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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Brand Overview 2
Competitor Analysis 3
Previous Campaigns 5
Current Campaign 8
Campaign Strategy 9
Target Analysis 10
Consumer Journey 12
Day in the Life 20
Touch Point Analyses 29
Gatorade began in 1965 when a University of Florida assis-
tant coach asked a group of physicians to determine why
his players were suffering from heat exhaustion. The doc-
tors discovered that players were losing fluids and electro-
lytes through their sweat. After taking their findings to the
lab, these doctors and scientists created a new drink that
perfectly balanced carbohydrates and electrolytes: Gato-
In 1983, Gatorade became the official sports drink of the
National Football League, a partnership that still remains
today. Gatorade is also the official sports drink of the Na-
tional Basketball Association, Professional Golf Associa-
tion, Major League Baseball, Association of Volleyball Professionals, Major League Soccer and a
multitude of other professional sports organizations around the globe.
Gatorade is owned and operated by PepsiCo, which also owns brands including Aquafina, Lipton
and Frito-Lay. The Gatorade Sports Science Institute, located in Barrington, Illinois, is the brand’s
research and education center dedicated to developments in nutrition and hydration for competi-
In Gatorade’s vision statement, the company dedicates its work to “leaving a positive imprint on
society.” This imprint that the company strives to deliver is what they call “performance with a
The purpose of this report is to examine Gatorade’s current and past traditional media touch point
engagement efforts. The current target audience will be identified, and a new target audience will
be presented. In order to more completely understand Gatorade’s interaction with this audience,
a consumer journey has been created, including a detailed day-in-the-life analysis of the target’s
interaction with each traditional media touch point analyzed. Finally, recommendations for im-
proving Gatorade’s consumer engagement will be presented.
Gatorade competes with a number of beverages on the market for a variety of consumer uses. However,
it has a set of direct competitors in the non-carbonated beverage (NCB) category: Powerade, Propel, Vi-
taminWater, Muscle Milk and bottled water. In addition, Gatorade competes indirectly with several other
NCBs, including private label sports drinks, energy drinks, all-natural sports drinks, coconut water and
This analysis focuses on the traditional media advertising efforts of Powerade, Propel, VitaminWater, Mus-
cle Milk and Nestle Pure Life. (Nestle Pure Life is the bottled water brand with the largest share of the
market.) The analysis also considers Red Bull and Vita Coco, the market leaders in the energy drink and
coconut water markets, respectively. Private label sports drinks and all-natural sports drinks are not ana-
lyzed because they did not present significant advertising efforts in traditional touch points. Juice is not
considered because the situation analysis identified it as the least threatening competitor based on an
industry shift away from its consumption.
Number of Flavors: 8
Vitamins: B3, B6 and B12
Calories: 80 per serving
Tagline: Power Through
Number of Flavors: 9
Vitamins: C and E
Calories: 0 per serving
Tagline: The Workout Water
Number of Flavors: 10
(usually A, B or C)
Calories: 120 per serving
Tagline: Make Boring
Manufacturer: Muscle Milk
Number of Flavors: 6
Vitamins: 20 essential vita-
mins and minerals
Calories: 170-340 per serving
Tagline: Give Me Strength
TELEVISION MAGAZINE RADIO OUT-OF-HOME
As the market leader for energy drinks, Red Bull
currently holds 43 percent of the market. The
brand also targets athletes and uses sponsorships
to increase public favor of its products. As a result
of these similarities, Gatorade can learn from Red
Bull’s successful advertising campaigns in tradi-
tional media touch points.
VitaCoco is the market leader for coconut water,
controlling 60 percent of the market. The brand
targets health-conscious members of Generation
Y rather than athletes specifically, but it is being
consumed as a substitute for sports drinks and
bottled water. Analyzing the traditional advertis-
ing efforts of VitaCoco will help Gatorade answer
the industry trend toward healthier beverages.
Number of Flavors: 1
Calories: 0 per serving
The symbols below will be employed throughout this report to represent the various touch points. The
touch points are divided into two categories: mass media and one-to-one.
PART 1 PART 2
TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE MOBILE DISPLAY NATIVE EMAIL
In the 1990s, Gatorade teamed up with one of the decade’s most prominent athletes: Chicago Bulls player
Michael Jordan. Jordan was the first and, for over a decade, only, celebrity endorser for Gatorade.
The “Be Like Mike” campaign became one of the most memorable and effective campaigns in sports
THIRST AIDAgency: Bayer Bess Vanderwarker
Gatorade’s “Thirst Aid” campaign launched in the early 1980s, while the sports
drink was owned by the Quaker Oats Company. The campaign consisted of
two TV spots and two print ads, all focused on Gatorade’s ability to quickly
replenish the body with important electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and fluids.
Each ad displayed real people participating in physical activities and demon-
strated how Gatorade could help improve their performance.
The first “Thirst Aid” commercial featured three people: a man pushing a lawn
mower, a woman in spin class and a man playing basketball with his kids. Each
of these characters was relatable to Gatorade consumers. The commercials
featured the “Thirst Aid” jingle and the sound effect “AHH,” emphasizing that
Gatorade quenches thirst after physical activity. Also, the tagline “Gatorade is
Thirst Aid for that Deep Down Body Thirst” re-emphasized the idea that Gato-
rade is the necessary product following physical activities, more so than water.
Like the television ads, “Thirst Aid” print ads used relatable, everyday characters playing sports, alluding to
the fact that they have participated in a physical activity. Each of the two spots were copy-heavy ads that
explained how Gatorade is “Thirst Aid,” feeding off of the emotion in the image. For example, the track
athlete ad read, “If your mouth is thirsty, it’s your body talking. It’s saying you need more than water.” This
copy conveyed a feeling the audience had experienced and provided a solution to solve this problem.
Also, the tagline “Gatorade is Thirst Aid” was written in the font that Band-Aid uses, connecting Gatorade
to the idea of recovery consumers felt when using the bandage brand. Gatorade
was trying to make the brand synonymous with sports drinks, just like Band-Aid is
synonymous with bandages.
This campaign only lasted two years because the ad agency Sand, Taylor & Woods Co.
accused Quaker of trademark violations in their campaign for Gatorade. The agency
said they developed and trademarked the “Thirst Aid” slogan before Gatorade for a
line of soda fountain syrups and sports drinks for one of their clients.
BE LIKE MIKEAgency: Bayer Bess Vanderwarker
The “Is It In You” campaign introduced the concept of colored
sweat to the world. The campaign, created by DDB, largely
featured athletes needing hydration in the middle of compe-
tition. Occasionally, though, no athlete was featured. Even in
these cases, the design and copy in the ads remained consis-
The copy focused on an “it,” which was almost always left
unmentioned. This “it” was intentionally vague and the au-
dience was left to assume that “it” was Gatorade. The
campaign positioned Gatorade as the thing that serious athletes needed for the crunch time boost
that would push them to victory. According to a piece by BDN International, “That campaign deliv-
The television spots for the “Be Like Mike” campaign featured
a catchy jingle written by Bayer Bess Vanderwarker Creative Di-
rector Bernie Pitzel after Disney would not allow Gatorade to
use one of its songs. The spots featured Michael Jordan play-
ing basketball with a group of kids. These ads were targeted
toward athletic youth who enjoy watching sports on television.
The print, coupon and retail ads for the “Be Like Mike” cam-
paign were all fairly similar, with a large photo of Michael Jor-
dan drinking Gatorade with the copy reading, “Be Like Mike,
Drink Gatorade. It’s All You’re Thirsting For.” Another one of the
print ad targeted the audience by conveying that all athletes feel the pres-
sure to perform, but it takes a certain something to be able to perform like
Michael Jordan. Because of Jordan’s rise to fame during this time, his exclu-
sive partnership deal with Gatorade motivated the brand’s youthful audi-
ence to purchase the drink. Other components of the “Be Like Mike” cam-
paign included branded entertainment in the form of product placement.
During this campaign, Jordan was seen on the sidelines with Gatorade tow-
els, cups and other branded products.
