Tag Archives: Gatorade commercials

Gatorade Rebranding Stirs Up the Gators (02/02/2009)

Originally aired on WUFT February 2, 2009

DSCN4077Viewers of Sunday’s Super Bowl had the chance to see the new marketing strategy for Gatorade.  PepsiCo, the owner of the historic sports drink is banking on its new “G” campaign.  But as Donna Green-Townsend reports, Gators in the swamp at the University of Florida, the birthplace of the product, aren’t happy about the move to deemphasize the Gator in Gatorade.

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Full Script:

THINK OF ANY MAJOR FOOTBALL VICTORY AND THERE’S ONE IMAGE YOU’LL ALWAYS SEE.  TAKE THE FINAL MOMENTS U-F FOOTBALL COACH URBAN MEYERIN THE FLORIDA GATORS VICTORY (WIN) OVER THE OKLAHOMA SOONERS IN THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

(RADIO ANNOUNCER MICK HUBERT’S PLAY BY PLAY FADES UP) – (BEGIN FADE ON) “TEBOW KNOCKS OVER ANOTHER OKLAHOMA PLAYER ON THE SECONDARY, MIGHT HAVE EVEN SCORED (UP FULL ON) AND URBAN MEYER JUST GOT A GATORADE BATH ON THE SIDELINE”

GATORADE BATHS HAVE BEEN A TRADITION ON PRO AND AMATEUR FIELDS FOR YEARS.  UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA SPOKESMAN STEVE ORLANDO:

STEVE ORLANDO:  THAT’LL NEVER CHANGE.  THAT’S A GREAT TRADITION.

BUT THERE’S A NEW TWIST ON THAT TRADITION.  GONE IS THE EMHASIS ON THE OLD NAME “GATORADE)” IN NEW TV ADS.  PLAYERS WILL NOW SIMPLY DUMP “G” ON THE WINNING COACH.  THE DRINK’S MAKER, PEPSICO, IS REBRANDING ITS PRODUCT.  THE CAMPAIGN IS HARD TO SWALLOW FOR THE FOLKS WHO KNOW GATORADE’S HISTORY.

(GATORADE COMMERCIAL FEATURING SPORTSCASTER KEITH JACKSON) “THE LEGEND WAS BORN IN 1965 IN THE STORIED SWAMP OF FLORIDA WHERE THE SCORCHING HEAT TOOK A BRUTAL TOLL ON THE FLORIDA GATORS.    THE PLAYERS WEREN’T ADEQUATELY HYDRATED AND THEIR PERFORMANCE SUFFERED.  THE ANSWER?  A NEW CARBOHYDRATE ELECTROLYTE BEVERAGE CREATED BY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA DOCTORS. (ROBERT CADE’S VOICE) “NATURALLY WE CALLED OUR STUFF GATORADE.”

MARY CADE IS THE WIDOW OF THE LATE ROBERT CADE, ONE OF THE INVENTORS OF GATORADE. SHE’S L NOT HAPPY TO SEE THE COMPANY MOVE AWAY FROM ITS ORIGIN:

MARY CADE:  “WELL, WE’RE JUST VERY CLOSE TO THE WHOLE THING.  IT WAS DEVELOPED IN MY HUSBAND’S LAB AND BASEMENT AND THEY HAD A LOT OF FUN DOING IT AND NEVER DREAMED IT WOULD EVER BE ANYTHING MORE THAN HELP TO THE GATORS.”

CADE SAYS PEPSICO TOLD HER AND OTHERS ABOUT THE MARKETING CHANGE AT A RECENT GATORADE TRUST MEETING …BUT SHE ISN’T TOTALLY SOLD ON THE “G” CONCEPT:

MARY CADE BITE “PEPSICO HAS BEEN VERY GRACIOUS TO US.  THEY CONTACTED US AND LET US KNOW WHAT THEY WERE PLANNING TO DO AND THEY’VE HAD VERY GOOD MARKETING IN THE PAST.  THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO ESTABLISH A NEW MARKETING PLAN BUT WE WERE A LITTLE SADDENED BY THAT.  AND UH, I SAW ONE MAN JUST LOOKING IN PUZZLEMENT TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IT WAS.  I THINK IT’S BEEN HARD FOR QUITE A FEW PEOPLE JUST SEEING IT ON THE SHELVES AND WHERE IS THE GATORADE.

ADVERTISING HAS BECOME AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE SUPERBOWL WITH COMPANIES SPENDING MILLIONS TO SHOW VIEWERS THEIR LATEST CAMPAIGNS.  DURING SUNDAY’S SUPER BOWL, PEPSICO BOUGHT TWO THIRTY SECOND ADS WITH THEIR NEW “G” CAMPAIGN.

(COMMERCIAL STARTS AND FADES UNDER) “G” TO ME MEANS GREATNESS, GOING TO THE GYM I SWEAT.  I FEEL PAIN GETTING HIT BY A TRUCK ENDING UP IN A WHEEL CHAIR, GOING BACK AND DOING THE IRON MAN THREE TIMES.  IT’S WHAT GETS YOU UP AT 6 A.M. WHEN NO ONE ELSE IS AWAKE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE…. (FADE UNDER AS NEEDED FOR TIME)

MUHAMMED ALI, BILLIE JEAN KING, TIGER WOODS AND PEYTON MANNING ARE JUST A FEW OF THE ATHLETES LENDING THEIR VOICES TO THE NEW PITCH.

