Brand: Gatorade Rain
Link: Click Here (Reviewed Spot is Titled ‘Rain’)
Target: Boys and Men
A basketball sits abandoned on an empty outdoor asphalt court surrounded by a high chain-link fence in a gritty urban landscape. We see the day pass as clouds move overhead and hear a clap of thunder as it starts to rain. The raindrops fall on the ball, but they are red, not the color of water. Almost immediately, the ball grows roots which snake into the asphalt and begins to expand like a prize pumpkin. Finally, the pod-basketball opens (in a scene reminiscent of Aliens) and a chiseled Kevin Garnett emerges. The voiceover says, “Introducing the rebirth of cool – Gatorade Rain. Start crisp, finish clean, stay cool in the heat. Gatorade Rain.” The spot ends with a product shot and a fade in and out of the Gatorade lightning bolt.
This spot does a great job of reinforcing the core Gatorade brand attributes endurance and performance. The metaphor is simple – Rain is cooling and nourishing to the Earth as Gatorade Rain is to the body.
What is particularly appealing about this spot is that it carries forward visual imagery of Gatorade that has been very effective in the past while keeping it fresh. The Gatorade rain is close enough to the Gatorade sweat (or tears) in earlier spots that it is instantly recognizable and it makes this spot unique and ownable for Gatorade. Using rain as the metaphor here is also helpful because it reinforces Gatorade’s brand positioning as essential nourishment for the exercising body. It is a much better use of Garnett than in the Adidas campaign where he is made into a b-movie star.
This spot is also gorgeous visually and the pod-birth of the athlete is even startling enough to catch the attention of a fast-forwarding TiVo owner.
While it was easy to link this spot to Gatorade and although we believe that it does a good job of reinforcing core Gatorade attributes, it was not as effective at introducing the new product. The pitch for Gatorade Rain almost gets lost in the storm – so to speak – which is both noisy and visually dominating. It also is not entirely clear to this Advertising Blog whether ‘Starts Crisp. Finishes Clean.’ will be meaningful code to teenage boys who are the core audience for these drinks. That sounds more like beer drinker code to us, but perhaps that is the point.
Darren Rovell, the top Gatorade expert and blogger points us to his blog where a number of Gatorade enthusiasts talk about their horror at seeing the Alien-like effects and distaste at the red rain. This is not our reaction but is well worth considering.
Branding Bottom Line:
Gatorade makes us sweat. Again.