TELEVISION MAGAZINE RADIO PUBLIC
IS IT IN YOU?Agency: DDB
BE LIKE MIKEAgency: Bayer Bass Vanderwarker
Behind every competitive high school athlete is a mom cheering
them on. The Gatorade “Become” campaign, launched in 2011,
reached out to those moms who are doing more than bringing
fruit snacks to soccer practice. It reached out to those moms
who experience the emotional intensity of every athletic com-
petition with their child.
The print ads, which featured visuals of moms cheering alongside
visuals of their child engaged in athletic competition, focused on
the work it takes from moms for their kids to really compete. The
call to action was to “release potential” by providing kids with the
electrolytes they need to replenish as they are competing.
The campaign featured its own webpage (gatorade.com/moms) with the headline “Fueling Your Athletes’
Futures” and was picked up by several mommy bloggers. Gatorade embraced the coverage from mommy
blogs; several bloggers were offered a Brandi Chastain autographed soccer ball to give away to one of their
readers through a contest. The campaign also featured a video series about moms’ journeys through sports
with their kids, which appeared online. Each video was approximately 5 minutes long.
Though some of the ads featured pictures of male athletes, there was a strong emphasis on girls in sports.
As part of the campaign, Gatorade partnered with the Women’s Sports Foundation to get moms to take a
pledge to “support young athletes on their quest to ‘become.’” For every pledge, Ga-
torade donated $1, up to a total of $1 million.
The campaign, targeted differently than most other Gatorade campaigns, directly
addressed an important person in the purchase cycle: the mom who is actually pick-
ing up the Gatorade at the store and putting it in the refrigerator. The message
was empowering to both moms and their athletes, especially if their athletes
were girls. 7
IS IT IN YOU?Agency: DDB
ered the two driving benefits from the Gatorade brand positioning: function-
ally, to perform better; and emotionally, to feel like a winner.”
The campaign aimed to rebrand Gatorade by introducing a new tagline: “Is
it in you?”. Nevertheless, Gatorade continued to align its brand with famous
athletes, including Michael Jordan. The campaign was
also implemented internationally, and local
sports stars were featured in their respective
“Is It In You?” became a well-known tagline,
and it is something that many Gatorade con-
sumers are likely familiar with.
TELEVISION MAGAZINE PUBLIC
The Win from Within Campaign was launched prior to the summer Olympics in 2012. Gatorade sponsored
12 of Team USA’s most successful athletes. For Gatorade, the Summer Games presented the perfect oppor-
tunity to increase brand visibility among the target audience and beyond. However, Gatorade encountered
a major problem: the official sponsor of the event was Coca-Cola, and therefore, the official sports drink was
Powerade. Additionally, according to the rules presented by the IOC Executive Board, “no competitor, coach,
trainer or official who participates in the Olympic Games may allow his person, name, picture or sports per-
formances to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games.”
Gatorade’s solution was simple: instead of focusing only on the athletes competing in the game, they de-
cided to start a conversation with young athletes from around the country and have them share their “Win
from Within” stories. Teen athletes were encouraged to become the new voice of Gatorade, and their intense
presence on social media allowed them to share whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.
During the two weeks leading up to the Olympic Games, all Gatorade social channels were leveraged to
engage in a conversation with the core audience that would last throughout the summer. 12 Gatorade ath-
letes were chosen to help seed 12 different missions. Each mission involved one of the pros sharing personal
stories of struggle and success. They would then challenge followers to respond with their own accounts on
what motivated and inspired them to #WinFromWithin. Throughout the Olympics, the best and most
encouraging submissions were re-posted, and ultimately a music video was compiled for Gatorade
fans to watch and share.8
WIN FROM WITHINAgency: TBWA/Chiat/Day
To integrate digital channels with mass media advertising to create
higher levels of consumer engagement and brand strength.
To increase engagement and relatability to the Gatorade brand by
facilitating conversation with athletes competing in a wide range of
sports and levels of play.
WIN FROM WITHINAgency: TBWA/Chiat/Day
Gatorade’s digital agency, VML, explained the campaign’s success on their website: “By giving them the plat-
form to showcase the instinctual desire of competition that drives athletes, we unlocked a key insight. Teen
athletes are peer driven and when you’re in a world of score or be scored on, this audience showed us their
desire to win at all costs. We let the voice of the teens speak for the brand. The results showed massive ripple
In July 2013, Gatorade launched an interactive component that invites the target audience to create a cus-
tomized Gatorade label. Using their own photos, the target audience can design a label that describes how
they “win from within.” While the labels are not utilized for actual Gatorade packaging, they are displayed on
the website and can be shared on social media. This component allows the target audience to define what
the Win From Within means to them, engaging with Gatorade on a more personal level. Pepsico reported
12,500 custom labels were created within the first three days of the launch.
Since the launch of the 2012 campaign, “Win from Within” has transitioned into a brand tagline for Gatorade.
The campaign features a mix of professional athlete endorsers like Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade and Robert
Griffin III, and non-professional athletes, including high school kids. The main focus of the campaign is to
engage in a conversation with the target audience.
OLD TARGET AUDIENCE
Gatorade’s original target audience was competitive athletes ages 13 to 17. Competition is an important part
of their life. As these athletes are competing on the field or court, they feel compelled to win. Competition is
an innate need. As a result, endorsements of the brand by professional athletes are compelling for this target.
According to Gatorade, this “competitive athlete” description fits 15% of the population.
As a sports drink that helps the body recover after any sort of vigorous athletic activity, Gatorade seeks to
associate itself with a group that values passionate competition as well as the right nutritional fuel. Competi-
tive athletes embody these values on and off the field. Though they are not the end purchasers, competitive
athletes have direct input into the final purchase decisions made by their parents.
While the original target audience makes sense for the Gatorade brand, the competitive athlete group is not
the only group that drinks Gatorade. In addition, since this description only fits 15% of the population, Gato-
rade is significantly limiting the number of consumers it can hope to connect with on an emotional level. By
targeting athletes who compete at a variety of levels, rather than just at the most competitive ones, Gatorade
will be able to more effectively engage with a broader range of athletes that includes 18 to 24 year-olds.
NEW TARGET AUDIENCE
Inspired Recreational Competitors are former competitive athletes ages 18 to 24. They played a traditional
sport or two in high school, but these competitors haven’t considered themselves serious athletes since
coming to college. Inspired Recreational Competitors play on a club team, play pick-up games at the rec
center and work out occasionally.
However, athleticism does not define these competitors. Since they were athletes in high school, Inspired
Recreational Competitors can still identify with serious athletes, but they no longer consider themselves a
part of that category. They are, however, competitive by nature and love the rush that comes from winning,
no matter how large or small the victory. They are “healthy enough;” they are aware of what they should be
eating, but a healthy lifestyle doesn’t always mesh with their college lifestyle.
Inspired Recreational Competitors are extremely loyal to their school and hometown teams, and they love
feeling like they are part of a community of sports enthusiasts. They tend to purchase products based on
what their parents always bought for them when they were younger.
Inspired Recreational Competitors are very familiar with Gatorade because they drank it as a kid, but they are
not devoutly loyal to the brand. They know that Gatorade is supposed to be good for them when they work
out, but they do not know the exact science behind the product.
Inspired Recreational Competitors
The Consumer Journey allows Gatorade to better understand the purchasing habits of
Inspired Recreational Competitors. This process encompasses the Inspired Recreational
Competitors’ interaction with the brand from need recognition to brand loyalty.
The Consumer Journey highlights the key opportunities for Gatorade to reach Inspired
Recreational Competitors via mass and 1:1 touch points. Although it may differ based on
individuals or circumstances, the journey can be easily explained in six simple steps.
