Gatorade: Propel on Pandora

Campaign Summary

Propel is positioned within the hydration and fitness category as the only national water brand with enough electrolytes to replace what people lose in sweat. Despite having strong aided awareness from a longstanding shelf presence, Propel was not top-of-mind, and consumers lacked understanding of the product’s inherent value and points of difference. Propel needed a refresh, and Pandora delivered.


Objective and Context:

Propel, a fitness water and part of The Gatorade Company, recently partnered with Pandora to drive awareness of the product’s hydrating benefits and to make Propel Water a top-of-mind beverage choice for exercisers. Pandora’s music platform was a natural fit for the campaign because the right music is critical to getting a good workout. The two brands came together to create a campaign that got listeners moving and drinking more Propel Water.

Target Audience:

Propel wanted to reach passionate exercisers who work out four days a week and believe exercise is an integral part of a healthy life. Using Pandora’s “runners and sport drink enthusiast” targeting segments, Propel ensured that the right listeners received audio messages during relevant moments. Additionally, by strategically dayparting each ad placement and using creative that reflected local weather patterns, Propel delivered messages that felt both personalized and relevant. Propel not only reached early morning runners on sunny days, but also evening runners on cloudy days.

Creative Strategy:

To connect with exercisers, Pandora created two rich media units that leveraged smartphones’ gyroscopes so that listeners could tilt their phones to reveal hidden Propel messaging which launched a custom station. Listeners could also shake their phones and, using the iPhone’s accelerometer, unlock an hour of uninterrupted listening via Pandora’s “Sponsored Listening” platform. Together, these interactive campaign elements invited listeners into Propel’s experience, making them feel like part of the brand story.


Overall Campaign Execution:

In an effort to reach passionate exercisers at precisely the right moments, the brand allocated 80 percent of the campaign budget to mobile.

Mobile Execution:

Music is integral to a good workout, and mobile is the one device exercisers use to tune in. This presented the perfect opportunity to engage the target market by using innovative technologies and timely messaging. The campaign utilized first-to-market “tilt to activate” and “shake to activate” executions to get listeners moving, a cornerstone of Propel’s campaign. Integrating engagement-based music solutions was vital, and the Propel Power Workout station was an upbeat, curated listening experience that perfectly suited any exercise activity.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

In just over four months, more than 264,000 people added the Propel Power Workout station to their Pandora account, spending an average of 40 minutes listening. This outperformed Pandora’s internal benchmarks by 60 percent. For users who wanted to work out to music they know and love, Propel also partnered with Pandora to provide them with an hour of uninterrupted listening, driving a strong 4.4 percent CTR on the accompanying display banner.

Overall, Propel’s campaign drove substantial lifts in ad awareness and purchase intent. Post-campaign metrics confirmed that Propel received a 63 percent lift in ad awareness and a 60 percent lift in purchase intent, proving that personalization is both a powerful way to engage an audience and to achieve marketing success.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Mobile Audio | Awards: Finalist

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