• Muse Creative Team

Pitmaster BBQ: How to Leverage Geographic and Product Attributes

Pitmaster BBQ sauce is based on a strategy that combines geographic attributes with product attributes to make the brand stand out in a competitive market. Muse Advertising took the bite of barbecue sauce and married it to the bite of a rattlesnake to create a Texas based brand that would demand attention.

Muse Advertising named the brand Pitmaster because of its associations to mastering the art of backyard barbecuing—often referred to as a barbecue pit—and the classification of the rattlesnake as a pit viper. Texas has plenty of barbecues and rattlesnakes, making the name duly appropriate.

The positioning statement of “barbecue with a bite” is memorable because of the contrast between positive associations with the bite of barbecue sauce and the negative associations of the rattlesnake bite.


The snake icon is a great differentiator for the product. We incorporated the snakeskin texture into the package design to complete the overall image of a warning that Pitmaster is to be treated with caution because it has a strong bite.


Muse Advertising developed apparel, accessories, and vehicle graphics for a marketing initiative to introduce brand loyalty programs. We know that customers of Pitmaster would invite their friends and family over to their barbecue, so we sought to maximize brand impressions to people who would be trying the product in current customers’ backyards.


For the advertising campaign we expanded upon the rattlesnake icon with digital campaigns focused on the warning of the pit viper’s rattle. We combined this with the slogan “You’ve been warned,” and added a powerful southern rock soundtrack to the video. All these elements come together to prove Pitmaster is as much a part of Texas as heat, desert, and rattlesnakes.

To further demonstrate how to reduce cost, we looked at the distribution channels of all contributors to a barbecue sauce play, including ranchers, butchers, distributors, and retailers. We looked to co-operative opportunities and developed a free trial program in which we were able to place co-op advertising on select products with regional distribution in grocery chains.


Rather than sponsor someone else's event or tailgate party, we created the new "grillin' and chillin' nationals" destination brand to invite barbecue pit masters and mud pit enthusiasts together from all over the country to "get down and dirty." This audience clearly enjoys spending time outdoors, making them an equally appropriate target market to advertise to. The Grillin' and Chillin' campaign was developed to support the event, reinforcing the brand's message of coming together for outdoor entertainment.


Click here to see the work Muse Advertising did for Pitmaster.