Happy 24th birthday to you, Powerade! ♥

In their twenty-fourth year of existence, Powerade holds a birthday party at the Rio Olympics 2016. Powerade was launched in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics so it only seems appropriate that they were the official sports drink at the Rio Olympics this year[1]. As you may know, Powerade is a manufactured brand of the Coca Cola Company[2] and is a prominent sports drink around the world in a variety of flavours. Such flavours include Mountain Berry Blast, Fruit Punch, Grape, Orange, Tropical Mango and a few others! Powerade, as a brand, aims to inspire young athletes to “power through” the difficulties involved in reaching their goals. Powerade is involved in the Powerade Performance programme which helps South African schools excel in rugby and aims to develop sport in schools[3].


Figure 1: Embracing the Power of Powerade

(Source: Blogger’s own picture)

The Medal of Approval

Young people. Athletes. Parents. If you are in one of these three categories, Powerade probably targets you[4].  Powerade targets young people; those active and those aspiring to be active. Powerade is a sports drink and is generally consumed during exercise and thus young, active consumers are targeted. Parents are also targeted as they are the purchasers of household items such as Powerade. The children are the instigators of the purchase while the parent actually parts with the money and are thus indirectly targeted by Powerade.

The King Blue Blood

For all you Olympic binge-watchers at home, you are probably well educated about Powerade’s new campaign but please “power through” it gets interesting. Although Powerade has always associated with the Olympic Games, they upped the ante for this year’s games in Rio. They launched a campaign involving TV ads, social media posts, billboards and the launch of a limited edition flavour[5]. They also gained a wide range of exposure during the Games with their athlete sponsorships and branding. In attempt to cement their status of Olympic sponsorship royalty, Powerade launched their Blue Blood campaign in Rio this year. They compared their brand to the medieval elite, also known as “Blue Bloods”, which is appropriate for the elite athletic display at the Olympic Games.


Figure 2: A Sip Above the Rest

(Source: [6])

One word: Intense. The Powerade Olympic Campaign is heart pumping and fuels the driving force for Olympic glory. In this campaign, Powerade released an advertisement (if you haven’t seen it, please stop reading this and go watch the video below) which emphasises the passion Powerade has for sport. This advertisement was released before the Olympic Games and united countries in support of their athletes. It gave Powerade the opportunity for a wide range of exposure among their target market. People around the world watch the games and were thus exposed to the advertisement.

In addition to the advertisement, Powerade launched a limited edition flavour[7]. This new Powerade flavour was marketed using the unique aspect of the product which “replaces four electrolytes lost during sweat”. It also focuses on hydrating the Olympic athletes during and after performance. Releasing a new flavour specifically for the Olympic Games draws more attention to Powerade and encourages consumers to try the new flavour. This is a great promotional tool as it increases sales and brand awareness for Powerade.

This Olympic Campaign also involved a program called ‘sponsorise.me” which involved helping fund athletes reach their Olympic dreams[8]. Aspiring athletes can post their ideas on the website and then generate funds through crowdfunding and donations from Powerade. This part of the campaign was very successful and resulted in in 36 of these athletes qualifying to compete. This was a clever act by Powerade as it showcased the humanitarian side of the brand and was in accordance with their mission for athletes to reach their full potential.

Figure 3: The Power of Blue Blood


We hope you feel as inspired as we do to be active and be the best athletes we can be! We will meet again, this time face-to-face, at the 2020 Olympic Games where we will all be competing! Go buy your Powerade and start training.

[1] Stoner, S, 2016. POWERADE Summons ‘Power of Blue Blood’ in Rio Campaign, Coca-Cola, 1 August 2016. Available [Online]: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/the-power-of-blue-bloods-inside-powerade-s-global-campaign-for-rio-2016. [Accessed: 29 August 2016]

[2] Hudson, 2013. Powerade History, Hudson, 2013. Available [Online]: http://www.hudson.edu/custom_users/mmtech/16969/16969/Powerade_History.html. [Accessed: 29 August 2016]

[3] Powerade, 2015. Unleash your power. Powerade 2015. Available[Online]: http://www.powerade.co.za/en/schools_programme/. [Accessed: 29 August 2016]

[4] Gale, T, 2007. The Coca-Cola Company. Encyclopaedia of Major Marketing Campaigns. Available [Online]: http://www.encyclopedia.com/article-1G2-3446600071/coca-cola-company.html. [Accessed: 29 August 2016]

[5] AFN, 2016. Powerade launches Rio 2016 Olympic Games Marketing Campaign, Australian Food News, 15 June 2016. Available [Online]: http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2016/06/15/powerade-launches-rio-2016-olympic-games-marketing-campaign.html. [Accessed: 29 August 2016]

[6]BCreative. (2013, February 24). Creative Print Ads Powerade Giant. Retrieved from BCreative: http://www.bcreative.al/creative-print-ads-campaign/creative-print-ads-powerade-giant/. [Accessed: 29 Agust 2016]

[7] AFN, 2016. Powerade launches Rio 2016 Olympic Games Marketing Campaign, Australian Food News, 15 June 2016. Available [Online]: http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2016/06/15/powerade-launches-rio-2016-olympic-games-marketing-campaign.html. [Accessed: 29 August 2016]

[8] Staff, J, 2016. POWERADE Teams Up with Sports Crowdfunding Start up to Fuel Olympic Dreams, Coca-Cola Journey, 1 August 2016. Available [Online]: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/powerade-teams-up-with-sports-crowdfunding-startup-to-fuel-olymp. [Accessed: 29 August 2016]

[9] Powerade Olmpic Games 2016 Ad – The Power of Blue Blood. (2016, August 5). Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rddBKaHZFU4. [Accessed: 29 August 2016]