Refreshing. Replenishing. Rejuvenating….Gatorade & Social Media
Refreshing. Replenishing. Rejuvenating. Performance.
These are the words that come to mind when people hear the name Gatorade. They think about a company that has been making sports drinks for athletes for over three decades, a company with strong brand recognition. When going to their Web site you expect for it to be refreshing, rejuvenating, and would show some level of performance, unfortunately, Gatorade does not translate these words into the essence of their branded Web site. The site is currently boring and uninspiring.
Aside from the branded Web site Gatorade has facebook, twitter, YouTube, and UStream accounts, as part of their social media efforts. While it is good that they are using all of these tools, it is the quality of the connections they are making could be stronger in some areas, such as via their branded Web site. The company is really good with interacting with their fans on facebook by commenting on fans’ posts and posting links to videos, posting pictures, etc. They are also good with tweeting, retweeting, and replying to followers’ posts. Gatorade also has a presence on YouTube and UStream, both sites are full of Gatorade commercials. The problem with Gatorade’s social media efforts is the lack of interactivity and engagement on their branded Web site and the quality of some of the videos they are posting. When a visitor goes onto gatorade.com, they will see two things, the first is a Gatorade Replay ad; and the second is a video of three different athletes, either preparing, during, or after playing their specific sport – advertising the new Gatorade G Series. These two ads are uninspiring and could be recreated to be more engaging.
The site consists of four different tabs on the left side of the page, one for products, one for athletes, one for programs, and one for Road to the G Series. Under the products tab, there is a list of products. The athletes tab introduces Web site visitors to Gatorade’s athletic spokespersons. The programs tab features videos about various programs Gatorade is running. Lastly, the Road to the G Series tab informs the visitor about the new G Series line of sports drinks. Two out of four of these tabs have videos and commercials in them, but the quality of the videos are poor and are too long. The videos look as if they are shot by an amateur videographer and the lighting is low. At the very bottom of the page is the about, history, twitter, and facebook links, etc.
Gatorade can improve the interactivity of their branded Web site by having an opening video play the moment a visitor enters their site. The video should be of the same quality of their commercials and can be a quick :30 seconds – :45 seconds video that encompasses the various projects on which Gatorade is working, full of music, athletes, sports, and products. The video should be inviting, refreshing, rejuvenating, and should make the visitor feel a closer connection with the Gatorade brand. Gatorade can add an interactive quiz to the products tab, where the visitor would answer questions about themselves and their athleticism and at the end of the quiz, they can find out what flavor/ type of Gatorade suits their personality. There could also be a quiz on the athletic page that lets visitors know which athlete they are most like. Currently, on the athlete’s page, there are 3-D images of each athlete. Gatorade should make it so that each athlete talks about the Gatorade brand and why they love it, once the visitor clicks on a particular athlete’s picture. The videos that are currently on the site are too long and are uninspiring. Gatorade should update the videos to make them more engaging. Some videos are eight minutes in length, which is too long to keep a viewer’s interest; videos should be no longer than four minutes.
In conclusion, Gatorade has great presence on facebook, twitter, YouTube, and UStream, but their connectedness and engagement on the branded Web site is lacking. Gatorade can update their current videos to increase their effectiveness and to spread the knowledge they want to share easier. Gatorade also has an opportunity to add interactive quizzes, a blog, etc. on this site; they just need to conduct marketing research to see which interactive tools are most effective for their target audience(s). The branded Web site should perform, rejuvenate, replenish, and refresh Web site visitors, not bore or uninspire them.