Morgan Flatley, senior director consumer engagement at the PepsiCo brand, gave an insight into the campaign at Haymarket's BrandMAX conference in London today.
It was deployed in reaction to Gatorade's growth having "hit a wall", he said. The brand had become too widespread, and Gatorade was targeting mums which over the long term was not a sustainable growth path.
Flatley said we "needed to get back to Gatorade’s core", which was selling the drink to athletes.
It aimed at men over 30 in the US, the demographic who used to drink the sports energy drink in their youth but no longer exercised regularly.
"We needed a big hook," according to Nick Drake, global managing director for Gatorade at the brand's creative agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, and the light-bulb idea was recreating sporting encounters from yesteryear.
Central to the campaign was a restaging of 1993 American football matches between college teams.
The campaign ran across a number of channels including online, a Facebook app and a TV documentary.
It took off in the US, proving so popular that it was one of news channel CNN’s top news stories in 2009.
Drake said the key to its success was because of the "power of the big idea" which was "never compromised".
He likened the 'Replay' idea to some of the creative work undertaken by Nike.
One issue, which both Flatley and Drake had to deal with, was how to maintain the momentum of subsequent versions of the campaign.
Drake said the key was to "deepen content", such as the use of music video and become more integrated with broadcast media.