SBD/March 14, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Gatorade Touts Vintage Past In New "Lightning Bolt" Spot From TBWA

Gatorade this week debuted a "new version of a commercial about the popular sports drink’s origins and the many sports superstars that have aligned themselves with the drink over time,” according to Lewis Lazare of the CHICAGO BUSINESS JOURNAL. At the top of the “new 60-second spot, we see some grainy footage of Gatorade being used” by Univ. of Florida football players, where the sports drink was created. The TBWA-created spot titled "The Lightning Bolt" moves on “to show historical footage of other major athletes that have been associated with Gatorade through the years," including Michael Jordan and Broncos QB Peyton Manning. Viewers of the new commercial will note that “modern-day bottles of Gatorade have been inserted into the vintage footage of familiar sports stars in action just to underscore the role the drink has played in their careers” (, 3/13). ADWEEK’s David Gianatasio wrote the “heady concept works best in a pop-culture context.” Gatorade is a “beloved and ubiquitous game-day fixture, itself iconic, sloshing around in small plastic cups and giant buckets, ever ready to drench the winners in sparkling showers of limey-electrolyte glory.” The brand is “synonymous with triumph and superior achievement overall.” That status gives Gatorade “a shared meaning that transcends its sporty origins and helps ads like these appeal to anyone hoping to catch lightning in a bottle” (, 3/13).
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