Muscle Milk is moving its focus from training to celebration with a campaign that once again features NBA superstar Steph Curry.
The protein brand's newest 60-second spot debuts on TV tonight, when Mr. Curry and his Golden State Warriors visit the Chicago Bulls.
The commercial begins with a hiker celebrating reaching the summit with a little dancing. Soon, other people break into dance -- including a traffic cop and a driver stuck in the traffic -- to the 2 in a Room song "Wiggle It." Later, the spotlight turns to Muscle Milk spokesman Mr. Curry, who wiggles on the basketball court after hitting a shot.
Last year, Mr. Curry starred in what was then Muscle Milk's biggest campaign to date. Those ads featured him and everyday athletes training to get "stronger everyday." They were followed in late 2016 by marketing featuring NFL star Clay Matthews and more recently, soccer player Julie Johnston and everyday female athletes.
"We've seen an uptick in household penetration and we've also maintained our No. 1 share in the protein category overall," said Josh Mohr, VP-consumer marketing at Cytosport, which makes Muscle Milk and was acquired by Hormel Foods in 2014.
In the new "Strong Feels Good" campaign, the emphasis is on the success rather than the training, and showcases everyday athletes alongside the superstar.
The idea for using "Wiggle It" - a song many might not remember or even know (including Mr. Curry as it was released just a couple of years after he was born), came as Muscle Milk's creative team at Mekanism looked at how hard Mr. Curry trains and how he often celebrates after making tough shots. He doesn't exactly dance, but he moves in a way that is more of a shimmy, or a wiggle.
"I think there's a certain contagiousness that comes with Curry's expression of joy," said Tommy Means, founder and exec creative director at Mekanism.
Muscle Milk's media spending is set to rise about 4% this year, Mr. Mohr said. He said Muscle Milk has increased its impressions against adults by 48% year-over-year and has grown impressions with active female consumers by 89%. Those impression rates include recent work including the commercials featuring Mr. Curry, Mr. Matthews and Ms. Johnston.
Muscle Milk plans to air the campaign, which includes 15-second and 30-second versions of the new commercial, through the NBA Finals, and will then shift to less TV and more digital and social marketing, Mr. Mohr said. The company is also starting to include its newer bars in advertising. The products launched at Kroger in late 2016, have gained some distribution and should gain more in April, pitting the Muscle Milk brand more directly against competitors such as Quest and Powerbar.
Along with Mekanism, Muscle Milk works with Haworth on media buying and Laundry Service working on digital and social elements.