Gatorade discovers latest favorite sport is … women's bowling?

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Dec 2 2010


Beer guts, sweat stains, cigarette smoke and PBR. That's what bowling means to me. To be fair, those are really old memories, formed long before rock 'n' roll bowling and hipster-magnet retro joints like Lucky Strike. Apparently there's a whole new breed of bowler out there—young chicks!—and Gatorade is poised to take advantage of the trend. The PepsiCo brand is on the verge of announcing its first-time sponsorship of the U.S. Women's Open, and that G2 is now "The official thirst quencher of Bowling's U.S. Women's Open." The marketer says it's jumping in because of a 12.9 percent increase in participation over the past several years to 24.5 million people, with a major spike coming from the growing numbers of women who have taken up the sport. Gatorade, obviously looking beyond its core pro athletes, recently hooked up with contestants from Fox's hit reality show So You Think You Can Dance. Now, it's attractive women who bowl. (Check out Emily Maier, a member of Team USA, who looks nothing like anybody I recall from Ken-Bowl in Louisville, Ky., in the '70s.) Go grrrls!

In-game advertising boosts real-world sales, according to study

By David Kiefaber on Mon Sep 20 2010


Nielsen recently looked into the effectiveness of ads inside video games and found—whaddya know?—that they actually work. The study, commissioned by Electronic Arts on behalf of Gatorade, showed that in-game advertising across various EA titles increased household dollars spent on Gatorade by 24 percent. EA's svp of global media sales hails the project as "a milestone for interactive entertainment," adding that "brands can feel confident in adding gaming as a core media channel for their advertising." And it is a milestone. This is really the first time anyone has put the effect of video game advertising into practical terms. Whether or not it will signal a glut of advertisers to swarm in and make mainstream video games completely unplayable has yet to be determined, but initial positive results are certainly good news for any brand looking to expand into this virgin territory (pun intended). On the other hand, Gatorade already has good market presence based on decades of successful marketing, so using them as a measuring stick was almost too safe a choice. The real test, in my view, will be if a lesser-known or developing brand sees big jumps in sales after putting its logo in a video game.

Gatorade thinks it can add a dancer to it roster of celeb athletess

By T.L. Stanley on Wed Aug 4 2010
So-you-think-you-can-dance The hit Fox series, So You Think You Can Dance, has given us a lot of firsts, like the first time viewers have seen Tahitian dance on a competition show. Those hips don't lie, Lauren! And now there's a first for a marketer —Gatorade just announced that it will include the winner of this season's contest in print and TV campaigns in the fall. It will be the first time a dancer will join the elite athletes that grace the Gatorade roster. For anyone who's a fan of the show, there's never been any doubt that these competitors are athletes, regardless of whether they're back flipping on stage. They're asked to master, in an insanely compressed amount of time, styles of dance they may never even have heard of. Let's face it, who's trained in Bollywood or Russian dance? Not only do the dancers slip into Broadway, disco, hip hop and the dreaded paso doble, they make it look effortless (for the most part) and entertaining. Kudos to Gatorade for recognizing that that's real athleticism.

The key ingredient in Powerade's scientific claims: a grain of salt

Posted on Mon Mar 23 2009


Coca-Cola's Powerade is launching a new ad campaign touting its product as a scientifically superior alternative to Gatorade. It has reformulated its drinks to have four electrolytes compared to Gatorade's two, and has thus dubbed itself an "advanced electrolyte system." Still, it feels like you need to take these claims with an extra grain of one of Powerade's four key ingredients: salt. Because frankly, Coke's track record hasn't been very good of late. Claims about its "calorie-burning soda" Enviga ended in a $650,000 settlement to 27 states. Right before Christmas, the FDA said Diet Coke Plus's nutrient claims were in violation of the law. And even during the current March Madness tourney, VitaminWater received some unwanted attention when it was revealed that some of its flavor ingredients may create a false positive for drug testing among athletes. In the meantime, Gatorade, which substantiated its claims long ago, absolutely dominates the sports-drink category. Still, while Powerade has been an also-ran for as long as it's been around, at least it's not All Sport.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

PepsiCo products suddenly become a whole lot harder to spot

Posted on Thu Jan 8 2009

Tropicana-125 copy

A trip to the grocery store can be confusing these days for anyone looking for Pepsi, Gatorade or Tropicana. Each of those PepsiCo products has been radically repackaged within the same month.
  The idea is to give the sluggish beverage segment a boost. Today, Tropicana announced its new packaging and ad campaign. (I'm a fan of the new look, considering the last time they repackaged the brand, the gallon jugs looked so much like laundry detergent that I accidentally placed one next to my washing machine.) Pepsi is now almost unrecognizable with its new, sleek, dark-blue packaging and Obama logo—introduced with ads on New Year's Eve. And Gatorade is now just "G." Not that they're letting anyone know this. Teaser ads, featuring a variety of athletes (hats off for including autistic basketball star Jason McElwain), make no mention of what G is.
  Fans of Gatorade line extensions Fierce, X-Factor and AM will be scratching their heads even harder. Those brands have been renamed Bring It, Be Tough and Shine On, respectively. Not sure how they'll explain that to the kid searching aimlessly for his Fierce Grape.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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