Kiwis have quite the penchant for running and even in the colder months it’s not uncommon to see many a dedicated runner pounding the Winter pavement. But while it’s all too easy to snigger as you drive past in your heated car whilst stuffing a bag of chips down your throat, Powerade is hoping to lure in these avid runners with its Powerade Challenge after a successful debut of the event last year saw over 2000 runners take part.
The campaign, a collaborative effort between Naked Communications and Coca-Cola’s agency Ogilvy (though word has it there’s been a bit of a stoush between the two over who deserves credit for the awards it’s been winning), certainly got StopPressers talking when we wrote about it last year. But whatever readers thought about it, the campaign seemed to impress the advertising powers that be, picking up Gold at this year’s CAANZ Media Awards and a Silver and Bronze Spike at last years Spikes Asia Awards in Singapore.
The interactive running course is on now until the end of July when the London Olympics start and this year includes an 8km course in Wellington as well as the 9km Auckland course.
Each course has a start point, a half-way point and an end point, each marked by a vending machine. Runners are equipped with special RFID interactive wristbands and to complete the course and be in the running for prizes, they need to check in at each point by swiping the wristband on the interactive vending machines.
Powerade is of course one of the official sponsors of the All Blacks and while the All Blacks still feature throughout the Powerade Challenge website (you can even download a personal training programme developed by the teams’ strength and conditioning coach Dr Nic Gill), this year’s challenge seems to, not surprisingly, have a greater focus on our Olympians. Gold medallists Hamish Carter (triathlon), bronze medallists Nathan Twaddle (rowing) and swimming champion Moss Burmester were the first to run the course this month and their times are included as benchmarks on an online leaderboard that displays runners rankings.