Link: Click Here – it is the second-to-last spot entitled “Gatorade Precision”
Several great moments in sports history are replayed with alternate endings. Michael Jordan’s last minute jump shot in the playoffs bounces off the backboard, Oakland scores a home run, Joe Montana’s touchdown pass is off-target. The voiceover says, “If you’re a fraction off, it can change everything.” Then we see two athletes hooked up to instruments in a research space as the voiceover continues, ” and in the lab where Gatorade scientists test and retest athletes so we know exactly what their bodies demand. Precision counts – out there and in here.” The three sports moments then replay with the historically correct endings and we get a final shot of the ripped athlete in the lab and the spot closes with the Gatorade logo.
As Darren Rovell notes in his book, “First in Thirst” on Gatorade marketing, the genius of Gatorade’s marketing crew (at Quaker Oats) is that they recognize that no matter who drinks it, the brand positioning has to focus on serious athletes, “Although the amount of incidental usage (people drinking Gatorade who are not working out) is increasing, Quaker officials discovered early on that the mystique will be broken if the brand is at all steered away from sports.” In other words, Gatorade marketing works when it shows great athletes getting better, not invigorated couch potatoes.
This spot does an excellent job of defining the end benefit of a performance drink like Gatorade against the general charge that it will make very little difference to many of those who drink it (many don’t work out long enough for it to be of any benefit, for example). The end benefit is winning and the permission to believe is that in elite-level sports, the smallest fraction of performance matters. The golf equipment market has a long history of showing that average-performing sports enthusiasts will go to absurd lengths to get the last bit of competitive edge with their equipment. Gatorade is offering the same experience for a much lower price.
This spot’s novel “reality turned inside out” is a very good tool to show the importance that small differences make on the field. What’s nice here is that this gee-whiz technology is used solidly to reinforce the brand positioning, not for it’s own sake. The use of Michael Jordan early on in the spot also helps tie this message more ownably to Gatorade.
Even this Advertising Blog had to scratch its head for a second when first viewing this spot. Didn’t Jordan make that shot? Do I remember it right? Although this double-take is the tool that this spot uses to grab the viewer’s attention, it is disorienting and caused us to miss the message the first time around. As a high-spending, long-running campaign, this may not pose as much of an issue, but we brand folks prefer our message to be clean and clear at first glance.
A smaller concern is the branding of this spot. While Gatorade’s name is mentioned (and we see the ubiquitous green fluid) just under halfway through this spot, it is not until the last five seconds that we actually see the brand. Although the brand positioning and use of Michael Jordan make this ownably and uniquely a Gatorade spot, we would have preferred to see stronger visual branding of Gatorade earlier in the spot.
Branding Bottom Line:
We’re still trying to get our TiVo to give us a Gatorade version of the last Jets game.