Cannes Lions

Gatorade Versus: Keeping Her in the Game

OMD USA, New York / PEPSICO / 2018

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Gatorade and OMD commissioned a third party to dig into the reason girls were dropping out of sports. This research uncovered that feelings of "not being good enough" and “refocusing efforts on activities that align with future goals” were the major drivers of teen girls dropping out of sports. Overall, teen girls were not seeing the "long-game" of sports participation.

Gatorade wanted to ensure teen girls understood that what you learn from sports can help to make you successful no matter where life takes you. But it had to come from an authentic voice. We also knew that to today’s teens, YouTube stars were seen as more influential than traditional celebrities. So instead of using Gatorade’s roster of all-star female athletes, we wanted to leverage digital content creators to tap into a platform that would have relevant influencers and reach the teen girl athlete.


Together we created “Versus”, an original scripted series that highlights the challenges that teen female athletes face on and off the field and reinforces the important life lessons girls learn through participation in sports, that can help them succeed later in life.

Awesomeness leaned into their existing talent who would best resonate with our female teen athlete including an all-star cast of traditional actors and social media influencers. The series chronicled the relationship of rival lacrosse captains who are forced to play on the same team during a high-profile summer tournament. To win big, the girls must find a way to put their differences aside and support each other through competition and life off the field.

“Versus” lived on Awesomeness’s YouTube and Verizon Go90. Paid media across YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Snapchat drove to the series. Talent also posted on their own social handles to gain interest amongst their followers.


A Nielsen Brand Lift study was commissioned as added value to understand lifts in brand/sports perception pre/post exposure to the series:

• 22pp lift that Gatorade is a brand that supports girls in Sports

• Lifts across the board in how team sports positively affects girls:

- Increases confidence +11pp

- Teaches leadership skills +10pp

- Improves chances for college scholarships +10pp

- Develops long-term life skills +10pp

- Builds friendships +7pp

• 7pp lift in “likelihood to join a team”, 18pp lift amongst those who aren’t currently on a team

Viewership Results by the Numbers:

• 13.9 million YouTube views: 10.3MM series views & 3.5MM teaser views (unable to capture Go90 views)

• Paid media guaranteed us 9.5MM views, series over delivered by 4.3MM or 145%

• 42.5MM minutes of Versus episodic content watched

• 275K YouTube engagements (Likes, comments, etc.)

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