If Gatorade's latest commercial from TBWA\Chiat\Day seems vaguely familiar, that's because it treads some of the same ground as Element 79's mid-'00s work for the brand, recounting the drink's 1965 creation in a lab at the University of Florida. From there, the TBWA spot mixes stock footage and new clips of Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade and others as it assesses the brand's place in the history of modern sports. This heady concept works best in a pop-culture context. Gatorade is a beloved and ubiquitous game-day fixture, itself iconic, sloshing around in small plastic cups and giant buckets, ever ready to drench the winners in sparkling showers of limey-electrolyte glory. Sure, Gatorade might help gifted athletes—and by extension, you and me—win on the playing field. But more important, the brand is synonymous with triumph and superior achievement overall. That status gives Gatorade a shared meaning that transcends its sporty origins and helps ads like these appeal to anyone hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.
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