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Game-changing digital marketing and branded content to fuel a whole new G.
Whether we’re stepping up in strategic huddles or executing game-changing creative, VML leaves it all on the field. Gatorade asks us every day to lead, and we raise expectations by taking digital marketing to new heights. Since Gatorade and VML teamed up in early 2010, we’ve helped the company launch two new product lines, established a cross-agency social media monitoring system and earned a Silver Cannes in Branded Entertainment for work on the first season of “Everything to Prove.”
Win from Within Campaign
Gatorade was shut out of the 2012 Olympics. Even though G sponsored and fueled 12 of Team USA's fiercest competitors, restrictions prevented those athletes from holding, drinking or even talking about Gatorade for nearly two months.
For the two weeks leading up to the Olympics, we leveraged G social channels to start conversation with our core audience that would continue throughout the summer.
We enlisted 12 G athletes to help us seed 12 missions. In each mission, pros shared personal accounts of struggle and success, and then challenged followers to respond with photos and stories showing what drives, inspires and fuels them to #WinFromWithin.
Throughout the Olympics, the most passionate and inspiring user submissions were continuously reposted, re-tweeted and eventually cut into a music video for Gatorade followers to discover and share.
The campaign gained results by simply empowering our audience with the voice of the brand. Too often brands talk to audiences instead of listen. By giving them the platform to showcase the instinctual desire of competition that drives athletes, we unlocked a key insight. Teen athletes are peer driven and when you're in a world of score or be scored on, this audience showed us their desire to win at all costs. We let the voice of the teens speak for the brand. The results showed massive ripple affects. In just two weeks, the campaign generated:
- 11 million social impressions
- 1,400 photo submissions
- 15,000 uses of #WinFromWithin
- 38,000 interactions within brand channels
- 81,365 new Facebook fans
- 4,015 new Twitter followers
- 5, 050 new Instagram followers
As social media and the digital sphere grew, Gatorade found ways to engage with consumers through social channels but quickly realized that engaging was only one piece of the puzzle. Testing the waters within the digital space, Gatorade was in need of a solution to bring its ecosystem together in an organized way to create action-based objectives and a proactive digital and social strategy.
In order to bring digital to the core of it’s marketing, Gatorade, in connection with VML, Fleishman-Hillard and OMD, created Mission Control in 2010. Mission Control would serve as the source for athlete knowledge and real-time insights. The cross-agency team of different expertise can monitor and engage in real time, build time-efficient insights, experiment, and quickly take action to provide our core audiences with the most up-to-date information to drive athletic performances.
In the past two years, Mission Control has integrated online efforts, generated ongoing relationships with our audiences and developed deep insights to improve our social graph. As a result, Mission Control drastically shifted conversation away from basic online chatter into two-way dialogues focused on sports performance and sports nutrition. The team also increased site traffic and deeper education of our product lines and provided in-depth knowledge of our core consumers and our audience personas on a larger scale.
Gatorade iPad Application
Sports Illustrated was about to launch its new iPad application with Gatorade as one of the premier launch partners. What better time to show G Series as a game-changer on the playing field than as a game-changer in a new marketing medium?
Working directly with the publisher, VML pushed the technology within the application beyond the initial technology specs. The creative result was Flick Football and Shot Clock Shootout, two immersive game experiences that combined classic analog games with the iPad’s unique touch screen functionality. Both applications showcased G Series at critical moments, and the multiplayer functionality allowed users to take on friends just like the originals.
G Series FIT
With the approaching launch of G Series FIT, we were amazed to discover that the FIT target didn’t think Gatorade was for them. They were former competitive athletes going to the gym to stay in shape and their new scoreboard was how they looked and felt about their bodies. With the product about to hit stores, we needed to max out that insight.
VML placed Gatorade online in relevant online environments where fitness athletes live and supported them in achieving their fitness goals. Together with Gatorade, VML created a digital ecosystem including web, mobile and social experiences to educate on FIT products while giving our target consumers the tools, content and motivation to shape up their workouts. The cornerstone of the experience was featuring the G FIT Team of experts, which allowed us to tone up multiple touch points with exclusive content
Everything to Prove
According to Gatorade's research, performance athletes viewed training harder as more critical to athletic improvement than adding G Series and sports nutrition to their training regimen. VML took the opportunity to show athletes how Gatorade's G Series could take their game to the next level through the Everything to Prove series.
NFL Films, VML and Gatorade's Public Relations Agency of Record Fleishman-Hillard combined forces to deliver the Everything to Prove series. The series shows how nutrition fuels one of the toughest journeys in professional sports: the road from college football to the NFL. For seven months the team documented 15 of the nation’s top rookies to capture how nutrition fueled their performance and how the breakdowns and the breakthroughs contributed to their dreams of playing in the NFL.
Gatorade was in the spotlight throughout the NFL off-season, providing content at a time when there was much to be desired about the players, especially during the NFL lockout. In the end, VML and Gatorade made the perfect play to get eyes on the sports nutrition message by creating the most watched and talked about content in Gatorade’s history.
View the Everything to Prove series at NFLfilms.com.