The first step in the consumer journey is when Inspired Recreational
Competitors realize they need a drink for their athletic activity, such
as an intramural game. They begin their journey by leaving home and
heading to a convenience store. Though they have their favorites, they
often buy on impulse. Inspired Recreational Competitors are situation-
al users; they buy NCBs when they know they will be participating in
1. “DRAFT DAY”
Inspired Recreational Competitors often do not decide on a specific
NCB until they are standing in the aisle of the store, looking over the
options. Thus, this second step in the journey is a highly important part
of the process. They need something to keep them hydrated through
their competitive athletic activities, but will they choose water, a sports
drink or something more natural? They make their choice based on a
variety of attributes such as flavor, price and brand recognition. If Gato-
rade places its messaging effectively, the brand, which Inspired Recre-
ational Competitors are already aware of, will be present in their minds
during this stage.
2. “SCOUTING THE PROSPECTS”
Now that Inspired Recreational Competitors have purchased their fa-
vorite Gatorade flavor, it’s time to hit the field. They sip their Gatorade
in between plays to stay hydrated and perform their best during the
game. Inspired Recreational Competitors are conscious of the fact that
Gatorade will help prevent cramps from physical activity; however,
they know that if they drink too much, they will get cramps from the
sugar. They bond with their teammates and playfully mock the other
team. They don’t finish the entire bottle of Gatorade during the game,
however. This is only phase one of consumption.
Phase two of consumption occurs after the game, which is when In-
spired Recreational Competitors finish off their Gatorade. After a big
win, they chug their Gatorade as they high-five their buddies. They un-
derstand the importance of replenishing necessary electrolytes, and
they crave a drink that makes them feel refreshed. They recycle the
bottle on the way home, and it never sees the inside of their apartment.
4. “HIT THE SHOWERS”
Inspired Recreational Competitors continue their week as usual, going
to classes and hanging out with friends. They stop at the convenience
store a few more times throughout the week for snacks and drinks,
and they may or may not take notice of the Gatorade in the refrigera-
tor. They know Gatorade is always going to be there, so it will continue
to be a part of their consideration set. They continue to be inspired by
Gatorade’s advertising because sports and competition are always on
their minds. Inspired Recreational Competitors talk with their friends
about everything, including class and sports, and their friends
have a huge influence on their future purchase decisions.
5. “CHAMPIONS ARE MADE OFF
Inspired Recreational Competitors enter the loyalty loop, where they
don’t think twice about which NCB to purchase at the convenience
store. Inspired Recreational Competitors view Gatorade as essential
to recovery because it replenishes necessary electrolytes and makes
them feel refreshed. They skip the consideration phase and immedi-
ately choose Gatorade from the refrigerator. They may even buy Ga-
torade ahead of time. They bring Gatorade to every game, follow the
brand on social media and encourage their buddies to purchase Gato-
rade, as well.
6. “ALL-STAR STATUS”
DAY IN THE LIFE
To better understand the consumer journey, we developed an outline of a typical day in
the life of the Inspired Recreational Competitor. This will allow for a better understanding
of how the Inspired Recreational Competitor interacts with various mass media and 1:1
Below is just one example of what an Inspired Recreational Competitor’s day might be like.
Inspired Recreational Competitors are diverse, but their motivations are similar.
Meet Jacob, a 21-year-old college student who played basketball and ran track in high
school. He is now a member of the club rugby team at his university. He lifts weights occa-
sionally, runs and plays pick-up basketball regularly. Though sports no longer define who
Jacob is as a person, he still identifies with his favorite professional players. He is competi-
tive by nature. He takes every opportunity to win because he loves the feeling that comes
with defeating an opponent, whoever that opponent may be. Jacob is aware of what he
should be eating, but his busy college lifestyle sometimes makes it difficult to eat healthy
all the time. Still, he considers himself ‘healthy enough.’ He is an avid fan of his school and
hometown teams and keeps up with them via social media. He also reads about his favorite
teams on sports websites and watches games whenever he can.
Jacob’s alarm goes off, and he hits snooze. Nine minutes later, he realizes it’s getting late,
but he checks his phone before getting out of bed anyway. He sees that he got a notifica-
tion from Eric on Twitter and scans his feed. He rolls out of bed and does some push-ups
and sit-ups before he showers. He throws on a hoodie, grabs a banana and a granola bar,
and heads to Econ.
DAY IN THE LIFE
Jacob finds his buddies in their seats near the middle of the room as the professor starts
class. About 20 minutes into the lecture on opportunity costs, Jacob decides paying atten-
tion to this lecture is not worth the lost opportunity to chat with that cute girl from Man-
agement on Facebook. He checks Facebook, ESPN.com and Bleacher Report. In the middle
of class, Jacob gets a text from Patrick asking if they’re still on for basketball with the guys
at 3 o’clock. He totally forgot, but he responds that he’ll be there. This gives Jacob some
much needed motivation to make it through the rest of his classes. During his third class of
the morning, Jacob becomes too ravenous to focus on anything, and he starts fantasizing
Once he’s finished with classes for the day, Jacob heads to the student union to grab lunch
with his friends. He orders a toasted footlong turkey sub with cheese and extra banana
peppers, and he refills his reusable bottle at the soda fountain. Over lunch, Jacob and his
buddies argue about their 40-yard dash times in high school. As they’re finishing up, some-
one hands Jacob a coupon book, and he flips through it on his way to his marketing group
DAY IN THE LIFE
Jacob meets with his marketing group in the library. As he is waiting for the meeting to
start, he checks his email and scrolls through his Twitter feed. Jacob clicks on an article in
a tweet from The New York Times and reads a few more articles until his group shows up.
Thankfully, the meeting flies by, and Jacob heads to the rec. On his way, he listens to the
Jay-Z Pandora station and browses his Instagram feed. Jacob also stops by the student
market to grab a drink.
NEWSPAPER RETAILTWITTER INSTAGRAMNATIVEEMAIL
Once Jacob and his friends arrive at the rec center, they stretch and choose teams for their
pick-up game of basketball. He and his friends are competitive but friendly with each other
as they play. Jacob steps over to his bag between games to take a few sips of his drink.
When he and his friends are done playing, he chugs the rest of it before they head to the
DAY IN THE LIFE
When Jacob gets home, he turns on SportsCenter and flips through the Sports Illustrated
he got in the mail. Jacob then scans his Facebook News Feed, clicks on a YouTube link his
friend posted and watches it with his roommate. The SportsCenter highlights playing in
the background feature a high school football player getting some big award. Jacob and
his roommate throw a pizza in the oven for dinner and continue to watch TV while doing
homework until rugby practice.
TELEVISION MAGAZINE PUBLIC
As he eats a pre-game fueling snack, Jacob mixes up a drink to keep him hydrated and help
him perform during practice. Jacob and his roommate arrive at the practice field and meet
up with the rest of their team. They chat, warm up and get ready to play. Jacob loves his
club team because they play to win. Even when he’s on the sideline grabbing a quick drink,
he stays in the competitive mindset and is always ready to go back in the game.
DAY IN THE LIFE
Jacob hops in the shower when he gets home. Afterward, he settles in on the couch with
some chips and salsa, watches Jimmy Fallon with his roommates and Snapchats his bud-
dies. When Fallon is over, Jacob gets into bed and scrolls through Twitter and Facebook one
last time before falling right to sleep.
TELEVISION MOBILE TWITTER FACEBOOK
Examining the consumer journey and understanding a day in Jacob’s
life have provided a lens through which to analyze Gatorade’s consum-
er engagement in traditional mass media touch points. These analyses
will consider past and current Gatorade marketing communications as
well as current competitor efforts, and recommendations will be made
based on those findings.
Gatorade has powerful presence on grocery store shelves. Ga-
torade is a highly visible product in NCB aisles alongside water
and other sports drinks. The brand dominates the consumer’s
vision with its wide variety of colors and flavors.
During the summer of 2013, Gatorade launched special edition
packaging featuring iconic images in sports history, as well as
the opportunity for consumers to design their own
custom label on the Gatorade brand website. Though
consumer designs were not featured on shelves, Ga-30
Target Audience Engagement
In-store marketing is defined as the practice of trying to influence consumers’ buying decisions as they
shop. It traditionally includes flashy product displays, special promotions at the end of the aisle and atten-
tion-grabbing packaging on the shelf.
