Gatorade Tour Closes the Retail Loop at Walmart
Gatorade’s strategy enabled it to have repeat interactions with the consumers on-site. The brand engaged consumers outside the store, sent them directly to the product in-store, incentivized purchase of the product (on discount) and then sent them back out to the activation to claim a prize.
“Closing the loop” between the live experience and the sale is becoming the new imperative. The in-hand call to action strategy Gatorade used to guarantee a sale eliminated the question of whether the message sunk in. ROI? Check.
After a slight decline in Q1 sales at Walmart, Gatorade decided it needed a surgical strike at the retailer to reach bargain-hunting moms in a meaningful way. It also wanted to push its messaging on its core teen consumers–male athletes, typically, who can and do make Gatorade purchases on their own, but also rely on a very important main decision-maker of the family to pick up the product on the regular trip to the market: mom.
Gatorade sent a fleet of five Ford Transit vans dubbed the “G-Units,” which were outfitted with slide-out sampling cages and built-in coolers, to more than 1,000 participating Walmart locations. Consumers walked up to the G-Unit and sampled the drink with a brand ambassador while viewing integrated media content from professional athletes, which helped teach them about Gatorade’s “Prime and Recover System”—a trio of drink solutions for active bodies. Afterward, they could take photos at a station with a backdrop featuring an iconic Gatorade sports moment and have it printed as a custom Gatorade bottle label.
Key to the experience, however, was the G-Tag Card game piece featuring a unique prize redemption code that could be scanned at G-Tag Stations located at the Gatorade display inside Walmart. Once consumers scanned the card, the in-store kiosk displayed what the consumer had won (from hats to sunglasses and other giveaways). The trick: The digital in-store display printed out a coupon that would be validated at the register with a purchase of Gatorade and then had to be taken back to the G-Unit in order to claim the listed prize, a strategy which generated sales spikes in addition to making Gatorade top of mind for the entire shopping experience.
More than 1.5 million samples and consumer engagements were recorded, with sales results spiking to more than 500 percent on activation days, and often selling out the entire floor display in just one day. “Our customer [Walmart] is already asking how soon we can do this again,” the brand said.