Gatorade Is For Winners

With all the brands desperate today to unleash a viral video on the Internets, I think it might be instructive to look at a brand that’s been viral offline for decades.
No ad agency had anything to do with the creation or perpetuation of the Gatorade dunk. Maybe this should be the definition of what viral is? Something can only be viral if uninstigated consumers create meaning around the brand. Everything else is just advertising.
[via Where’s My Jetpack]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. That’s a great perspective, David. It’s kind of like the same urban legend that green M&M’s makes you horny. Not me. You.

  2. No to mention all the sports movies that repeat it all the time, organically. Forget viral, it´s all about storytelling.

  3. daveednyc says:

    And in many of the instances I’ve seen it happen the dunk doesn’t even use the product — it’s just filled with ice water, but always in a Gatorade bucket. Here the brand is transcending the product to what the above commenter accurately said was about “storytelling”.

  4. David,
    Do you know who owns rights to this photo? We’d love to use it for a concept we’re working on.