According to the Point Of Purchase Advertising Institute (POPAI), about 76% of purchase decisions are
made within the store, and about 1 in 6 of these purchases are made due to a brand’s retail display. This
presents a large opportunity for Gatorade because the company can target consumers when they are
physically in a store, ready to make a purchase.
Gatorade’s G Fit Display in Walgreens
For Gatorade, in-store marketing is an important touch point
because that is where most of the purchase decisions happen.
In 2011, Gatorade partnered with Walgreens to create a display
for the launch of the G Fit Series. The display contained the G
Fit products, signage that described each of the products and
how they complimented each other, and a visual screen that
showed workouts customers could try while using the prod-
Gatorade’s G Series Pro at GNC, Whole
Foods and Dick’s Sporting Goods
Gatorade launched its G Series Pro product line at these spe-
cialty stores in 2010. The brand chose to use in-store displays to
create a presence in the stores where, according to Bloomberg
Businessweek VP Andrea Fairchild, athletes “shop and sweat.”
The display was divided into sections for each of the G Series
products, illustrating the progression of using the products be-
fore, during and after competition.
Powerade does not use as many in-store marketing tactics as Ga-
torade. In stores, Powerade is located next to Gatorade on the
shelf, but it does not have a dominant presence in the aisle. (take
picture at the Grocery stores and pharmacy stores)
In 2013, VitaminWater used the product’s packaging as a cou-
pon. The Glaceau company, which makes VitaminWater (and is
owned by Coca Cola), put a code on the packaging for custom-
ers to text to a number for the chance to win concert tickets for
Live Nation concerts. Even if consumers did not win concert tick-
ets, they would receive $0.75 off their next 20 oz. VitaminWater
purchase. However, the company has not continued this type of
Vita Coco currently places cabana-like endcaps near checkout
aisles. This location encourages consumers waiting in the check-
out aisle to impulsively purchase the product. Vita Coco also uti-
lized retailers’ TV screens for retail advertising during the “Nuts
for Life” campaign.
Retail marketing goes beyond the traditional cardboard stand —
it is a visual display that entices consumers to purchase while they are shopping in the stores. Currently,
Gatorade’s Thirst Quencher series is one of the only product lines that does not have a creative retail dis-
play. Usually displayed in large sections on the NCB aisle, Gatorade rarely reaches consumers outside of
Gatorade should utilize retail space more creatively, catching the consumer’s eye while they are shopping.
For example, VitaminWater’s dual-purpose label allowed the brand to be relevant in the consumer’s life
beyond thirst with a coupon. Vita Coco’s in-store video presence was effective because it did not blend in
with other advertisements or displays around the store. The brand’s cabana-like coolers are strate-
gically placed as an endcap near the checkout aisles, encouraging the unplanned purchases.
torade held a contest as part of the campaign in which the
creators of the winning designs received a case of Gatorade
featuring their custom labels.
Retail: Key Takeaways
Gatorade’s current packaging and shelving are effective, but they do
not extend in-store engagement beyond the NCB aisle.
Gatorade should be more creative with retail space to increase im-
pulse purchases of the product through endcap displays and other
Target Audience Engagement
- Half of college students reported using a coupon during a given week.
- Nine out of 10 college students reported searching for coupons and deals on their mobile phones.
- Mobile coupons are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than traditional coupons.
- RetailMeNot is one of the most popular online coupon sites, with 24 million monthly visitors.
- 47% of shoppers want retailers to send them a coupon while they’re in-store or nearby.
Gatorade successfully incorporated coupons into newspaper ads as
a part of the Be Like Mike campaign. The success of this promotional
effort is likely a result of the higher usage levels of print coupons in
the 1990s and the campaign’s young athlete target, who would in-
fluence their parents to purchase Gatorade.
Gatorade offers a number of coupons for its products in print media and online. Most of these coupons
come through the retailer, and some pair Gatorade with other PepsiCo products. The majority of Gato-
rade’s current coupons are online; some are printable, and others are redeemable for Internet
purchases. These Internet coupons are available directly through retailer websites, as well as
through popular online couponing outlets. Currently, Gatorade has approximately 20 retailer-
Generally, Gatorade’s competitors are also using print and online
media to share coupons with their customers. However, a few
competitors have particularly notable coupon initiatives.
In addition to digital and retailer coupons, Powerade utilizes Pow-
eradeRewards.com (part of MyCokeRewards) to regularly offer
coupons and other sales promotions. The site
offerings include competitions, free coupons,
rewards for purchases, and educational infor-
mation to consumers.
This is a major promotional advantage over Ga-
torade because it makes coupons much more
accessible by eliminating the search process on
the part of the consumer. In addition, the pro-
gram is based on frequency of brand purchase,
which builds brand loyalty in Powerade con-
sumers. Finally, MyPoweradeRewards draws
consumers to the Powerade website, a brand-
controlled source for information and promo-
tions, rather than an external retailer.
Nestle Pure Life
Nestle Pure Life’s parent brand website, Nestle.com, offers customers an opportunity to provide their email
address to receive coupons and other promotions directly from Nestle. In addition, Nestle Pure Life has an
ongoing promotion offering direct home delivery to customers for as little as $1 a day.
Creating an email list allows Nestle to provide coupons directly to consumers, eliminating the search pro-
cess and therefore making their use more likely. The delivery promotion makes Nestle Pure Life readily
accessible and affordable for consumers, and the convenience of delivery demonstrates an excel-
lence in customer service that boosts the brand’s image in the mind of consumers.
specific coupons available on the RetailMeNot website and mo-
bile app, in addition to a number of other online couponing sites
including Savings.com and TheGroceryGame.com.
In addition, Gatorade makes coupons available on its website for
special promotions, as was the case with the 2010 launch of the G
Series Pro product line.
Gatorade’s print coupons are most commonly found in retailer
inserts in newspapers, but some retailers also provide in-store
coupons at the point of purchase.
Muscle Milk is the only other brand in this competitive set with a considerable presence on RetailMeNot,
the top couponing site. They have approximately 80 coupons available, four times as many as Gatorade.
The sheer number of coupons available for Muscle Milk makes a purchase more likely. In addition, provid-
ing coupons for a large number of online and brick-and-mortar retailers enables customers to make use
of those coupons that are most convenient for them.
Otherwise, Gatorade’s competitors’ uses of print and online media to distribute coupons are comparable
to Gatorade’s, with the exception of Vita Coco, which has very few coupons available in any media. Except
for Powerade and Nestle Pure Life, none of Gatorade’s competitors offer access to coupons on their brand
Gatorade’s choice to market through online and print coupons is an effective way to reach Inspired Recre-
ational Competitors, as half of this market is using coupons regularly. However, the target’s engagement
with coupons is almost exclusively online or via mobile. Gatorade should continue its emphasis on online
couponing efforts, perhaps shifting even more of its coupons online.
Gatorade should offer coupons regularly on its brand website, making these deals more accessible to the
target and aiding the brand’s goal to increase audience engagement with the brand. Gatorade should also
explore the possibility of implementing a rewards program similar to MyPoweradeRewards on its brand
website to build brand loyalty.
Print efforts should be limited to in-store coupons for consumers to use when purchasing Gatorade as an
impulse buy. Inspired Recreational Competitor is not searching for, or encountering, print coupons from
other print media, so these efforts are ineffective.
Coupon: Key Takeaways
Gatorade’s concentration on online coupons is a logical choice.
Gatorade should release its own coupons on the brand website, pos-
sibly as a part of a brand loyalty rewards program.
Gatorade should limit its print coupon efforts to in-store only.
Target Audience Engagement
- The percentage of Americans who get news from print newspapers has declined steadily since 1991.
- Only 10% of New York Times print subscribers are between the ages of 18 and 24.
- 23% of people aged 18 to 24 reported reading a print newspaper in a given day.
- 71% of Millennials report accessing digital newspaper content in an average month.
- 60% of 18 to 34 year olds using their local newspaper or its website believe it to be trustworthy.
