Gatorade: catch the cluetrain

Did you hear about the MIT students who built a raft out of Gatorade bottles and paddled it across the Charles river in Boston?

Jonathan, one of the students who built the raft, has been trying to get Gatorade’s attention, and finally succeeded. Here’s the response from the marketing people at Gatorade:

Jonathan: It sounds like you and your roommate are very ingenious. Making a raft out of Gatorade bottles and rowing it across the Charles River is certainly an accomplishment. Although we would not be able to use your pictures we would certainly love to see your work. You can send them to this email address as an attachment. Also, please respond with your complete mailing address sot that we can send both you and your roommate some coupons via US Mail.

Maybe it doesn’t matter so much when you sell $2 billion worth of your product yearly and can pay Michael Jordan $10 million to pump up your image. But companies would kill to get this kind of real-world exposure and attention.

I mean, the kids even have charts of their yearly Gatorade consumption, and Jonathan proclaims:

I’m the winner of Gatorade consumption!! I’m the one on the right. 47.8 gallons baby!
This totally crushes my last year’s grand total of 13 gallons, lol.

In a time when half of all young people online are writing their own stories, publishing their own photos, and contributing to the diversity and richness of web culture … and in the post-Cluetrain years … I’m going to suggest an ad based on this type of fan (fanatic) actions would be better than another generic celebrity endorsement.

I don’t care what Michael Jordan drinks: I know he’s been paid millions to have the right opinions and say the right things. But I am interested in what some ordinary everyday but funky/cool/ingenious college nerds with ideas do.

It’s different. It’s unboring. It’s real. It’s remarkable. It deserves something more than a couple of coupons in the mail.

I wonder if someone at Gatorade is smart enough to clue into that?

[tags] gatorade, cluetrain, marketing, MIT, charles river, john koetsier [/tags]

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