Gatorade One More – Conscious Fitness

Gatorade recently kicked off new commercials to showcase a slight modification of their positioning.  Has anyone seen the Gatorade “One More” commercials?  The first one was to introduce Gatorade Frost, while the second one built on the foundation of what the words “One More” means.  While older commercials portrayed Gatorade as a valued aspect of a continuously winning athlete’s training regime (the Lightning Bolt commercial below), the “One More” series focuses more on delivering a message that personal training and perseverance is what leads to success.  Given that the sports drink’s tagline is “Win from Within”, which one of these two commercial series fit better with Gatorade’s message and communication?

Both commercials play a role in Gatorade’s “Win from Within” top-level messaging.  However, the order itself seems reversed, or even disjointed.  What may work better would be the One More series was launched first, or have the commercial extended to incorporate scenes from the “Lightning Bolt”.  As a summary, the “Lightning Bolt” commercial displays the development and purpose behind the beverage and culminates with the athlete’s penultimate.  The focus on this appears to be on how drinking Gatorade can ultimately lead to athletic success.  But how realistic is it for Gatorade alone to get you there?  Drinking Gatorade will not make you perform any better – unless you are disciplined with your training.  Which is the final scene about an athlete training in the bleachers.

Enter the “One More” series of Gatorade commercials.  These recent commercials illustrate a more realistic interpretation of the how Gatorade – or any hydrating beverage for that matter – can lead to athletic success.  The focus is on the training and pushing yourself to the limit.  And when you reach your limit, you do “One More”.  Similar to Al Pacino’s “Game of Inches” speech in the film Any Given Sunday, the commercial inspires to leave an image of rewards translated from your collective efforts.  That said, the final scenes in the commercial didn’t really showcase success in its most typical form like championships, champagne showers, and celebrations.

Ultimately, it may be best served to combine the two commercials into a single commercial spot.

How about leading off with the concept of Gatorade, followed by cuts to modern day training with the athlete pushing themselves to the limit, and ending with a championship celebration?

Of course, the development of the “One More” series of commercials may not have happened until Gatorade got a read on their “Lightning Bolt” commercial.  The development of “One More” may have been a response to what consumers and viewers thought of the previous series.  What are your thoughts: does the One More commercial inspires you to train harder?  And do you think that drinking Gatorade during your training regimen will lead you to glory one day?

“Freestyle” Flight Beverage, and a Thought Starter

On my latest flight trip, I decided to step away from my regular drinks.  Normally, I opt for Cranberry Cocktail, Orange Juice or Sprite.  But the flight crew was really comical and interactive, and even made a comment about mixing drinks together.  I decided, “Why not?” and opted to mix the Orange Juice with Sprite.  To which he replied that that mix is fairly common and told me to “Live on the Wild Side.”  So I asked for his suggestion on what would dial up the “wild” factor he was alluding to.

Given that there are finite options on an airplane and I wasn’t interested in paying for alcohol, he came up with the following: Coke Zero and Cranberry Cocktail.  In addition to the Orange Juice and Sprite.  I guess this really turned it into a Cranberry “Cocktail”.  Taste-wise it wasn’t bad because of the mix ratios (about 70% OJ), but it was nice to have a quick Coca-Cola Freestyle moment on the flight.  Here’s my drink on the flight.

Freestyle Flight Beverage - can you guess what's in this? Even though it looks like Orange Juice.
Freestyle Flight Beverage – can you guess what’s in this? Even though it looks like Orange Juice.

So my thought starter as a result of this interaction?

Would there come a day when flights are equipped with more than just the regular assortment of fast-selling canned beverages – like Coke, Pepsi, Club Soda, and Cranberry juice?  How likely is it to get Coca-Cola Freestyle (with over 100 different customizable beverage options) on a flight?  What would it take to make this happen?  Are we currently moving to this state already?

