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Gatorade’s ‘Burn It To Earn It’

Starring future advertising Goliath, Karl-Anthony Towns.

Gatorade released a new digital advertising campaign, called “Burn It to Earn It,” featuring a quadfecta (real word) of athletes from the NBA and other non-basketball sports. JJ Watt, Bryce Harper, James Rodriguez, and Karl-Anthony Towns challenge Gatorade consumers to sweat for the syrupy, colored calories they are about to ingest.

“You know what to do!

It’s an interesting marketing strategy. It’s Gatorade’s second attempt at this type of campaign. The first was called “Sweat It to Get It.” The difference this time around is that the athletes are physically interacting with the unsuspecting victims, whereas before they would just sort of show up.

What I find interesting is that Gatorade is openly calling attention to the high sugar content of their drinks. You are not supposed to consume this drink until you’ve sweated for it. This was not the same message I received as a child. I watched “Be Like Mike” and thought “Michael Jordan drinks this and it makes him good at running and shooting and dunking. I want to be good at those things. Give me Gatorade! NOW!!!”

Gatorade was supposed to be better than water. And waaaay better than soda. Those magical electrolytes allowed me to dominate on the neighborhood basketball court. Yes, my stomach hurt after drinking three bottles of my favorite flavor (purple), but that wasn’t Gatorade’s fault. That was my body’s way of telling me that I needed more electrolytes. Right?

Regardless of the message, it’s wonderful to see that Gatorade has welcomed Karl-Anthony Towns into the fold. He is a future marketing superstar. It doesn’t matter what he’s pitching, he makes me want it. Karl Anthony Towns athletic tights? Yes, please. Big KAT kitty litter? Of course. KAT Flying Kites? I’ll fly those things all day.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the two remaining videos:

Good job by this little guy. It’s rejection city, mainly by the rim, but at least he keeps going for it. Please, please, please translate this scoring system to the slam dunk contest. If someone misses a dunk, I need people to hold up signs with question marks or signs that say “Not a Dunk” on them. If we could eliminate the 10-point scoring system altogether, that would be fantastic. If you do something great, I would rather have signs that say “Blew my pants off” or “Not quite LaVine.”

The only thing that brings me greater joy than a between the legs Karl-Anthony Towns dunk is seeing him reject this guy and his collapse to the ground afterward. You can see a bit of his soul leaving his body. Could there be a reenactment mid-season with KAT and Steph Curry? Please and thank you.

Trash talk on point. “You in Town’s town now. Better pay your taxes.” Yes, civic responsibility is very important, KAT. Thank you for the reminder. If he starts doing the Johnny Manziel money sign motion after a big block this season, that’s not him asking for more money. It’s a message to the NBA; if you’re coming into Town’s Town, have your 1040’s filled out.

This is my favorite video of the three. Not only because you get to see a little bit more of his personality but also because you can see the defensive influence that Thibs has already infused into the team. KAT is going to be a defensive monster this year.

This isn’t the first time that Karl Anthony Towns and Gatorade have crossed paths. There’s another campaign from a few years ago. It’s a little less humorous, but it definitely makes me love this man more than “Burn It To Earn It” ever could. Get those tissues out. There’s dust in the air.

More to come...