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Branding – Using Another’s to Lift Yours

April 15th, 2009

I am finding more and more that when I watch TV, I actually watch the commercials – whether I’ve DVR’d the show or not.  If I am zipping through what I’ve recorded, I still pay attention, and if something catches my eye, I stop, rewind and watch.  That happened last night.  I found the newest Gatorade spot, featuring Tiger Woods, very interesting.  Upon first blush, I really thought it was a Nike commercial (other than a very small mention of ‘Gatorade’ Tiger on the voiceover) – notice the Nike logo on the front of Tiger’s hat, the Nike logo on the ball, and the TW logo (his sub-brand within Nike Golf) on the back of his hat.  Next you see a Nike visor on the next animated character.  It’s not until 30 seconds in that you see any visual glimmer that this is a Gatorade spot, and it’s very subtle – a logo on a sign…  Only at the end do you get the full pitch from Gatorade on their ‘Focus’ offering. 

Interesting tactic – leverage the halo of the Nike brand (down to Tiger’s famous Nike Golf spot) and the overall Tiger ‘brand offering’ to give lift to your product.  Final note – you go to Gatorade’s site, and there is no mention Tiger under the ‘Athletes‘ section – only under the Focus Product Line.  Intentional?  Probably – if there is one person that’s excellent at protecting their ‘personal’ brand – it’s Tiger.

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