What Do You Relate To: Wings, Winning, or Dew?

How do you relate?
How do you relate?

Even if you’re not in the world of sports and athletics, I’m sure that you’re familiar with the three brands: Red Bull, Gatorade, and Mountain Dew; but which one does it best? Are they all targeting the same people? And how do we determine which one is truly king of communication?

Initially, I thought they all focused on similar people and had a similar impact. However, delving deeper I found that I was making general assumptions without doing my research and now I know I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Let’s start with the company that made the commercial that was viewed around the world. People actually set aside time in their day to see this event take place and in turn, allowed this company to interrupt their schedules to share their message and their brand.


"The only limit is the one you set yourself"
“The only limit is the one you set yourself”

Did you guess the company?

Red Bull is a company with a global reach. They focus on a variety of sports and document events from around the world including American Football, Skateboarding, Surfing, Dancing, Racing, and even Electronic Sports. Their Facebook page has over thirty-nine million likes with over two million people subscribing to their Google+ channel and watching their videos on their own, “Red Bull TV“. Remarkably, Red Bull includes an “Events” page on their site inviting consumers to engage with them face-to-face and building stronger customer relationships. This, in my opinion, is an important part of gaining the trust that consumers guard so strongly today. Finally, where I see a great difference between these companies is in the music that they promote. Looking to Red Bull’s “Music Channel” you can see a clear support for more rap and hip-hop music versus some of the other popular genres.

Today, I would say that the main way I think about this next company is by NASCAR:

"Do the Dew"
“Do the Dew”

Mountain Dew has positioned themselves with a more American identity. Though they focus on a variety of sports they don’t promote the more traditional ones like football, basketball, baseball, or soccer but instead include angelers (fishing) and NASCAR. This idea of southern America continues with their promotion of Brantley Gilbert, an American Country artist. This is where the target audience differs and it’s clear that Mountain Dew has a more focused audience than Red Bull. While still impressive, Mountain Dew has only about a fifth as many Facebook “Likes” with no events page on their website. Actually, out of all the companies, Red Bull is the only one to offer events. Mountain Dew comes in second when looking about their success in our new marketing era.

Finally, do you, “Win from Within”?


Gatorade was the company that I initially thought was ahead of the others before doing my research. Every Gatorade ad that I see and remember have big name basketball players or NFL players. In other words, a company with so many professional athletes as part of their advertising campaigns had to be doing well, right? Well, I can’t speak for their bottom line, they are certainly doing “well”, but I would say this company needs the most work engaging with their audience. Gatorade has the fewest Facebook likes at six million compared to Red Bull’s thirty-nine million. Their YouTube channel also has the lowest number of subscriptions with just over nine-thousand while Mountain Dew has around twelve-thousand and Red Bull having about two million. So why is this? My thoughts, Gatorade has no events offered and doesn’t incorporate music support into their campaigns. The company relies solely on professional athletes to make a connection with, and gain the trust of, their customers. Does it work? Maybe, but not as well as it could. Using solely professional athletes excludes many people in the target age group who may be physically fit but not consider themselves intense athletes. Does this mean Gatorade doesn’t connect at all? Absolutely not. One thing that Gatorade does that the others don’t is engaging high school aged kids, specifically athletes, through their “Player of the Year” award. A close third when it comes to engaging their customers off the playing “field”.

What do they do well?

  • Strong Images
  • Inspirational & Inspiring Messages
  • Strong Supporters

I feel this when I see their marketing material but I also know that I don’t identify with all three of these brands. I workout, participate in sports, and enjoy many genres of music, but my buying decisions and the way I interact online aren’t influenced by any of these companies. If I’m drinking anything other than plain-old water it’s most likely Vitamin Water.

So I want to know, who do you identify with?

One comment

  1. Interesting analysis…I think they have different strategies…specifically Gatorade is the brand you associate for anything sports. But I do agree, engagement is huge! They primarily get indirect engagement through fans of their poster boys – Jordan, LeBron, etc.


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