As far as advertising goes, the list of things I wish I’d done would be a pretty obvious one. But of all the cleverest, quirkiest or coolest pieces of work in recent years, Gatorade’s "replay" campaign of 2009 takes some beating.
While every other energy drink on the market was doing energetic ads for a young and energetic target audience,
Gatorade did something smarter. It inspired everyone by reinspiring an older and knackered audience. It gave a bunch of former athletes something they thought they had never had – a second chance. And, in doing so, created a compelling story and one of the most original advertising campaigns for years.
It reunited the original players (now all in their thirties) from two 1993 high-school football teams, so they could replay their rivalry game that ended in a draw. Then, for three months, Gatorade scientists got them back in shape and ready for the rematch, and produced a five-part, online documentary to follow their progress.
And as soon as people heard about it, the idea flew. People couldn’t read, watch or Google-search enough of it.
Apparently, $225,000 of paid media turned into $3.5 million of earned media, and regional Gatorade sales increased by 63 per cent. Well done them.
Agencies have been promising clients big ideas that work across all media for quite a while. But, the truth is, a lot of supposed "360-degree campaigns" are actually very small ideas: an executional element that is repeated everywhere for the sake of "matching luggage".
An ad can be big if you throw enough production money at it. But for an idea to be big, it has to have a good insight.
And Gatorade "replay" had a belter.
Roll the Credits
Project Replay series
Client Sarah Robb O’Hagan,
chief marketing officer, Gatorade
Writer Brent Anderson
Art director Steve Howard
Planner Daniel Teng
Production company Caviar
Directors Kris Belman,
Nigel Roberts is creative director, Leagas Delaney