The simple answer to those questions: No.  Based on my observations & understanding, an airline’s beverage assortment is geared toward the top-selling and popular options.  For example, if a Vanilla Coke alternative existed, would it be “turn” fast enough to beat the expiration date?  Despite it having a cult following, this just isn’t a regular beverage option.  Keeping in mind that flight guests typically don’t know what the airline’s beverage assortment consists of.  This means that suggestive selling or flight-attendant input is heavily needed in order to move through slow-turning beverage options.

Operating a Coke Freestyle machine would involve many complicated moving pieces.  For example, how would the syrup be best stored to be protected from denaturing during different altitudes?  Which beverage options should the airline carry on board the plane?  Will they need more syrup cartridges of the popular flavors and less of the more niche offerings?  This also does not solve the problem of slow-turning alternatives.  And let’s not forget the most obvious problem: carbonated tanks.  Forgetting about all the various beverage options and the obvious hazards of carrying carbonated tanks through different air pressure, there is still too much equipment store needed to make this work.  And we haven’t even gotten to the financial part of this alternative.  Ultimately, my thought starter would end up being a non-starter.  Fountain units are not meant for air travel.

Another interesting observation: I never knew that planes had lemon and lime substitutes, but apparently they exist like sugar packets.  Feast your eyes on an image taken in flight (and posted later to BevWire upon arrival) of crystalized lemon and lime packets.  Now that would have been a party if I had added this into my new Cranberry Cocktail!


Voltage Wins DEWmocracy Canada

Courtesy of Mountain Dew Canada facebook page.
Courtesy of Mountain Dew Canada facebook page.

After nearly three months of consumers voting for their best Mountain Dew line extension, DEWmocracy pulled their four flavor offerings on June 9th.  This allowed them to tabulate the votes, and also tease  Mountain Dew enthusiasts a little longer.  On June 28th, the beverage brand uploaded a picture to their facebook page indicating that Super Nova has been eliminated with the least votes.  White Out was subsequently eliminated on July 2nd with the second least votes and/or consumer purchases.  On Thursday July 4th 2013, Mountain Dew announced that Voltage had beat out Code Red, winning the first DEWmocracy Canada.  Starting July 15th (today), Voltage will return to stores in both 355ml (12oz) and 591ml (20oz) formats.  Given its success, will this lead to Voltage staying as a permanent extension?  Or will Mountain Dew position Voltage as a limited time product, and stop-ship after a few months.  If they opt for the latter, they will have the opportunity to re-energize the Dew portfolio next year with DEWmocracy Canada 2014.  There are benefits and inhibitors toward both options, and here’s a quick perspective on each option.  Why would you prefer?

Should Voltage become a permanently shelved product, consumers will undoubtedly be satisfied.  After all, Voltage was determined to be the most appropriate flavor not just by social media votes, but also through product sales.  Consumers essentially opened their wallets to vote for Voltage and therefore expect to be rewarded with its extended availability.  From a retailer perspective, staying power for Voltage could translate to better grocery sales.  Given that customers purchased Mountain Dew at their establishment – and likely as part of a larger grocery shopping trip – they will be more inclined to return for other grocery trips.  And if shopping at that retailer is already part of the routine shopping trip, product availability becomes even more crucial since this means larger grocery receipts and profitability.  In the end, this builds better customer satisfaction and loyalty.  However, the downside becomes that if Voltage was simply a fad and consumers become uninterested with the product, sales will decline and may ultimately lead to it being discontinued.

Courtesy of Mountain Dew wiki page.
Courtesy of Mountain Dew wiki page.  Voltage announced as the first DEWmocracy Canada winner.

Should Voltage only exist as a limited-time offering, consumers will derive short term satisfaction.  In the longer term, this may create a cult following for Voltage should it return for DEWmocracy 2014.  Similar to other limited-time offerings like Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, beverage enthusiasts will continually be on the lookout for when Voltage’s return to Canadian shelves.  And in the meantime they will travel south of the border to purchase this product in unfathomable quantities.  Grocery retailers will recognize the short term gains of this flavor and be more than likely to support such a marketing campaign from Pepsi in the future.  During the life expectancy of Voltage this year, they will be open to increasing its shelf space and in-store visibility.  However, constantly adjusting regular shelf sets to incorporate new products may be time-consuming and ultimately lead to the product being stocked randomly wherever space permits.  This may in turn lead to significantly lower sales even after it returns to store shelves.

