Just in time for the start of March Madness, Gatorade, a unit of the Chicago-based Quaker Oats Co., is introducing a new version of a commercial about the popular sports drink’s origins and the many sports superstars that have aligned themselves with the drink over time.
The original TV spot about Gatorade’s origins from now-shuttered Element 79/Chicago went into some detail — in a folksy sort of way —about how Gatorade was formulated by a team of researchers at the University Florida College of Medicine to help improve the school football team’s performance in the scorching Florida heat.
At the top of the new 60-second spot, we see some grainy footage of Gatorade being used by U of F football players — all chugging the drink from what look to be makeshift glass milk bottles with the name “Gatorade” scrawled on a piece of masking tape.
My how times have changed in the bottle design business, eh?
The new spot from TBWA called “The Lightning Bolt” quickly moves on from the University of Florida to show historical footage of other major athletes that have been associated with Gatorade through the years, including former Chicago Bulls megastar Michael Jordan and football giant Peyton Manning.
Viewers of the new commercial will note that, through the magic of current technology, modern-day bottles of Gatorade (no milk bottles in sight!) have been inserted into the vintage footage of familiar sports stars in action just to underscore the role the drink has played in their careers.
The Quaker Oats Co. is a unit of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP).