a real-life chance to run into a Sexy Pilgrim on the streets. The video no doubt boosted awareness of the company, especially for folks who might be more into the food on Thanksgiving than hitting the gym. So here's hoping they decide to take over another not-sexy special occasion. I hear Ben Franklin is turning 304 on January 17.
On the right track