Sportsmarketingguy's Blog

Is it just noise or does it connect and move the needle

Posts Tagged ‘Derek Jeter’

When “G” Doesn’t Hit The G-Spot

Posted by sportsmarketingguy on January 23, 2009

So if you have watched any of the college bowl games or NFL playoff’s over the last few weeks, you have certainly seen the new Gatorade ad and its new branding for one of the most iconic brands in sport. This campaign broke a few weeks ago, but what better time to discuss a brand that couldn’t be more aligned with the Super Bowl than leading into Super Bowl Week?
“What’s G? It’s the emblem of a warrior…” as some of the most recognizable faces in sports in black and white cross the screen: Serena Williams, Bill Russell, Dwayne Wade, Derek Jeter and the GOAT – Muhammad Ali with voice over by Lil’ Wayne and produced by Spike Lee. It is an AWESOME spot and Spike Lee continues to amaze – that is until it gets to the end when the letter G resembling something you might have seen on Sesame Street appears on the screen.

Initial reaction by the public and people that have been around the block in the advertising biz and that have launched major brands has been “What is it?” Then we and they find out what it is and you can hear the gasps.

The ad and the letter “G” is causing quite a stir in the sports and brand world. Because it’s Gatorade’s new brand id

The New Gatorade

The New Gatorade


For this sports marketing guy it’s blasphemous. I remember watching the 86′ Giants dumping the Orange Gatorade bucket over the head of a younger and unsuspecting Bill Parcells in Super Bowl XXI starting a tradition in sport that has become a part of winning a big game – the ultimate tribute when your brand transcends everything and becomes a part of the game.

The new branding has upset the widow of Gatorade’s inventor Dr. Robert Cade who at 79 years of age can still recognize when a rebrand is a bad idea. But Gatorade Co. said it is “redesigning everything from the sidelines to the shelf to appeal to a broader range of athletes and active people,” while using “bold new packaging.”


Even worse, Gatorade says the old packaging will ultimately be phased out…If “bold new packaging” means shocking the heart and soul of what your brand is – potentially putting it on life support, then they have it down.

Whether the new redesign helps Gatorade battle Vitamin Water and other low calorie sports drink alternatives to win back market share is the unanswered question. But it’s going to need more than a redesign to do that – sugar content anyone? Why not position G2 which was brilliantly launched as a low calorie alternative at last year’s Super Bowl as the competitor to Vitamin Water and SOBE Lifewater?

To me, we’ve seen this before – around the time sports fans were introduced to the Gatorade dump and the big orange bucket following the 86′ Super Bowl – it was Coca-Cola playing with its formula and creating “New Coke” – we all know how that turned out…


Posted in Advertising, Brand Marketing, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »