Sportsmarketingguy's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘SOBE Lifewater’

Super Bowl Ads Worth The $$$ To Reach Consumers

Posted by sportsmarketingguy on January 26, 2009

Each year millions gather around big screen TVs to watch the Super Bowl, never caring or knowing who is playing in the game. Friends go silent when there is a timeout, in anticipation of Super Bowl ads. Past history has produced some memorable spots – Coke’s Mean Joe Green ad
Reebok’s Office Linebacker: Terry Tate and of course the Original Bud Bowl with Bob Costas announcing – Budweiser went on to defeat Bud Light 27-24 and launched a whole series of spots that became a part of Super Bowl lore. A special shout out to my boss Grant Pace who wrote the first Bud Bowl ads, the only thing better was the finale that never aired (maybe I’ll post that later this week).

Even in a down economy and with :30 second spots going for a reported $3M according to Aaron Smith at, the game represents the best chance for brands and their agencies to shine and reach a mass audience when they won’t be fast-forwarding their DVRs. According to the Neilsen Company 97.5 million watched last year’s game.

Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age does a good job highlighting the newcomers and what’s at stake for this year’s Super Bowl advertisers in Saturday’s Boston Globe .

It’s safe to say we won’t see a lot of brands just blowing their money for a good laugh or spots designed to win the USA Today Ad Meter the following day. Smart brands will take the opportunity to reinforce what they stand for and how they can help consumers in these challenging times.

The return of will be an interesting play and I’ll be curious to see the tone they take given the number of U.S. workers looking for jobs. E-Trade is a curious play given the financial crisis and stock market volatility – I give them credit for stepping up and am interested in seeing how they plan to execute their supported “internet initiatives” which are supposed to include executions on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Equally curious is’s participation with a :60 second spot.

I don’t know if we will see any ads that will make Super Bowl history, but the ads I will be looking out for include GE’s ad featuring the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, Pepsi’s 3-D ad for SOBE Lifewater, and the winning Doritos user-generated commercial that was part of its “Crash The Super Bowl Contest’ that garnered more than 2,000 contestants – the best part of that contest is if the winner gets the #1 rated position in USA Today’s Ad Meter the following day they’ll win a $1 million bonus prize. Who knows maybe there is a Don Draper out there waiting to be found.

Mad Men's Don Draper

Mad Men's Don Draper

Honestly, as a PR/marketing guy you have to love brands that are willing to build platforms to interact with consumers & support their investment in a Super Bowl ad rather than just blowing money to be a part of the Big Game. Stay tuned as we are bound to see some of the spots coming out this week.

I’ll be heading down to the Super Bowl on Tuesday for an event we created, the Donruss Pop Warner Classic that will include several former Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and will be sure to shed some light on the scene and all the other things happening in Tampa.


Posted in Advertising, Brand Marketing, Sneakers, Sports Marketing, Super Bowl | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »