Gatorade Powers its ‘Fuel Lab’ With Customization
Gatorade is known for its bright colors, crisp flavor names and electrolyte-rich formula, the perfect thirst quenching beverage for physical exercise, and if we’re being honest… hangovers. But Gatorade has reframed its brand, looking to be known for its sports “fuel” rather than sports “drinks.” It launched a six-city Gatorade Fuel Lab tour to introduce its latest innovations to influencer-innovators at SXSW and elite high school athletes. From the moment consumers stepped into the lab, they were surrounded by futuristic themes. A high-tech sport “fuel” beverage brand? Oh, yes.
The Lab experience centered on customization and it began when attendees arrived and checked in with their registered name. Before entering the experience, they engaged with a virtual reality interactive featuring Gatorade athletes Bryce Harper and J.J. Watt. Consumers were fitted with NFC-enabled, noise canceling headphones and were led into a video chamber featuring a giant LED wall. There, Gatorade presented scientific information, athlete insights and future innovations being developed by the brand. At the end, the wall automatically “swiveled” to a new room revealing the next experience.
In the Hydration Customization Chamber, consumers were greeted by name on a personalized touch screen and guided through a process to design their own Gatorade bottle in a color of their choice, printed with their name, favorite number and sports team logo of their choice. They could also identify their favorite flavor of Gatorade or G2. After watching a quick video on the “Future of Fuel,” in which Gatorade’s beta innovations and personalization plans were described, attendees entered the Locker Room of the Future. Here, Gatorade unveiled its upcoming Gx System, a bottle that supports customized pods of elixirs to meet the different needs of athletes. Behind it, four lockers displayed all the products Gatorade athletes would be enlisting in the future, plus real-world personalized fuel plans for each of the athletes.
The coolest part as the journey ended? Each attendee was assigned a personalized locker that lit up with their name when they approached and, once opened, revealed their customized bottle and favorite flavor of Gatorade pods within a Gatorade branded backpack. Talk about premiums, people. These were keepers.
This program was a winner for two distinct reasons: Gatorade gave consumers—not just media or industry insiders—a peek behind-the-curtain at the technologies being designed to meet the needs of evolving athletes. It also offered a visual shakeup of the brand with high-tech integrations, futuristic builds and colors. Fuel for thought, for sure.