A local frozen yogurt brand whose growth has seemed almost viral is hoping for the same success for its new online video.
Sweet Frog, the fast growing Richmond-based fro-yo chain, has released a video with “Gangnam Style” as its soundtrack. The Korean pop song’s original video has been viewed more than 600 million times on YouTube.
Sweet Frog’s video, which stars mascots Scoop and Cookie, also features cameos from local sports mascots Nutzy (the Flying Squirrels), WebstUR (the University of Richmond), Rodney the Ram (VCU) and the Kickeroo (the Richmond Kickers). Scenes were filmed across Richmond, including at the Diamond, the Byrd Theater and the riverfront.
Victor DiPace, Sweet Frog’s director of marketing and branding, said the notion of a “Gangnam Style” tribute came from one of the company’s stores in Northern Virginia.
DiPace and his marketing team of James Dennison, Elise DiPace and Kristin Joseph ran with the idea — literally.
“We just grabbed a video camera and ran around Richmond for two days,” DiPace said.
The video was shot and edited by Joshua Grice, a student at the University of Richmond. There was no budget to worry about: Everyone who was involved was a volunteer, and access to the locations was free.
The decision to featuring local mascots and landmarks was intentional, DiPace said.
“There are a lot of different parodies of it,” DiPace said of the “Gangnam” video. “We’re from Richmond, and we wanted to celebrate Richmond. We’re proud of our hometown.”
But from a marketing perspective for a rapidly growing company with intentions to expand internationally, watching the video go beyond Richmond wouldn’t be bad thing.
“We wanted to see how far we can push this thing and see if we can make a viral video,” DiPace said.
Sweet Frog has been the frontrunner in the local frozen yogurt boom. Founded in 2009 by Derek Cha, the chain has 20 locations in Richmond and 130 stores nationwide that include franchises, licensed locations and corporate-owned stores.
The company wants to have about 200 locations nationwide by the end of the year and to at least double that by the end of 2013.
Now watch the original Gangnam Style, which has made its way to the upper ranks of the the U.S. Billboard music charts.