Injury-prone National Football League rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the new face of Muscle Milk, in the protein brand’s first appearance on television in four years.
The “Own Your Strength” campaign from the adam&eveNYC agency encourages athletes to overcome mental and physical adversities while considering the heart as their most important muscle.
It’s the first campaign for Muscle Milk—which markets protein shakes, powders and bars—since the brand was acquired in 2019 by PepsiCo Inc.
Before being chosen by the Miami Dolphins as the #5 overall pick in the NFL draft last month, Tagovailoa quarterbacked for the University of Alabama. During his tenure, he suffered multiple hand, hip, knee, leg and ankle injuries.
In a 30-second spot airing on multiple TV networks and digital media, Tagovailoa does various workout routines as he talks about “the muscle that’s more important than some bicep.” The spot is interspersed with images of men and women exercising and ends with Tagovailoa saying “Yeah, Muscle Milk helps build muscle. But it takes heart to build strength.”
Tagovailoa was chosen to be the new face of Muscle Milk because of his determination to keep coming back from physical setbacks, according to the brand’s senior director, Drew Palin.
“The strength he’s shown on and off the field really makes him perfect to tell the story of Muscle Milk and what an athlete can do," with the athlete ”really embody[ing] the brand and its characteristics,” Palin tells Marketing Daily.
The multimedia campaign is designed to generate “over 1.8 billion impressions,” adds Palin. The target audience is men and women ages 25-34.
Muscle Milk signed Tagovailoa and shot the campaign before COVID-19 pushed people into home confinement and began to disrupt sporting events. Later this week, the NFL is expected to announce whether the season will begin as scheduled on Sept. 10, and how social distancing will be maintained at stadiums.
“Regardless of how things play out, he’s such a strong embodiment of what we stand for,” says Palin.
PepsiCo took over Muscle Milk in early 2019 with its acquisition of CytoSport Inc., which also markets plant-based protein products under the Evolve brand.