Short List
Product / ServiceGATORADE
CategoryA03. Best Use of Live Events, Stunt and/or Celebrity Endorsement
Entrant Company:DDB CHINA GROUP Shanghai, CHINA
PR/Advertising Agency:DDB CHINA GROUP Shanghai, CHINA


Name Company Position
Michael Dee DDB China Group Chief Creative officer
Victor Ng DDB China Group Executive Creative Director
Billy Deng DDB China Group Creative Director
Xiaole Han, Billy Deng DDB China Group Copywriter
William Zhang DDB China Group Art Director
Lang Nie DDB China Group Illustrator
Alex Chen DDB China Group Photographer
George Ooi DDB China Group Agency Executive Producer
Judy Chen, Margaret Wu DDB China Group Account manager
Jacqueline Wu, James Chen DDB China Group Print production
Paul Hong, Wendy Zhang PepsiCo China Advertiser's Supervisor
A.G. Chen Duo Image Photographer
Vincent Chen CTV Bridge Animation (Beijing)) Producer
Sebastien Zhang CTV Bridge Animation (Beijing)) Director
Lizhi Li CTV Bridge Animation (Beijing)) Editor

The Campaign

All our campaign did was to… 1) Connect, and not just communicate, with the notoriously hard-to-influence youth market 2) Create an ownable, usable medium that engages with consumers 3) Overcome poor city planning of public spaces 4) Enabled our customers to enjoy the sport they are most passionate about 5) Opened up consumption opportunities for our product all over the city 6) Built 200 free-to-public basketball courts 7) Owned and championed the spirit of youth and street 8) All within a miniscule $10,000 A&P budget

The Brief

Gatorade’s primary marketing objective for 2011 is to be the sports beverage brand that does not merely communicate with consumers, but to play together with them. Our target consumers are teenagers who lead an active sports lifestyle. They are hardly accessible via traditional media – in fact they are highly resistant to media messages that are overtly commercial in nature. The overall PR objective of our campaign is to unequivocally position Gatorade as the brand that helps youths overcome conventional constraints to live out their passions. This has to be achieved in a manner that is not advertising, but advocacy.


We turned a low budget of $10,000 into 200 wholly owned, fully targeted media placements, worth at least 20 times more. These were exposed to 2 million people and engaged over 40,000 people in street basketball. Up to 20,000,000 related sites on Google search. Became the hottest topic on Weibo, China’s top social networking site with 140 million users. Most importantly, Gatorade became perceived as the one brand that champions the unconventional spirit of youth and street basketball.


We had only a miniscule advertising and production budget to achieve this ambitious goal: $10,000. Which was barely enough to construct even ONE basketball court. We created a simple “D.I.Y Streetball Kit” which could be easily assembled anywhere by anyone. 200 of these were produced and distributed them to streetball lovers via online application. And they did the rest. All over Shanghai, power poles, brick walls, trees, traffic lights and assorted street furniture were transformed into basketball hoops. Having constructed their very own basketball playgrounds, teenagers became an advertisement themselves when they played the game in unlikely locations - it was not just a game, it was more like a spectacle. Street basketball became basketball streets.

The Situation

Basketball has been identified through research as the one sport that our youth target audience feel most passionate about. But in Shanghai, the ratio of people to public basketball courts is an abysmal 10,000 to 1. As a brand that is known to champion the active spirit of youth, Gatorade wanted give every player a place to play. And indirectly create opportunities for them consume its thirst-quenching products.

The Strategy

Our strategy is founded by a simple truth: Active teenagers are also highly creative; they enjoy the thrill and satisfaction of creating their own solution to the problem. With that insight, we realized our effort would be more effective if we simply provided them with the means to solve the problem of scarce basketball playgrounds.