In a world of lucrative sponsorship deals and social media, image is so important to the high profile athlete these days.
With sports personnel (or in most cases their PR team) able to project a flawless image of themselves (or their client) to the world through Twitter, Facebok, Instagram etc, why is there a need to acknowledge those moments of defeat?
It’s for this reason Gatorade’s new ad campaign ‘The Secret to Victory’ starring greats such as Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and The Manning brothers has become such a hit in the U.S.
The ad has each athlete detailing moments of despair in their career that ultimately became the driving force behind their success…in other words ‘The Secret to Victory’.
There are no doubts American athletes are far more comfortable in front of the lens than their UK counterparts– check out the Liverpool team’s Nivea advert for an example – and the cinematic filming could easily be a trailer for an upcoming sporting bio-pic.
Gone are the days of a high profile figure stood next to a product and expecting the public to go and buy it.
Nope, we all love a story of triumph and Gatorade nails it. Jordan is filmed sat in the stands of a high school basketball arena asking ‘You want to know the secret to victory? Fail to make the varsity team’. Each star then details their ‘fuel’ for success with Williams recalling ‘Be on the wrong side of the biggest upset in your sport’, a reference to her shock 2015 US Open defeat to unseeded Roberta Vinci.
Perhaps the biggest talking point in the U.S is the ad featuring Atlanta Falcons Quarter Back Matt Ryan. Now Ryan isn’t a household name in Britain but that doesn’t diminish his message in any way.
He was the posterboy of the Atlanta Falcons as they threw away a 28-3 lead in the third quarter of the Super Bowl to lose to New England Patriots in one of the greatest comebacks in modern sport.
Ryan was the face of the Falcons and is yet to achieve his dream, so it was an inspired move by Gatorade to get him involved – that crushing defeat was only five months ago.
The ad has reached more than one million views on YouTube in the first week of its launch with the hashtag #MakeDefeatYourFuel tweeted in equal measure.
As was said we all love a story, and to reinforce the message Gatorade has partnered with The Players’ Tribute (an online platform of content written by professional athletes) to produce a three-part feature called ‘The Loss’ with a focus on US sports stars telling readers how they overcame defeat.
It’s a very stripped-back approach to advertising and marketing by Gatorade and that’s the strength of the message.
They’re not just selling people a product they’re selling people inspiration.
They’ve essentially pulled together an engaging, topical and well produced video, added high profile sport figures who tell their own stories, and partnered with a publication that is read by their target market.
When it’s done right, it’s simple, but that’s its genius.