Thousands of Internet jokesters are on the cusp of sending Miami recording artist Pitbull to a far-flung land of grizzlies, salmon and crab.
Pitbull, in a promotion by Walmart and Energy Sheets tongue strips, agreed to visit the U.S. Walmart store that receives the most “likes” on its local Facebook page in a 28-day period that ends July 15.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the leader was a Walmart in Kodiak, Alaska, with more than 48,500 likes - roughly eight times its population of about 6,000 people - Walmart spokeswoman Sarah Spencer said Tuesday.
A blogger caught wind of the contest and mischievously suggested last week that the Internet should bind together and send the Miami artist to Kodiak - one of Walmart’s most remote locations – according to FUEL Partnerships, a marketing company involved in the promotion. The call to action spread, including on Twitter with the hashtag #ExilePitbull.
Pitbull was on tour in Munich, Germany, on Tuesday and wasn’t immediately available for comment, his publicist said. But on Twitter, Pitbull was having fun with the Kodiak idea.
“I hear there's bear repellant at Kodiak, Alaska,” Pitbull tweeted Saturday.
On Sunday, he tweeted, “Picture me with a Kodiak…Ha!” - an homage to a “Give Me Everything” lyric “take a picture of me with a Kodak.”
“I’ve known Pitbull for a few years now, and he’s up for a party - whether it’s around the corner, or you have to get there by three planes and a boat in between, as I understand it takes to get to Kodiak,” said Warren Struhl, founder and CEO of Sheets Brand, the Energy Sheets maker.
It’s not yet clear what Pitbull would do during his visit to the winning store, but Pitbull, who also is a Sheets Brand owner, would be part of “a lot of festivities,” and if Kodiak wins, “there will be a party like no other taking place there shortly,” Struhl said.
Kodiak would love to host Pitbull, said Kodiak Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Trevor Brown.
“I figured something was going on,” Brown said of the blogger campaign for Kodiak. “I’m pretty sure he didn’t get that many Facebook hits from here. Then I heard there was some tongue-in-cheek stuff going on about sending him as far away as possible.”
If Pitbull does come, “he’ll really enjoy it – we’ve got a great view, lots of wildlife, and very few places compare to Kodiak in the summertime,” Brown said.
Spencer said it wasn’t clear which Walmart was closest to Kodiak’s in the voting, but she said stores in Arkansas and Texas were doing well.