Coca-Cola-owned Powerade has introduced a new app and updated its website in an effort to encourage Kiwis to lead healthier lifestyles.
Rather than focusing on the Powerade product range, the new website instead provides users with a performance hub where they can set fitness goals, receive training programmes, track their performance and map runs.
The revamped site, which was designed by Satellite, also features a competitive social element through a leader board that allows users to compare their monthly performances against other app users.
"[The site] connects the whole of New Zealand by having an online fitness hub that anyone can be a part of - with monthly challenges where people can compete against each other and track their progress, up-to-date leader boards, hydration information and details around upcoming local sporting events," says a Powerade spokesperson.
The overall theme of the website is also tied into the Powerade challenge, a 9km running course/interactive marketing campaign this year running in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Along the course, runners are required to check in at three Powerade vending machines, swiping their RFID bracelet at each stop to record their time.
In addition to the performance-based elements, the website also features a hydration calculator that determines how much Powerade users would be required to drink based on their physical features, the type of exercise that are participating in and the intensity of this exercise.
These digital upgrades coincide with the release of the sports drink's 'Performance is everything' campaign, which was recently activated via an Ogilvy-created TVC that features All Blacks Liam Messam, Beauden Barrett and Julian Savea battling on a rugby field through a heavy downpour.
“We wanted the latest campaign to reflect this positioning as we move into a space that helps sportspeople, gym-goers and exercise-lovers achieve tangible fitness results by providing an abundance of practical tools and activities that can boost their performance,” says Tracey Evans, the Powerade marketing manager.
In something of a controversial move, a voiceover in the new TVC posits Powerade as superior to water when it comes to hydrating sports people.
“Water has its place on the sports field," says the voice. "But when it comes to performing at your peak you need fuel for your muscles. Powerade has the combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes to help you go stronger for longer.”
Powerade's advertising strategies have in the past been criticised for using professional sportspeople to promote products that often have a high sugar content, but the new ad is subtle compared to what Pepsi-owned Gatorade did in the advergaming space earlier this year.
In creating a mobile game called Bolt, OMD literally made water the enemy in the sense that the speed of the charatcer (based on Usain Bolt) was slowed down if the player collected water along the way. In contrast, when the player collected Gatorade, the character's speed was increased.
Despite the criticisms leveled at energy drinks, Evans says that Powerade's continues to do well in terms of sales.
“Powerade is currently New Zealand’s number one sports drink, significantly ahead of its closest competition in both sales and consumer preference,” she says.
She also says that Powerade will this year be hosting Breakthrough Academy, an initiative that will give a selection of rising sports stars the opportunity to receive mentorship and encouragement from New Zealand’s leading sports performers.
“We are proud to support several of the nation’s leading athletes, and want to further this by investing in future sports stars from a young age, so we are doing our bit to give young talented kiwis the best career start possible,” says Evans.
She says that this initiative when combined with Powerade's emphasis on promoting an active lifestyle form part of Coca-Cola's drive to fight obesity by getting Kiwis off the couch.
"We are looking forward to watching 2014 unfold, and we believe it will make a difference to the lives of so many New Zealanders as more people become engaged in the efforts to actively improve their performance,” she says.