Gatorade used newspaper advertisements successfully as a part of the Be Like Mike
campaign, which ran in the 1990s. The success of this campaign was likely a result
of the higher readership levels of newspapers in the 1990s and the campaign’s
young athlete target, who would influence their parents to purchase Gatorade.
Based the low readership of print newspapers among the 18 to 24 age group, Gatorade’s decision not to
advertise in this media is a strategically sound one. Inspired Recreational Competitors are not likely to view
print advertisements in newspapers. However, the high percentage of Millennials who reported accessing
digital newspaper content presents an opportunity for Gatorade. The brand should consider advertising
in newspaper mobile applications or online newspapers, touch points where Inspired Recreational Com-
petitors are more likely to be exposed the advertisements. Millennials find newspapers to be trustworthy,
so advertising in this media will reinforce Gatorade’s credibility as a brand.
Neither Gatorade nor any of its competitors is currently running newspaper advertisements.
Newspaper: Key Takeaways
Gatorade’s decision not to advertise in print newspapers is logical.
Large numbers of Millennials who read digital newspaper content
present an opportunity for Gatorade to engage with Inspired Recre-
Target Audience Engagement
In 2012, about 92% of Americans 12 and older listened to the radio on a weekly basis. This number has
remained virtually the same from the decade before. However, this number doesn’t just come from the
traditional radio channels, but also from online and mobile device applications. Online streaming radio is
becoming a more popular method of using radio, as it is a better fit to many lifestyles, including those of
18 to 24 year olds.
Clear Channel says that online streaming has boosted its listenership by 16%, while CBS Radio reports that
online streaming accounts for about 8 to 10% of its weekly audience. Also, about 17% of cell phone users
stream online radio from their devices through their car stereos. This number has increased from 2011,
when it was only 11% and from 2010 when it was 6%. Pew Research’ s 2013 annual report says the 18 to
24 year-old market is more willing to listen to and watch advertisements if it means they can stream and
listen to media and apps for free.
Two of the most popular channels for online radio streaming are Pandora and Spotify, both of which pres-
ent substantial markets for advertisers. In March 2014, listener hours for Pandora were 1.71 billion, up 14%
from the previous year. In addition, Spotify has over 24 million active users.
Currently, neither Gatorade nor its competitors have a strong presence in radio. However, there is still large
potential to reach the target through this medium. As research shows, radio still has a presence in the 18
to 24 year old market. However, this presence is predominantly in online streaming radio outlets such as
Pandora and Spotify, so Gatorade should consider radio advertising in these media.
As stated in the research above, though the market may not be listening to traditional radio as heavily,
radio is still an important part of their day-to-day lives. The target market uses the radio as they walk to the
convenience store and drive to their athletic activity, making it a key opportunity for Gatorade to interact
with them at important points in the consumer journey.
There are not currently any radio ads by Gatorade or any of its competitors.
Radio: Key Takeaway
Gatorade should advertise on digital radio channels such as Spotify and
Pandora to reach Inspired Recreational Competitors.
Target Audience Engagement
Out-of-home advertising is an advertising medium with a lot of potential due to its ability to target geo-
graphically at a relatively low cost per person reached.
According to an Arbitron study from 2013, the vast majority of adults in the United States are exposed to
out-of-home advertising each month, and approximately 9 in 10 Americans older than 18 have traveled
the roads or rails in the past month, whether in a personal vehicle or on public transportation.
Moreover, out-of-home media viewership is very high, since 75% of total US adults have noticed adver-
tising on static billboards, digital billboards, sides of public buses, bus shelters, taxi cabs, commuter rails,
subways or any street level advertising such as kiosks or newspaper stands in the past month.
The same Arbitron study states that the potential amount of time spent with out-of-home media is sig-
nificant. The average time those surveyed spent traveling exceeded 20 hours per week. The most viewed
out-of-home media are billboards, as approximately 65% of the adults traveling had seen a billboard ad
in the past month. In addition, engagement with billboards is high. Nearly half of the people who noticed
billboards processed the information presented on it.
Purchasing decisions are often made away from home, so out-of-home ads have a great potential to moti-
vate action. Over 65% of travelers make their purchasing decisions somewhere outside of their home over
the course of a typical week.
Gatorade billboards from previous campaigns feature mostly copy that represents the tagline of the cam-
paign, such as “Be Tough” or “Bring it.” Other out-of-home ads highlight the Gatorade logo on a strong
colored background. The outdoor advertisements were placed on buildings in big cities, and the ads did
not leverage other form of out-of-home mediums, such as transit advertising.
Each competitor uses out-of-home advertising
differently. VitaminWater leverages this medi-
um the most, relying on billboards and street
advertising (bus shelter ads and subway ads)
Their latest campaign, “Make Boring Brilliant,”
takes advantage of the immense potential
outdoor advertising has when combined with
digital and social media. The campaign included YouTube videos and interactive subway ads that were
placed in some of the busiest New York City stations. The ads use #makeboringbrilliant mentioned earlier
in the copy, and, like other VitaminWater touch points, encourage consumers to share their boring experi-
By leveraging disruptive out-of-home advertising, the brand created an incredible interactive experience
for consumers and potential consumers, as well as increased its visibility among the target audience.
The Win from Within billboard features a more
creative design than previous billboards. While
past out-of-home ads featured a simplistic design
centered around a Gatorade bottle, the current ad
takes a more innovative approach by presenting
the equation of success that will allow athletes to
“Win from Within.”
Out-of-home advertising doesn’t seem to be a medium that Gatorade has explored intensively. Focusing
mostly on billboards, the current Win from Within campaign doesn’t seem to significantly differ from pre-
vious campaigns when it comes to out-of-home ads.
However, there is an immense potential in integrating out-of-home advertising with digital media. Studies
state that with the rise of smartphones, out-of-home advertising is evolving from a standalone medium
to an entry portal to brands’ digital and mobile programs. At its simplest level, it can be a QR code, URL or
hashtag at the bottom of a billboard. More creatively, it may take the form of augmented reality, digital
imaging or other tactics to enhance an outdoor message. Increasingly, out-of-home and mobile are work-
ing synergistically, giving brands a chance to boost engagement through couponing, discounts
and entertainment, while more accurately measuring campaign impact.
Gatorade has had a long and successful history with its television campaigns. Starting with the relatively
short-lived “Thirst Aid” campaign in the early 1980s, Gatorade positioned itself as a necessary product for
during and after physical activity. Its sponsorship of NBA superstar Michael Jordan in the 1990s led to the
“Be Like Mike” campaign, which ran for nearly a decade. In the late 90s and early 2000s, Gatorade intro-
duced the concept of colored sweat to the world with its “Is It In You?” campaign, which featured Jordan
and other athlete endorsers, along with non-professional athletes, needing hydration in the middle of in-
tense competition. The campaign went international, and local sports stars were featured in their respec-
tive countries. Inspired Recreational Competitors grew up seeing “Is It In You?” commercials, and
the tagline is likely still something they associate with Gatorade.
Gatorade’s latest campaigns have explored digital media and interactive advertising that increased con-
sumer engagement and achieved successful results. Gatorade should move the interactivity into the out-
door medium as well and better leverage the advantages this medium has.
Out-of-Home: Key Takeaways
A large number of Millennials are exposed to out-of-home advertise-
ments every day, offering a good opportunity for Gatorade to en-
gage with Inspired Recreational Competitors.
Gatorade can explore the potential out-of-home advertising has
when combined with digital media and other interactive tools.
Target Audience Engagement
- Nielsen’s most recent study indicates that Americans aged 18 to 24 watched a weekly average of about
22.5 hours during the fourth quarter of 2013.
- In 2012, 72% of teens and 70% of young adults aged 18 to 24 were watching more or the same amount
of television as in 2011.
- Consumers say TV is where they are the most likely to learn about products they want to buy and where
they preferred to learn about new products.
- Consumers voted TV most influential for purchase decisions by 78%, more than newspapers, radio, mag-
azines and Internet combined. 74% of the viewing public says TV commercials are a fair price to pay for
being able to watch TV.
