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Thursday, March 26, 2009

New G2 Commercial w/ Garnett & Swimmer Provokes Angry Responses

My post on the new G2 commercial elicited some interesting feedback.Judging from the angry comments posted, many viewers were offended by two of Garnett's quotes . In case you haven't seen it, the commercial contrasts two Kevins: Kevin Garnett: An All-Star power forward for  the Boston Celtics, with Kevin, an average American swimming laps at the pool. They each provide a voice over as the ad shows footage of them in action.

Kevin, the swimmer:"I've never been called the big ticket."

Garnett: "I've never been handed a pink slip"

Kevin, the swimmer: "I've never had to fill the holes in my sneakers, with cardboard."

Garnett: "I've never had to tell my wife, 'we can't pay the mortgage.'

Kevin, the swimmer: "I've never led the Boston Celtics to a title."

Garnett: "I've never used the backstroke, as a coping mechanism, hard as I can....

Both: "But I have tried, as To be the best that I can."

In my opinion, the ad was designed to reenforce  the theme of the Gatorade G Campaign: Everyone is an athlete.

I believe Gatorade's intent was to show that each man faces a unique set of circumstances, but they both exert as much energy as they can in order to succeed. If you listen to Garnett's tone when he says, "I've never been handed a pink slip", I perceived his tone as grateful, not condescending.

Evidently, other viewers didn't interpret his quote the same way, and 10 out of the 11 comments the story received were negative. After I read through some of the bitter statements, I couldn't help but chuckle at the comment by one writer with a neutral stance. The author, who chose to use the pen name Someone who isn't crazy, wrote"

"Woah, calm down.. they're just trying to sell some Gatorade."

Here are of the comments the we received:

"This is the most arrogant and insensitive commercial I have ever seen...Getting noticed is one thing. Ticking off millions of people is quite another."

"This was a slap in the face. I also just lost my job and don't need a reminder that there are multi-million dollar athletes that don't need to worry about money. It's very insensitive."

"I don't know what this commercial is trying to say, but I am offended.I have been laid off for the last several months and paying our mortgage is an issue that we think about every day due to no fault of our own."

"This doesn't make a lot of sense. Targeting those that are now unemployed and losing their house, may not be the strongest market for their product. Spending the same amount of money on the ad campaign helping those individuals might be a more effective promotion."

"This was a slap in the face. I also just lost my job and don't need a reminder that there are multi-million dollar athletes that don't need to worry about money. It's very insensitive."

"I keep seeing this commercial everywhere and the message of the haves vs the have nots is cruel and not at all conducive to brand loyalty."

"Anyone who ever did have to tell his wife they can't pay the mortgage this month is feeling like he's been kicked in the eye."

"The person that created and bought this commercial I guess have never been down on their luck but for the millions that are and the one that are still in a world of hurt I can imagine we will all run out and buy Gatorade! Don't think so. I will not buy that product until that commercial is pulled and the public is given an apology."

"I just saw this commercial for the first time and I honestly thought it was leading up to a call to arms to help each other out and donate to charity in these difficult times but instead I'm being exhorted to drink sugar water?"

What's your take on this commercial? Do you think these people misinterpreted the message, or is Gatorade as insensitive as they're accused of?


By Matt O'Hern at 05:03 PM | Comments (13)

(13) Thoughts on New G2 Commercial w/ Garnett & Swimmer Provokes Angry Responses

Quite unfortunate about the misunderstanding, but I think that the first lesson in marketing class should be to not have an audience dwelling on depressing thoughts about how broke and destitute the "everyday athlete" seems in comparison to a millionaire. I think the reason it's become such a hot issue is that the ad is played nonstop every commercial break during big primetime shows. I call it a GATORADE FAIL.

Comments by Joe the Plumber : Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 07:54 PM

it doesn't matter at the end of the day what message was intended. the fact is that most people got this message: “Hey everyone I’m Kevin Garnett for G2 and I'm better than you.. but hey there sport, good for you, for getting out there and trying your hardest anyway.” Oh yeah, and here’s a swimmer that looks like Jason Alexander from Seinfeld for some strange reason.

Comments by amic : Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 09:59 PM

I think that people people are just easily offended. Do you you really think that the message Gaterade was trying to send was 'let's insult our customers' come on.

Comments by Nora : Friday, March 27, 2009 at 10:34 AM

I got laid off from my job three months ago and I even think these sensitive wusses are overreacting.

Grow a pair, people.

Comments by Alex : Friday, March 27, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Those people need to freaking calm down. That is horrible that you've lost your jobs... sorry... but that doesn't give you the right to criticize anything that mentions a job loss. The swimmer in that commercial was laid of twice and turned to swimming to help cope. Gatorade is comparing and contrasting two "athletes" in opposite situations just to show how ubiquitous athletes really are. Why does this commercial make you any more upset than any other commercials starting a multimillionaire? Do you really have to be "reminded" that Garnett doesn't struggle with his mortgage? You're all just looking for a reason to complain.

(And a little extra background for you... Garnett worked harder than probably any other millionaire athlete to get where he is. He worked his way through high school, with as many as 3 to 4 jobs his senior year, so that he could provide for himself and his sister in the brutal Southside of Chicago while his Mom was 2,000 miles away caring for the father he never knew. So it goes without saying, he doesn't need to be told or taught what it's like to struggle with money.)

Comments by Ryan : Friday, March 27, 2009 at 11:25 AM

offensive or not, it simply misses the mark.

Comments by aaron : Friday, March 27, 2009 at 03:40 PM

There's a lesson here, bulletproof editing, an inspirational soundtrack, and an all star cast can't prop up such a weak concept.

Comments by Jason : Friday, March 27, 2009 at 03:45 PM

Wow...I really liked the ad...for me, it compared and contrasted the athlete with the common man and showed that both use G2 because they both want the both want to put the best liquid refreshment into their bodies.

I thought the contrast in life experiences made the story stronger with the punch line of "but they both use G2".

Do I wish I was making several million a year? Yup. Do I hate others that do? Only those that steal it like so many CEOs - at least most athletes earn it based on effort.

Comments by patmcgraw : Friday, March 27, 2009 at 03:57 PM

it's not art people, it's advertising and reminding people of their shortcomings, no matter how tactful is a real faux pas.

Comments by aaron : Friday, March 27, 2009 at 04:03 PM

"I've never seen a homeless guy, drinking a Gatorade" - George Carlin

Comments by big mike : Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 12:58 PM

I've never been offered a contract for being a very average 5ft 10in.

I've never gotten an employment contract for graduating HS.

I don't know what a coping mechanism is?

Comments by big dicket : Friday, April 24, 2009 at 11:45 PM

Everyone fails to listen to the ad remember the ad also says that the swimmer does not understand what it is like to fill holes in your shoes with paper like Garnett did when he was young. The message in the ad was that to be a true athlete you must overcome adversity; working as hard as you can to get where you want to be. The swimmer has adversity and uses swimming to overcome it, Garnett, who is one of the humblest individuals, overcame his own poverty through basketball. people truly need to lay down their preconceived notions and think for a change. Do some research into the man that Kevin Garnett is before lump him in with selfish athletes.

Comments by Robert : Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 01:18 PM

I think it shows the grace and strength of the everyday athletes. In my opinion, it seems as though Garnett is appreciative of the struggles overcome by these unknowns.
And yes, it is just an advertising gimmick. However, if the commercial was any more or less poignant, that excuse would be invalid.

Comments by Emily : Friday, June 19, 2009 at 05:36 PM

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