M&C creates Olympics Lucozade ads

GlaxoSmithKline is giving fresh advertising support to Lucozade Sport in advance of this summer's Olympic Games with a campaign featuring the athletes the brand will be sponsoring in Athens.

A series of print ads under the theme "are you ready?" will break on 1 April. They star the Olympic gold-medal-winning rower James Cracknell, the triathlete Tim Don and the British cycling team.

The inspiration for the M&C Saatchi campaign came from interviews with the athletes in which they revealed the lengths they are going to in order to give themselves the best possible chance of capturing a gold medal.

MediaCom is planning and buying media for the campaign, which will appear in specialist sports titles. The ads were written by Tom Drew and art directed by Adam Mandelstam.

The initiative marks GSK's latest effort to sustain Lucozade Sport's market-leading position in the burgeoning sports drinks market, which is being fuelled by the shift toward healthy lifestyles.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the value of the market grew by 34 per cent to £59 million in the year to January and is predicted to grow three times faster than the energy drinks sector.

Lucozade Sport launched in 1991, but faces intense competition from rivals such as Boots' own-label products and Novartis' Isostar.

M&C Saatchi was assigned Lucozade Sport in January last year, taking the business over from Ogilvy & Mather, which has handled Lucozade for the past 13 years.

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