Cannes Lions

Holiday Sweat-er


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Athletes tend to take it easy during the holidays. But that’s an opportunity to put in work and sweat to gain an advantage on everyone else. So how could we make athletes recognize the opportunity that the “down time” of the holidays could provide? With an organic-influencer-only strategy, we created a two-week social media campaign that created a whole new way for athletes to think of a “holiday sweater.”


The idea was to take a symbol that signified relaxation and “holiday” and flip it to have special meaning for the most committed athletes. Gatorade would put the “sweat” into the “Holiday Sweater.” We would create a new take on a holiday sweater for the athletes that proved that they were committed to putting in the hard work and sweat over the holidays. These Gatorade “Holiday Sweat-ers” would be a unique badge for the athlete, celebrating their effort - which they would proudly share across their social platforms and IRL.


The most dedicated athletes turn to Gatorade to replace what they lose in sweat and fuel them to go longer and harder in their workouts, so that they can stay one step ahead of the competition.

To celebrate the athletes sweating it out during the holidays and encourage others to do so, we leveraged a behavior that athletes often use to show pride in their efforts, “the sweaty selfie.” A sweaty selfie is the act of taking a photo of yourself after enduring a tough, sweaty workout.

The “Holiday Sweat-er” award repurposed these sweaty selfies to help show athletes that Gatorade is the brand that not only replaces what they sweat out - but motivates them to keep sweating all year long.


During the weeks leading up to the holidays, Gatorade asked athletes to prove they were a “holiday sweat-er” by posting a sweaty selfie on Instagram. Each day, we picked our favorite and, using their sweaty selfies, made ACTUAL customized Gatorade Holiday “Sweat-ers” to send back to them - within days of their post! The sweaters were sewn, with needle and thread, in a style that was reminiscent of the classic holiday sweater. To promote our campaign, we made Holiday Sweat-ers for select Gatorade roster athletes who posted them on their IG pages. To increase the reach of the campaign, we selected additional entries and created digital-only versions of customized Holiday Sweat-ers. Athletes from pros to joes, proudly shared their unique sweaters with their followers and the holiday rush for Gatorade Holiday Sweat-ers was on. Ultimately, we created a new holiday symbol for athletes and their hard work.


The campaign delivered one of the most successful seasonal programs ever for the brand and created the most organic social engagement for the brand in 2019. It reminded our audience that Gatorade is always finding ways to inspire athletes to maximize their potential.

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