CASSIES Silver: Gatorade’s G Series packs a wallop

The three-step system performed beyond expectations thanks to staggered launch.
Gatorade GSP3

SILVER: Packaged Goods Beverage • BRONZE: Best Launch

Situation Analysis Gatorade created its sports drink category in 1965, but after 40 years of flavour and pack innovation, as well as increasingly fierce price competition, the brand had to evolve. Based on years of scientific research, PepsiCo developed the three-product G Series for before the workout (Gatorade Prime), during (Gatorade Perform) and after (Gatorade Recover). The Canadian launch was scheduled for April 2011 and it had to succeed while the brand’s biggest competitor, Powerade, was aggressively cutting prices.

Strategy & Insight Reaching true athletic potential requires proper training with proper nutrition. But the typical athlete puts very little emphasis on nutrition, let alone the different needs the body has before, during and after workouts. This made the “before-during-after” message essential, and began with pre-launch seeding with coaches, trainers and athletic therapists. The first consumer-facing phase of the launch introduced the G Series and established the message, followed by activation around sports events. The second launch phase reinforced the G Series benefits.

Execution UFC champ Georges St-Pierre and hockey star Sidney Crosby were tapped as celebrity spokespeople for the credibility and impact they would bring. Throughout the campaign, creative showed how the G Series was integral to their routines. This unfolded via TV, online and grassroots activations.

Results As of last June, dollar sales increased 20.5%, revenue rose 13.3% and Gatorade dollar sales per buyer jumped 9.5%. All results exceeded objectives, and occurred while Powerade was reducing its average shelf price by 12.7%.

Cause & Effect The majority of sales occurred when media was in cycle and research by Millward Brown showed a long list of positive results. Media spend was in line with historical levels, pricing favoured Powerade, distribution was not a factor and there was no unusual promotional activity.


Client: PepsiCo Beverages Canada
VP marketing: Greg Lyons
Director of marketing, hydration brands: Shirley Mukerjea
Marketing manager: John McEachern
Associate marketing manager: Eric Williams
Agency: TBWA\Toronto
CCO: Jack Neary
CD: Mark Mason
ACDs: Jonathan Smith, Rodger Eyre
Broadcast producer: Sharon Kosokowsky
Head of broadcast: Nadya Macneil
Group account director: Patrick LeMoine
Account executives: Jordan Cappadocia, Trevor Thwaites
Group director of strategy, OMD: Daniele Boem
Associate director of strategy, OMD: Jammie Ogle
Senior consultant, High Road Communications: Laura Bryce
VP sports marketing, SDI: Andy Harkness