Powerade’s current TV campaign, which features
the tagline “Power Through,” focuses on mostly,
though not exclusively, non-professional athletes.
The spots often feature athletes who are under-
dogs — people who are seen as too small, too slow
or who might be overlooked. The TV ads feature a
mix of traditional sports like basketball and foot-
ball alongside sports that are not often featured in
commercials such as wrestling, hockey and soccer.
Additionally, NBA superstar LeBron James is an endorser for Powerade and has his own series of “Judge
James” ads that are unified around the #playsmarter hashtag. Most of these ads are only found on Pow-
erade’s YouTube channel, but some spots from the campaign also appear on television.
Powerade’s competitive advantage in TV is the diversity of the athletes featured. The brand is40
Gatorade’s Win From Within TV spots feature a mix of pro-
fessional athlete endorsers like Kevin Durant, Dwyane
Wade and Robert Griffin III, and non-professional athletes,
including high school kids. No matter who’s featured in the
spots, the idea in the ads is the same: the process of win-
ning starts with putting in hard work, and Gatorade gives
athletes the energy and hydration to do that.
Although some of the TV ads in the campaign focus sole-
ly on the Gatorade Thirst Quencher drink, many of the
spots promote the entire product line: the Prime pre-
workout energy chews, the Perform thirst quencher
drink and the Recover post-workout protein drink. One
spot features athletes pushing for one more rep in the
weight room, one more rep on the practice field and, ul-
timately, one more win. The spot ends with a shot of the
bottle and the Win From Within tagline. A similar spot
features people playing different sports, competing for
one more shot or one more crossover, ending again with
a shot of the bottle and the Win From Within tagline.
Spots air mostly during sporting events and on networks like ESPN where sports coverage is the focus, but
can also be seen on major networks like Fox and ABC Family.
engaging with non-traditional athletes more effective than Gatorade. However, focusing on only one en-
dorser in Powerade TV ads limits the brand’s appeal, as Inspired Recreational Competitors who are not
LeBron James fans or do not follow basketball at all will not be reached.
Propel, which is also a Gatorade product, does not run many ads on television as part of its current strat-
egy. Its few TV ads feature young and fit looking people dancing, stretching and jogging. The ads focus on
the fact that Propel has zero calories and zero artificial flavors or colors, and the ads position Propel as “the
workout water.” Propel markets itself as an “enhanced water” beverage.
While Gatorade’s ads are more intense and show people sweating and in the middle of competition, Pro-
pel’s ads are lighter and focus on non-competitive athletic activities. The relaxed tone of these ads will not
appeal to the competitive nature of Inspired Recreational Competitors, so these ads are not effective for
the target audience. However, the emphasis on the nutritional value of Propel may garner some attention
from Inspired Recreational Competitors, as they are health-conscious.
Nestle Pure Life Bottled Water
Nestle Pure Life Bottled Water takes aim at sports drinks like
Gatorade in its current Hydration Movement campaign. The
ads encourage people to join the so-called hydration move-
ment by drinking more water. One spot highlights the health
benefits of replacing “sugared beverages” like sports drinks
and sodas with water. Another features a coach offering her
youth soccer players a sports drink, telling them to drink it to
help them replace the water they’ve lost during the game.
One of her players asks her, “If we’re losing water, why don’t
we just drink water?” The ad goes on to state that “nothing
hydrates better than water,” which is another shot at sports drinks.
Nestle Pure Life Water is the only competitor to directly attack sports drinks, a category in which Gatorade
is by far the market leader. The Pure Life ads seem to target moms more than the athletes themselves,
however. Since our target audience’s drinks aren’t purchased by their moms anymore, these ads are less
likely to impact them directly.
VitaminWater’s current TV campaign highlights PR stunts
that VitaminWater has done as part of the larger “Make Bor-
ing Brilliant” campaign. The ads show real people in boring
situations that get made more exciting thanks to a Vitamin-
Water sponsored event of some kind. In one spot, passen-
gers stuck on a delayed flight were treated to a concert from
rapper B.o.B while they waited on the tarmac. At the end
of the ads, VitaminWater prompts viewers to “tweet what’s
boring — we’ll make it brilliant.”
Gatorade’s current campaign is effective in reaching the target in that it features more amateur athletes
than most previous campaigns. Both of the commercials mentioned in the current campaign section do
an especially good job of focusing on non-professional athletes. Powerade’s spots still do better than Ga-
torade in featuring sports and athletes not traditionally shown in advertising, but Gatorade’s continuing
control of the market indicates that this is not a huge concern.
One potential issue with the new campaign is that the Win From Within tagline is typically only shown
briefly at the end, so the idea that this campaign is distinct from “Is It In You?” may not fully resonate with
viewers. In fact, the Heritage ad featuring the creator of Gatorade that was used to in the launch of the
Win From Within campaign had previously been used for the “Is It In You?” campaign; the only noticeable
change was “Win From Within” text shown at the end.
Red Bull targets the extreme sports market with its commer-
cials. The ads feature people doing adventurous things like
BASE jumping, cliff diving and motocross. Additionally, DJs
and musicians are shown on stage during concerts in several
ads. The wide variety of people and activities shown in the
commercials highlights the culture around the drink, which
the company has termed “The World of Red Bull.”
After Red Bull sponsored daredevil Felix Baumgartner’s October 2012 BASE jump from the edge of space,
most Red Bull ads began prominently featuring footage of the leap. The tagline “Red Bull Gives You Wings”
has carried over from previous campaigns.
VitaminWater and Red Bull position themselves more as lifestyle drinks than performance drinks, so peo-
ple would use them differently than they would use Gatorade.
Television: Key Takeaways
Gatorade’s current campaign is effective in that it features more ama-
teur athletes than most previous campaigns.
The Win From Within tagline is typically only shown briefly at the end,
so the idea that this campaign is distinct from “Is It In You?” may not
fully resonate with viewers.
Target Audience Engagement
- 93% of 18 to 24 year-olds read magazines.
- Many magazines are more than twice as likely to be read by 18 to 24 year-olds than by adults in other
- 71% of Millennials say they enjoy reading print magazines even though they know they could find most
of the same information online.
- Almost half of Millennials who identify as avid magazine readers say it’s important for a magazine to have
a Facebook page, and 26% say a Twitter account is important as well.
Current Campaign: Placement
Gatorade is currently running Win from Within print advertisements in Sports Illustrated and ESPN The
Median Age: 42
Gender Breakdown: 80% male, 20% female
Content: “Sports Illustrated’s journalism provides a deeper, richer understanding
of sport – moderating the national sports conversation through trusted, authen-
tic, agenda-free reporting and emotional storytelling combined with the highest-
level photography and design. Reach nearly 20 million loyal and engaged readers
as they are immersed in the Sports Illustrated experience each week.” - Sports
ESPN The Magazine
Median Age: 34
Gender Breakdown: 80% male, 20% female
Content: “ESPN The Magazine delivers insight and analysis from the best writ-
ers in the industry: Buster Olney, Mel Kiper Jr. and more. Each issue contains
stunning photos and in-depth features you won’t find anywhere else.”
-ESPN The Magazine website
Current Campaign: Creative
The Benefit Project
Released in September 2013, the Benefit Project consists of a set of three print ads that visually depict Ga-
torade’s ability to fuel athletes from within. The ads feature Usain Bolt, Cam Newton and Derek Jeter. The
only color in each ad comes from the Gatorade products themselves and the movement of the products
through the athletes’ bodies. The copy on each ad revolves around the product’s benefits for the athlete.
The Benefit Project ran in ESPN The Magazine.
Win from Within
A series of six consecutive print ads ran in Sports Illustrated at the beginning
of the Win from Within campaign in January 2012 with the following copy
against an orange background:
Page 1: Here you’d normally see an ad for the newest apparel that wicks away your
Page 2: On this page you’d likely read about how the latest carbon-fiber racket
gives you the advantage.
Page 3: Here you’d typically see an ad featuring the newest zero-weight shoes to
elevate your game.