SPOKESMAN FOR GATORADE, PETE BRACE.

(PETE BRACE BITE) “YOU KNOW ALL ICONIC BRANDS REFRESH THEMSELVES TO BE RELEVANT AND CONTEMPORARY AND THAT’S REALLY WHAT WE’RE DOING. GATORADE REMAINS VERY MUCH A PART OF OUR HERITAGE.  WE HAVE NO INTENTION TO WALK AWAY FROM THE 40 PLUS YEARS OF SWEAT EQUITY WE HAVE BUILT IN THIS ICONIC TRADEMARK.”

THE NEW DESIGN FEATURES A BOLD LETTER “G” WITH ITS ICONIC LIGHTNING BOLT.   GATORADE IS STILL THERE, BUT IN SMALL PRINT AND THAT’S WHAT UPSETS MARY CADE:

“IT DOES SAY IT, BUT IT’S NOT VERY NOTICEABLE.  THE “G” IS WHAT’S NOTICEABLE.  IT’S JUST SO DIFFERENT LOOKING AND THE LIGHTNING BOLT IS A GOOD THING.  I DON’T THINK THAT WAS ORIGINAL, BUT WHOEVER STARTED THAT, I THINK THAT’S SORT OF ASSOCIATED WITH GATORADE, BUT IT’S PRETTY SMALL COMPARED TO THE “G” (LAUGH).  WE’LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.  BUT THEY KNOW, THEY KNOW PRETTY MUCH HOW MOST OF US FEEL AND OF COURSE WE’RE VERY SENTIMENTAL ABOUT IT, AND THAT’S THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH.”

PEPSICO WHICH OWNS GATORADE PAYS ROYALTIES ON THE TRADEMARK.  THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA HAS RECEIVED WELL OVER 100-MILLION DOLLARS FROM PEPSICO.  ROYALTIES ALSO FUND THE GATORADE TRUST WHICH SUPPORTS THREE FOUNDATIONS.  SO NO ONE WANTS THE NEW MARKETING CAMPAIGN TO FAIL.  THEY JUST WISH THE COMPANY WOULD LEAVE THE “GATOR” IN GATORADE.  U-F SPOKESMAN, STEVE ORLANDO:

(STEVE ORLANDO) “YEH, IT’S AN EMOTIONAL THING.  I’LL JUST PUT IT RIGHT OUT THERE.  IT’S AN EMOTIONAL ISSUE FOR A LOT OF REASONS.  FOR ONE THING, THE DEATH OF DR. CADE SO RECENTLY. AND THE CAMPAIGN, THOSE ARE GREAT SPOTS, THE KEITH JACKSON SPOTS AND IT SHOWED SO MUCH ABOUT THE HERITAGE OF THE PRODUCT AND ITS HISTORY HERE AT THE UNIVERSITY   AND OF COURSE THERE WAS THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP THAT THE FOOTBALL TEAM JUST WON. SO YOU KNOW, ALL THOSE THINGS ARE COMPLETELY COINCIDENTAL.  WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT ALL TOGETHER, IT SEEMS LIKE, BOY, THIS MAY HAVE BEEN BAD TIMING, BUT I KNOW IT WASN’T PLANNED TO BE THAT WAY AT ALL.  BUT YOU CAN’T HELP BUT THINK OF THOSE THINGS SORT OF TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME.”

GATORADE SPOKESMAN PETE BRACE SAYS THE COMPANY IS SENSITIVE TO THE UNIVERSITY’S SENTIMENTS AND ITS HISTORIC TIES TO THE PRODUCT.

(PETE BRACE)  “THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO US AS ARE THE GATORS AND AGAIN, WE’RE NOT WALKING AWAY FROM THAT HERITAGE THAT WE’VE BUILT UP.”

COACHES LIKE UF TENNIS COACH ANDY JACKSON HAVE A SOLUTION:

(ANDY JACKSON) TO US AND I’M SURE MY GUYS AND ME PERSONALLY, I TAKE A LOT OF PRIDE THAT SUCH A GREAT PRODUCT IS CALLED GATORADE AND I GUESS THEY’RE DOING WHAT’S BEST FOR THEM …FOR US MAYBE THEY CAN MAKE US SOME SPECIAL ONES THAT CONTINUE TO SAY GATORADE

ATHLETES LIKE UF BASKETBALL PLAYERS CHANDLER PARSONS AND RAY SHIPMAN SAY THEY DON’T CARE WHAT’S ON THE LABEL.

(BASKETBALL PLAYERS) I SAW THE COMMERCIAL AND I MEAN AS LONG AS IT STILL TASTES GOOD I’M GOING TO DRINK IT.  I LIKE THE PURPLE FROST, I LIKE GRAPE.

THAT’S GRAPE WITH “G”   For Mid-Florida Public Radio, I’m Donna Green-Townsend