From an end user and grocery retailer perspective, both options translates positive results.  What about for Pepsi?

Whether it is temporary or permanent, Voltage provides Pepsi with another beverage option to satisfy thirsty consumers.  However, only Pepsi truly knows how much of these thirst quenchers’ dollars are truly incremental – meaning that they did not come at the expense of other Pepsi products the end consumer would have bought anyway.  The financial and time investments behind DEWmocracy Canada has been substantial from a marketing standpoint, and there is likely a positive carry-over affect onto other Pepsi products.  If Voltage is a limited-time offering, the investment and message for the summer may focus more on “get it while you can” to ensure a strong return on investment.  If Voltage becomes a standard offering, the message may be “your vote, your new favorite beverage” to drive equity, product positioning, and long term sales.

Whatever the case, Voltage has won Canada’s first DEWmocracy and will be around for the summertime.  For votes rooting for Code Red, Super Nova or White Out, facebook comments indicate  that these flavors are still available – but who knows for how long?  Now that Canadians have a taste of DEWmocracy, how often and how much will they reward Mountain Dew with their future purchases?

BevWire Interviews Zevia CEO Paddy Spence

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

After my coverage that compared Zevia with vitaminwater, Extension PR (Zevia’s PR agency) noticed the post and offered BevWire an opportunity to interview with Paddy Spence, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zevia.  What started as a 5-question interview lasted nearly 25 minutes with many insightful answers and comments by Mr. Spence.  Click through to listen to the interview, which is BevWire’s first post to a newly started YouTube channel.

For those that do not have the time to listen to the entire interview, here are some quick highlights that the chat touched upon:

  • 4:50 – Mr. Spence describes the differences between Canadian and American consumers, and why Zevia is well-positioned for growth in the Canadian marketplace.
  • 6:16 – Zevia’s distribution method is dual-pronged and retailer-friendly.  With sales data uncovering insights that customers were buying multiple cans each shopping trip in conventional grocers, this channel was their first arena for market penetration.
  • 14:27 – Zevia’s competitive set was initially benchmarked against steaz, Hansen’s and Dry Soda in the natural soda segment.  As their market status evolved, it now compares itself to the larger subset of the diet and zero-calorie soda segments.
  • 11:02 Zevia’s barriers to growth is a combination of building awareness, availability, and affordability.  Paddy describes that having the stevia ingredient regulated has helped improve awareness.  For availability, it is secured distribution across major Canadian retailers like Loblaws, Sobeys, and Safeway.  On affordability, Zevia’s consumers are willing to pay a slightly higher price given its healthier enhancements.
  • 16:44 – Paddy Spence comments on product proliferation, stating that Zevia is unlike vitaminwater in a few different aspects.  For one, Zevia’s marketed as a platform brand.  Also confirmed during Paddy’s ending comments were that they will have dedicated advertising and promotion support to feature the entire Zevia product line.
  • 21:33 – Zevia’s describes their marketing strategy and the evolution from a heavy digital component to the inclusion of traditional media.

There were certainly more insights from the interview itself, but I tried to note down the above as a quick summary.  Should you find time to listen to the whole thing, you will find out more about Zevia’s next steps in terms of entering the Canadian marketplace.

Stay tuned for more Zevia developments and more BevWire interviews in the future!

Happy Holiday Week

Courtesy of
Courtesy of
Courtesy of
Courtesy of


No posts this week as Canadians celebrate their national day.  And a few days after that – three days to be exact – Americans will be celebrating their national day.



I’ll still be around on Twitter for the most part, so you can check in for BevWire updates there!  Cheers!