Gatorade’s High-Tech, Sweat-Reading Vending Machine Delivers Brand Positioning

For the Gatorade marketing team, the old adage “never let them see you sweat” does not apply.

Quite the opposite.

Credit: Gatorade.

Credit: Gatorade.

The Gatorade brand is all about sweat and countering its effects on the body. For the past three years, Gatorade has activated marketing around the “sweat it to get it” idea.

Now, Gatorade’s team in India has evolved the idea with a high-tech vending machine that dispenses free bottles of Gatorade to workout warriors. It’s technology powered marketing that delivers positioning and product benefits in a fun, content-friendly activity that’s well-suited for social media and mobile Internet sharing.

There’s just one catch, though. You’ve got to “sweat it to get it.” Literally.

According to the brand’s agency partner, Dentsu India, the vending machine “used thermal imaging to assess a user’s body heat. When it reached a pre-determined threshold, the machine dispensed a Gatorade.”

The “sweat it to get it” marketing dates to 2014 USA advertising with NFL athletes Cam Newton and Peyton Manning in various TV commercials.

Extensions continued in 2015, including a laugh-out-load funny video series featuring brothers Peyton and Eli Manning.

Gatorade tweaked the approach in 2016 with a “Burn it to Earn It” digital video series featuring professional athletes “surprising everyday people and challenging them to work up a sweat.”

Gatorade’s marketing is especially noteworthy in comparison to so much advertising and communications that are only loosely connected, if at all, to brand positioning and customer benefits.

Gatorade marketing is tightly focused, which is a key brand management principle.

Gatorade’s head of consumer engagement summarized the strategy:

“And we are purposeful with our efforts, really focused on athletes and helping to innovate for them, and helping to drive their performance. And that’s who we serve. That’s who we obsess over. And this message is very consistent in how we behave as a brand.”

Harvey Chimoff is a versatile marketing and business team leader who believes good marketing sells. Contact him at StratGo Marketing, a “nuts and bolts” strategic marketing resource.

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