Gatorade Promo, Case study THE HEART OF PUERTO RICO by J. Walter Thompson San Juan

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THE HEART OF PUERTO RICO

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Industry Soft Drinks
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency J. Walter Thompson San Juan
Art Director Andrés Justo
Copywriter Fábio Seidl
Designer Daniel Vicente
Released December 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Advertiser: PEPSICO
Product/Service: GATORADE
VP Regional Creative Director: Jaime Rosado (JWT San Juan)
Copywriter: Lizette Morazzani (JWT San Juan)
Art Director: Andrés Justo (JWT San Juan)
Interactive CD: Manuel Torres (JWT San Juan)
Interactive copywriter: Pablo Torres (JWT San Juan)
Interactive producer: Claudio Chea (JWT San Juan)
Designer & animator: Juan C. Montes (JWT San Juan)
Designer: Daniel Vicente (JWT San Juan)
Agency producer: Noro Sebastián (JWT San Juan)
Sound engineer: Carlos Dávila (JWT San Juan)
Technology assistant: Mizael Morales (JWT San Juan)
Programmer: MDI (MDI)
Account Director: Ileana Figueroa (JWT San Juan)
Account Executive: Miguel Souss (JWT San Juan)
Media placement: TV - Telemundo PR - July 18, 2010
Media placement: INTERNET - Internet - July 18, 2010
Media placement: Mobile - Mobile - July 18, 2010

Summary of the Campaign
The Central American and Caribbean Games - the region’s most important sports competition - were being held in 2010. Gatorade wanted a piece of the action but Powerade was already official sponsor. Gatorade’s challenge: Make Gatorade look like an official sponsor and own an innovation image.

Due to the lack of sponsorship we couldn’t step on the grounds of the event, so we looked to an insider and technology to get us in. We found Jose Barea. An NBA player, the delegate chosen to carry the flag, and the country’s biggest hope for a gold medal. We placed a strap on Barea’s chest that measured his heartbeat, respiration, temperature, and activity. And assigned the heartbeats an emotional meaning: euphoric, enthusiastic, excited, and calm. The vitals were transmitted LIVE through television, internet and mobile during the athlete’s most emotional moments: when he carried the flag in the opening ceremony and when he received the gold medal.

Over 300,000 households saw his emotions via television. Over 60,000 visited the web and mobile site. Gatorade achieved more buzz than any brand and even inspired a nickname for Barea, "The Heart of Puerto Rico".

The Situation
Gatorade is known for its involvement with sports and star athletes. It prides itself on creating innovative products based on performance testing and data gathered through their own Research Department. The Central American and Caribbean Games - the region’s most important sports competition - were being held in 2010. Gatorade saw this event as an opportunity to own the innovation image in order to differentiate itself from its competitor, Powerade. But Powerade had already become an official sponsor of the games. Therefore, Gatorade presented the following challenge: Make Gatorade look like an official sponsor and take ownership of the innovation image.

The Goal
Our main goal was to make Gatorade look like an official sponsor of the games, without paying for a sponsorship, as well as claim the innovation image. Our target was sport fans and athletes, especially those who felt pride for their country and national teams. We researched Puerto Rico’s biggest contenders for the gold medal and who were the most loved athletes.

The Strategy
Our strategy consisted of sponsoring something else: an athlete. But not just any athlete, THE athlete. An athlete who would serve as our insider of the games. Since, due to the lack of sponsorship we couldn’t use the game’s name, nor its logo, nor step on the physical grounds of the event, we turned to technology and innovation to reach our target. Therefore also complying with our objective of helping Gatorade own the innovation image.

Execution
Gatorade found a way to get its name inside the games, by sponsoring the heart of Puerto Rico’s most beloved athlete, Jose Barea. An NBA player, the delegate chosen to carry the flag, and the country’s biggest hope for a gold medal.

We placed a strap on Barea’s chest that measured his heartbeat, respiration, temperature, and activity. And assigned the heartbeats an emotional meaning: euphoric, enthusiastic, excited, and calm. The vitals were transmitted LIVE through television and Internet, broadcasting Barea’s feelings into every household. And mobile, putting the brand and Barea’s heart literally into the hands of fans at the event during the athlete’s most emotional moments, two in total: when he carried the flag in the opening ceremony and when he received the gold medal.

Documented Results
- Over 300,000 households saw his emotions via television.
- Over 60,000 people visited the web and mobile site.

These are big numbers in a nation of just 4 million. Gatorade claimed the image of innovation and achieved more buzz than any brand during the games, without spending big dollars on an event sponsorship package.

The media coverage and PR around the campaign inspired the birth of a new nickname for Barea, "The Heart of Puerto Rico", a nickname used by major sport commentators and sports fans around the country.

PepsiCo also recognized our client by awarding them the "Smile for Excellence Award" that honors those who help PepsiCo further its commitment to achieve world-class performance. This was the highest recognition the region had ever received.

In the end, Powerade only managed to place logos inside the event, Gatorade managed to place the heart of an athlete in a country’s hands.