I’m sure by now you’ve seen the ‘What’s G?’ commercials for Gatorade. The campaign started out with several teaser print ads and a teaser SuperBowl commercial to generate buzz and excitement.
The campaign was developed by Los Angeles agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. The teaser print ads were very simple. Featuring just the letter ‘G’ and nothing else. As the campaign moved forward, the mystery grew larger. At this year’s SuperBowl, a 60-second teaser commercial aired, featuring some of today’s most notable athletes and a voiceover explaining the answer to ‘What’s G?’
The spot teased audiences by revealing a little bit more, but not quite enough. What was G? What did it stand for? Finally, it was revealed that G was for Gatorade, and the campaign was in full force during the NBA and NHL playoffs this Spring. In Canada, the spots were adapted to feature more prominent Canadian athletes such as Georges St-Pierre and Gordie Howe.
Towards the end of the Stanley Cup Finals, Gatorade had produced two separate spots, one for each of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings, depending on who would win Game 7. Of course, only one spot could air and ultimately, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup.
According to AdAge, the campaign wasn’t a success financially, and failed to increase sales. For me, as an advertising professional and an athlete, I am a fan of the campaign. The tone of the campaign creates this quest for glory and determination, and Gatorade is a great drink while playing a sport. However, I’m not going to drink it on a regular basis.
So Gatorade diversified and launched a new product, G2. The product has the same number of electrolytes as the original but with only 25 calories per serving. The product was launched with a television commercial featuring Derek Jeter and a new spot is airing right now with Serena Cuevas and Serena Williams.
Hopefully for Gatorade’s sake, G2 isn’t a Coca-Cola-2-sized blunder. And I really hope they don’t take this G1/G2 thing any further and wind up with a slew of new products identified only by a new number. It sounds like an Ontario driver’s licence, or a Mighty Ducks movie franchise. However for now, I do like the new spot. It isn’t identical to the ‘What’s G?’ campaign but it is consistent with previous Gatorade marketing, using famous athletes and showcasing their struggles and determination to get to the top of their game.
What is your opinion on the two campaigns? Is it working? Or should they have stuck with what was working for them in the past?