Page 4: Those alone won’t do it. It’s up to you. And what’s inside you.
Page 5: #winfromwithin
Page 6: Gatorade logo
The ads introduce the Win from Within campaign idea: Gatorade fuels ath-
letes to give them the edge they need, so their victories come from what they put in their bodies rather
than what they put on their bodies.
Gatorade also runs congratulatory magazine ads in Sports Illustrated for its athlete endorsers following
major competitive events or accomplishments. These ads promote the idea that these Gatorade-
fueled athletes are successful, while further reinforcing Gatorade’s positioning as a sports drink
for the most competitive, hard-working athletes.
Powerade’s Power Through print campaign features action photos of 2012 Olympic athletes with copy
about a moment of victory and the tagline “Power Through.” The ads highlight Powerade as a tool to give
athletes an edge when they “hit the wall” in an athletic event. The athletes shown in the ads are a mix of
male and female competitors in both traditional and non-traditional sports.
Powerade’s major advantage with this campaign comes from including female athletes and non-tradition-
al sports; doing this widens their potential target audience. However, the campaign takes the same fiercely
competitive tone as Gatorade’s ads and uses similar images of athletes engaged in sporting events, which
may contribute to brand confusion for consumers.
Vita Coco’s current print campaign features tropical images and brightly-colored copy against a white
background. The campaign’s purpose is to launch the product as a natural hydration option. One print
ad features Vita Coco’s celebrity endorser, Rihanna, and both ads highlight the nutritional benefits of the
product — the Rihanna ad encourages consumers to “please hydrate naturally,” while the Sunshine ad
touts the drink’s electrolytes.
Vita Coco’s advertisements effectively reach 18 to 24 year-olds through the use of a well-chosen celebrity
endorser and a fun, vacation-inspired tone. However, the ads do not speak specifically to Inspired Rec-
reational Competitors because they do not tie in to athletic activity or competition, but rather to leisure
Gatorade’s current Win from Within creative is effective for reaching Inspired Recreational Competitors.
Though it maintains the intense tone that, in some cases, creates distance between the brand and the tar-
get, the focus of the print campaigns is clearly on the benefits of Gatorade for an athlete’s body. Though
Inspired Recreational Competitors are not competing at the level they once were, they are still competi-
tive at heart and desire an edge even in intramural and club sports. Gatorade’s use of professional athletes
in the Benefit Project will appeal to its sports fandom to get their attention, and the copy and imagery’s
focus on the product’s work inside the body will educate them on how the brand can benefit them. The
Win from Within series ads resonate equally with amateur athletes and professional athletes, so the copy-
only message will still appeal to Inspired Recreational Competitors. The Endorser Congratulations will also
appeal to the target’s sports fandom, increasing positive associations with the Gatorade brand.
Despite its effective creative, Gatorade is lacking in its magazine ad placement. The brand currently only
runs ads in two sports-only publications with median ages well over 18 to 24 and 80% male readership.
As a result, Inspired Recreational Competitors are not being effectively reached with these creative pieces.
Gatorade should expand its placement to magazines that aren’t exclusively sports-focused with younger
median ages, such as Shape, Women’s Fitness and Men’s Health. In addition, Gatorade should place ads in
more female-focused publications, as well.
Magazine: Key Takeaways
Gatorade’s current magazine advertisements resonate with Inspired
The placement of Gatorade’s Win from Within magazine ads greatly
limits their reach.
Gatorade should expand its magazine placement to non-sports-fo-
cused publications and those with younger median ages.
Sponsorships will be evaluated more thoroughly in the branded entertainment section below, but they
are important to mention in terms of public relations. Many of these sponsorships, like “Super Bowl Media
Day fueled by Gatorade,” get the Gatorade brand a great deal of media coverage. Gatorade appears in
stories about sports its consumers are already reading, further strengthening brand awareness.
Campaigns Focused on High School Athletes
Gatorade places a large focus on
younger athletes in its public rela-
tions activities. It has two ongoing
campaigns that focus on high school
sports: Player of the Year and Beat the
Heat. The Player of the Year program
recognizes exceptional high school
athletes in a variety of sports on both
the state and national levels. The Beat
the Heat campaign, as the name suggests, promotes staying hydrated in the intense heat of the
late summer days when many high school athletes are beginning practices.
In 1982, Gatorade hired long-time St. Louis Cardinals athletic trainer Gene Gieselmann as their spokes-
person. The coverage he garnered as an expert was a turning point for the Gatorade brand, and Gatorade
has maintained an fruitful relationship with the media through various public relations efforts ever since.
Gatorade and its competitors engage in several public relations activities to strengthen brand awareness
and perception. FleishmanHillard is Gatorade’s public relations AOR.
Though VitaminWater is not as direct a competitor as Powerade and the
product and market is a little different, Gatorade could learn from Vi-
taminWater’s disruptive public relations tactics. Through an integrated
approach focused around guerilla marketing, Vitaminwater
gains coverage by creating interest in places where their tar-
get already spends time.
From Twitter to the waiting room in the doctor’s office, Vi-
taminWater is interacting with its market wherever they are.
When someone tweets using #makeboringbrilliant, Vita-
minWater responds. Sometimes it’s with a funny video, and
sometimes it’s with a BoB concert. Either way, the real-time
responses create real consumer engagement with the brand
across different platforms. On top of those interactions with
consumers, media have covered the events, furthering the fa-
vorable coverage for the VitaminWater brand.
Nestle Pure Life
Nestle Pure Life has two major traditional public relations initiatives:
Drink Up and the Great American Cleanup. Drink Up, an initiative with
several supporters headed by the Partnership for a Healthier Amer-
ica, encourages Americans to drink more water. Nestle Pure Life en-
courages its consumers to “join the movement” by posting pictures
of themselves with a bottle of Pure Life with #DrinkH20. The Great
American Cleanup is one of Keep America Beautiful’s key projects,
and Nestle Pure Life is a national sponsor. The project is the nation’s
largest community involvement program, and it involves 3 million
While these particular initiatives are not necessarily aimed at 18 to 24 year-olds, they are effective in reach-
ing Nestle Pure Life’s target market. Pure Life is leveraging all aspects of the brand, from the water
itself to the perception that bottles of water are bad for the environment, to create PR messaging
that is cohesive and reaches the market.
PUBLIC RELATIONS ANALYSIS
Gatorade does not have an online newsroom. No releases or media contacts are available on the website;
the “Media” link goes to a generic media email address. However, Gatorade does employ traditional news
releases and media pitching as evidenced by media coverage.
Overall Gatorade is using public relations effectively. Gatorade is in a comfortable position in the mar-
ket, and the current public relations efforts have contributed to the maintenance of that position. But
for Gatorade to excel in the market, there should be a shift in the messaging. As Team 2 pointed out, the
messaging is too intense for the 18 to 24 year-old market. Creating more tactics that not only leverage Ga-
torade’s current strengths but are also interesting, fun and disruptive will strengthen the Gatorade brand
by engaging consumers and the media. Stretching beyond traditional sports sponsorships into fun, spon-
taneous sports related events with more relaxed messaging will increase Gatorade’s potential reach and
PR: Key Takeaways
Public relations tactics throughout the category are largely similar to
Gatorade’s current public relations efforts are effective at retaining
More casual and disruptive tactics could increase the target’s en-
gagement with Gatorade.
Target Audience Engagement
There are few sporting events or sports movies that don’t feature the Gatorade logo somewhere visible to
audiences. The familiar orange branded coolers can be found on the sidelines of a wide variety of sporting
events ranging from televised NFL games to 5Ks to sports video games.
Gatorade leverages the power of its brand name and image and the familiarity consumers have with it to
further enhance the association of the brand with athletics while also strengthening brand recognition
As mentioned in the introduction, Gatorade takes advantage of
sports related entertainment with product placement. From box-
office hit “Like Mike” to the ESPN documentary “RGIII: The Will to
Win,” Gatorade takes advantage of entertainment media that are
reaching an audience that is primed to engage with the brand.
Gatorade also has a long-standing relationship with video game
company EA Sports. Video game placement is particularly ben-
eficial, as a 2010 Nielsen study showed that those exposed to
Gatorade in video games spent significantly more on the prod-
uct than those who had not been exposed.
Sponsorships and Partnerships
Gatorade is the official sports drink of the NFL, MLB, NBA and
many other major American sports leagues. They have been
the official sponsors of the MLB since 1990, and they have had a
partnership with the NFL since 1965.
In 2003, Gatorade made the move from the dugout to the field
when MLB Home Run Derby players were handed bottles of Ga-
torade before going into post-hitting interviews, supplement-
ing the media exposure the brand was already receiving. Gato-
rade also holds the prized “dumping the Gatorade cooler over
the coaches’ heads” tradition, which began in 1985. That well-
known tradition also brings further exposure to the brand’s name, espe-
cially in the time surrounding big sporting events like the Super Bowl.
Gatorade also sponsors many other smaller sporting events, such as the
Boston Marathon and USA Triathlon. The positive effects of sponsorship
on Gatorade’s brand strength are twofold: increased logo visibility and
inserting the brand name in media coverage. When Gatorade is the pri-
mary sponsor of an athletic event, whether it is local or national, it owns
branding by requiring the events to mention either that they are “fueled
by Gatorade” or “powered by Gatorade.” For example, this Super Bowl
season, Gatorade was the primary sponsor of Media Day, so ev-
ery time a media outlet referred to it, the brand was mentioned
because it was “Super Bowl Media Day fueled by Gatorade.”
VitaminWater’s most notable branded entertainment has
been its repeated appearances in hit television show Gossip
Girl. In season two, there was an entire party on the show
that was sponsored by VitaminWater. In season four of the
show, there was a “VitaminWater Design Competition” that
one of the characters announced.
There were pros and cons to this intense and in-your-face
product placement. On the one hand, millions of Gossip Girl
viewers were forced to take notice of the brand. Hearing the
brand name spoken adds a higher level of brand awareness
than just watching a character sip from a bottle. Though many avid fans were put off by the product place-
ment, this aggressive tactic is an effective way to build brand recognition.
Powerade, one of Gatorade’s biggest competitors, teamed up with college level
sports. It became the official drink of the National College Athletic Association in
2010, taking that title from VitaminWater. The brand is heavily featured in all NCAA
events, including March Madness.
Powerade has taken many signals from Gatorade in sponsorship placement, but it
made a smart choice in partnering with college sports. Though Gatorade has con-
trol of many professional sports sponsorships, college level sports still have intense
fandom and sponsorship of events is an effective tactic.
Red Bull’s branded entertainment campaigns have been quite successful in the past. The brand focuses
a lot of their advertising on product placement. It has been featured in various television programs and
movies such as Dexter, Suburgatory and Superbad.
The brand also sponsors a variety of sports events and individual competitors. The brand chose to secure
a position in the market by appealing to a target that would live the “Red Bull lifestyle.” It strategically
planned to team up with athletes of more adrenaline filled sports, such as surfers, snowboarders and race
Red Bull does an excellent job of meeting their target where they already are. By placing Red Bull in the
target’s favorite shows and in their favorite events, Red Bull is creating opportunities for more impactful
Overall, Gatorade has done a great job with its branded entertainment efforts. With its multitude of prod-
uct placement, partnerships and sponsorships, the brand is the clear category leader among sports drinks.
Gatorade should continue its product placement efforts in sports movies and video games, which effec-
tively depict the brand as essential to sporting events. Gatorade should also continue partnerships with
major sports leagues and players, as this appeals to the sports fandom of Inspired Recreational Competi-
Branded Ent.: Key Takeaways
Gatorade’s current branded entertainment efforts are effective to
maintain brand awareness and positive brand image.
Competitor efforts in branded entertainment emulate Gatorade’s
product placement, sponsorship and partnership model.
TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE MOBILE DISPLAY NATIVE EMAIL
Gatorade also engages with Inspired Recreational Competitors via digital and 1:1 touch
points. Team 4 will discuss these touch points in part 2 of the consumer engagement analysis.
CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT PART 2
TOUCH POINT SUMMARY
Gatorade has effective shelf placement
in retailers, however the brand is usu-
ally confined to the NCB aisle. Since a
majority of purchase decisions happen
in the store, Gatorade should develop a
creative display, such as an endcap, to
bring the brand to the top of consum-
Gatorade should continue to place cou-
pons primarily online, and the brand
should continue to collaborate with
retailers for coupon promotions. Ga-
torade should place coupons on their
brand website in addition to exploring
the possibility of developing a rewards
program to build brand loyalty.
Gatorade’s choice not to advertise in
print newspapers is logical. However,
Inspired Recreational Competitors are
engaging regularly with digital news-
papers, so Gatorade should consider
advertising in these media outlets.
Gatorade should advertise on online
streaming radio channels such as Pan-
dora and Spotify. These advertisements
should be placed on stations that are
relevant to Inspired Recreational Com-
petitors, such as “Pop and Hip Hop
Power Workout” on Pandora.
Gatorade’s current outdoor ads focus
mainly on billboards. Research shows
that Millennials, including Inspired Rec-
reational Competitors, are highly en-
gaged with mobile and digital media.
Gatorade should explore other outdoor
media to leverage innovative technolo-
gies for more effective advertisements.
Gatorade does well with the creative
its TV spots; the focus on intensity and
competition appeals to Inspired Rec-
reational Competitors. However, this
audience also has interests outside of
sports, so placing advertisements on
popular non-sports channels as well
would be an effective way to more fre-
quently reach the target.
Gatorade’s current magazines adver-
tisements feature effective creative
that will resonate with Inspired Recre-
ational Competitors. Gatorade should
expand its placement to publications
with higher female readerships and
non-sports-specific publications such
as Shape and Women’s Fitness.
Stretching beyond traditional sports
sponsorships into fun, spontaneous
sports related events with more relaxed
messaging will increase Gatorade’s po-
tential reach and engagement with In-
spired Recreational Competitors.
Gatorade does a good job with its
branded entertainment. The brand’s
logo and products are featured promi-
nently at nearly every sporting event
and in every sports video game, and
its partnerships and sponsorships are
effective ways to maintain a positive
brand image. Gatorade should contin-
ue its current efforts in this touch point.
1. Integrate the Win From Within campaign with consistent
messaging across all media.
Gatorade’s Win from Within messaging across traditional touch points lacks a clear, con-
sistent focus. In several instances, the tagline “Win from Within” has been attached to old
pieces of creative that do not necessarily fit together or send a consistent message. Since
our analysis showed that Gatorade is currently using Win from Within as the overall brand
tagline, creating more consistent imagery and tone will allow for more effective brand
2. Define Win From WIthin.
Based on the initial Win from Within magazine ad, the campaign stems from the idea that
Gatorade gives athletes a competitive edge to succeed as a result of what they put in
their bodies rather than what they put on their bodies. This concept is one that, if done
well, will resonate with athletes of all sports playing at all levels, including Inspired Recre-
ational Competitors. It presents an outstanding opportunity to create genuine connec-
tions and conversations.
However, the current marketing communication efforts do not offer consumers a clear ex-
planation of this concept. Despite the repeated presence of the phrase “Win from Within,”
it is unclear what the key consumer takeaway should be from the campaign’s messaging.
By giving consumers a better understanding of what “Win from Within” really means, Ga-
torade will be giving consumers a better opportunity to engage with the brand.
3. Diversify the athletes featured in promotional materials.
Team 2’s research found that consumers were engaging with Gatorade’s social media
channels at a much higher rate when non-traditional sports were mentioned. However,
Gatorade’s mass media messaging continues to focus on traditional ball-and-stick sports.
In addition, Gatorade is currently only placing print ads in magazines with overwhelm-
ingly male readerships.
By catering its media placement toward men in traditional sports, Gatorade is missing an
opportunity to reach consumers who crave recognition for their athletic pursuits.
Gatorade should expand its focus to a more diverse group of athletes, including
women and participants in non-traditional sports.