Sweating The Message

Rebranding is a constant occurrence in the public relations industry. A company or product in business for a long time will usually rebrand every so often in order to grow their audience.

The goal of rebranding is to create and maintain trust of the brand’s audience. When a company undergoes rebranding, it is vital to create a beneficial communication strategy and address questions and concerns from the audience. Rebranding shouldn’t be a minor change; it should be a complete overhaul of the brand that will resonate with trusted consumers.

Cyberalert says, “A successful rebranding involves overhauling a company’s goals, message and culture — not just changing the name or logo.” When a company undertakes a rebranding campaign, it is crucial to show significant changes in the message or concept of the company, rather than minor detail changes and disappointing the audience, like the following companies.

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Gatorade has been a popular company and brand since 1965 and has had an exceptional impact on the sports industry. As a globally recognized company for many years, Gatorade has rebranded their mission several times; but not all of their rebranding efforts have meant progress, like the “G” rebrand for example.

However, their most recent campaign, “Sweat It to Get It” has fostered a more beneficial outcome. This new campaign features numerous YouTube commercials featuring NFL stars, Peyton Manning and Cam Newton.

Although the short commercials feature professional athletes, the online sensation enables their customers to represent the brand. Gatorade focuses on shifting the drink’s image from typical gas station beverage back to an athletic drink. Gatorade is encouraging consumers to engage in physical activity, a positive attitude and to sweat before purchasing the athletic drink.

Several variables contributed to the success of this campaign. The ads have a specific style. The camera angles mimic that of a hidden camera allowing potential customers to put themselves in the shoes of the patron in the video. There is also the element of surprise. As the clerk continues to deny the customer a Gatorade because they are not sweating, you ask why? And what does one have to do to get a Gatorade?

Using Cam Newton and Peyton Manning was also a smart and beneficial tactic for Gatorade. They were able to utilize well-known professional athletes to create a new image for Gatorade. What better way to shift the focus back to an sports drink than to use professional athletes?

However, in this rebranding of Gatorade, the commercial deems Gatorade to be a prestigious drink—if you work out, you get a Gatorade. The ad gives the drink some exclusivity that is reserved only for the elite.

This campaign is daring and the company has executed a direct message. Do you think that Gatorade is sending the right message? Is Gatorade excluding a particular customer demographic?

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