Powerade is taking online greeting cards for a spin in the next phase of its “That’s Some Kind of Power” campaign. Like the TV spots before it, the cards’ messages carry an unexpected twist. As rival Gatorade continues to reign and parent company Coca-Cola invests in a new Kobe Bryant-backed competitor, finding ways to stand out from the crowd is crucial for Powerade.
The sports drink category is narrow to begin with, but has consistently been held up by the flashy celebrity partnerships and social media prowess of star player Gatorade in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beverages. Meanwhile, Powerade remains stuck in the average zone. Its newest initiative might be the creative kick it needs to entice sports fans surfing the web, if only to catch their eye.
Each of the ten cards has been made available for free online and feature a cheeky message and corresponding illustration of common sports situations. For example, an illustration of a basketball player eliminating his opponent on his way to the net is paired with the message: “My bad, sorry I did you like that. I don’t know what came over me. No hard feelings?” The cocky tone and catchy images add a burst of personality to Powerade that sports fans familiar with such sentiments might find particularly relatable and in turn, shareable.
With new brands bubbling up every week, the pressure to stand out in the beverage sector can be crippling, especially in the face of already-fierce competition. However, what Powerade lacks in brawn, it could make up in brains with its latest launch. The sympathy card strategy might seem mild in contrast to the typical machismo of the sports drink category, but it serves a quick and shareable way to engage consumers and strengthen brand voice.