Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I've know for a little while that Gatorade had been planning to unveil new packaging, since I had "read" this blog post about it on TheDieline, the self-proclaimed (and can't say I disagree) "leading package design website."

Gatorade redesign. Photo courtesy TheDieline.

I wasn't a fan of the design at first... It seemed a little Adobe-ish for some reason, even though Adobe uses a sans-serif font and this G has a quasi-serif, but I thought the lightning bolt logo would save the design from being a total dud due to easy recognition. I say Adobe-ish because the label blends in exactly with the color of the contents and is straightforward, simple, brightly colored and easy to read, just like these Adobe product logos:

Adobe logos from The System.

While in Ukrop's (the best grocery store in the world) last week I saw several "new package Gatorades" but they were missing the signature lightning bolt. Yeah, it was in the sports drink section, and yeah I knew the brand planned to redesign its package, but I wonder if anyone else had walked by looking for product, got confused and left. Probably not, but you never know.

Anyway, I'm not a fan of those Gatorades lacking the lightning bolt, and I'm also not wild about the related "G" commercials that have flooded the airwaves these past few days. First of all, I was actually aware of the packaging change, but still didn't recognize right away that the commercials were for Gatorade. Truth be told, after the first watch I sorta thought, is this a commercial for Georgetown? Why are all these athletes on here? What's G? The G reminded me of the Georgetown G (see below) for some reason. It also crossed my mind that it could be for some new line for Nike.

The Georgetown G. From georgetown.edu.

Anyway, here are some of the new "G" ads. What do you think?

The ads are the work of TBWA\Chiat\Day. I think the music is catchy (it's been in my head off and on all day long, with the exception of Texas' "give 'em hell, give 'em hell, make 'em eat shit" chant from the Fiesta Bowl) and the use of celebrity endorsers certainly makes it memorable (Lil Wayne's voice, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Serena Williams, etc.). But what difference does it make if people don't know what the product is?

In my non-scientific convenience sample of my family (five), I was the only one to know what the product was within three views. That's pathetic for the brand considering at least three of us drink the product semi-regularly and all five of us are passionate about sports and recognized the majority of the athletes.

In a more reliable, though still unscientific poll on CNBC's Sports Biz with Darren Rovell blog, the survey found that 37 percent of the 287 respondents "don't like the spot, don't like the 'G' idea." Though 57 percent of the respondents did enjoy the ads, but were almost evenly split between "OK with the 'G' idea" and "just say it's Gatorade."

According to the blog post, one reader said, "I don't know why this is so awesome, it just is."

Bleh. Can't say I agree. I stop paying attention to the voiceover about five seconds in, though I keep wondering what celebrity will next cross my screen. And the song never quits!

Additional reading: AdAge on G

1 comment:

B Real said...

Ever hear about the concept of create a buzz first? Your reaction is exactly what the folks a G were probably hoping for. Well, not exactly, but it got you talking about the brand.