Athlete Ambassadors School Gatorade Drinkers In ‘Burn It To Earn It’ Campaign

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Big name sports star endorsers – including JJ Watt, Karl-Anthony Towns, Bryce Harper, James Rodriguez and a pair of commentators – set out to shame unsuspecting Gatorade drinkers in a series of hidden camera street stunt spots.


The series, called ‘Burn It To Earn It’, continues where the 2015 ‘Sweat It To Get It’ campaign left off as it revels in admonishing everyday Gatorade drinkers for being lazy, out-of-shape and generally not working out or working up a sweat to deserve the drink.


Every spot in the new ad series follows the same pattern: a branded box truck pulls up on a public street, out jump one of the stars and a couple of unforgiving sportscasters who then identify a member of the public with a Gatorade and proceed to taunt and humiliate them for not having earned the drink.


Each spot, all of which have been developed with agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, involves some semblance of the individual athlete’s sport – American football, basketball, baseball and football – and they all feature the line ‘Burn Some to Earn Some / #BurnItToEarnIt’.


The first 60-second commercial, ‘Big Hit’, launched on 22 September (boasting 796,927 YouTube views to date) and saw Houston Texans tight end Watt tackles a stunt man into a pile of rubbish and then chase and unsuspecting drinker until he knocks the Gatorade from the drinker’s undeserving hand.



This was followed by ‘Dunk Contest’ (2,235,275 YT views) featuring the tall Minnesota Timberwolves player Carl-Anthony Towns annihilating a passerby in a dunk contest while the commentators ruthlessly mock the gravity-bound drinker.



A third spot, ‘Jump Ball’ (305,463 YT views), sees the 7-foot-tall NBA centre play keep-away with a woman who continually jumps for her stolen bottle of Gatorade.



The fourth ad, with 1,250,699 YT views, stars Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper berating poor everyday fella for running too slow to deserve a Gatorade.




While a fifth (222,156 YT views) sees Watt challenges a woman to push an NFL practice blocking sled.



The sixth ad in the series, ‘D Up’ (1,061,993 YT views), sees Towns school another Gatorade drinker in a game of one-on-one.



The seventh spot, ‘Snap With Watt’ (732,497 YT views), sees the NFL defensive star lift up and carry a think young man who walks into a ‘street snap’.



While the eighth commercial, ‘Slow Pitch’ (691,254 YT views), sees Harper ask a Gatorade drinker to pitch to him – while the commentators describe his a throwing arm as like a ‘weak, sad kitten’.



The ninth spot sees Harper, ‘Pepper’ (33,839 YT views), gently hit ground balls at (and past) a couple of inept guys who were just wondering past the shoot



Further football/soccer versions for Spanish-language audience stars Real Madrid and Colombia attacker James Rodriguez and include ‘Penalty Kick’,



and ‘Red Card’.





We’ve seen sharper, more authentic feeling and contemporary street stunt style spots: these aren’t in the same class as Heineken’s Champions League stunts like ‘The Cliche’ for example (see case study)


But, while all these spots feel more than a little staged, they are fairly fun (although we feel the commentators offer more value and entertainment than the superstar endorsers).


Perhaps all expert summarisers, TV analysts and commentators should be as honest and acerbic as these guys?


These reality-style videos continue the approach of the brand’s 2014/15 ‘Sweat It To Get It’ campaign: which were set in convenience stores and starred comedian Rob Belushi alongside sports stars Cam Newton and both Peyton and Eli Manning (see case study).


Quite why they have been brought back and launched at this particularly time we aren’t too sure.


The approaching MLB Playoffs, the quarter way through point of the NFL season, the NBA pre-season?


Perhaps Gatorade just had some spare endorser rights and some spare budget to spend?




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