Morning Brew - ☕ Back to the future

Why Gatorade threw it back to the ’90s.
May 30, 2024

Marketing Brew


It’s Thursday. And Alexander Wang appears to have recruited celebrity look-alikes for its latest campaign, including people who look like Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Kylie Jenner, and Taylor Swift. We can only imagine what the real celebrities’ legal teams are thinking.

In today’s edition:

—Alyssa Meyers, Jasmine Sheena, Joshua Needelman


Nothing’s changed

A'ja Wilson in Gatorade ad Gatorade

For its biggest marketing push to date, Gatorade is throwing it back to the ’90s.

The PepsiCo brand’s latest campaign, called “It Hasn’t Changed,” is based on a decades-old tagline, “Is it in you?,” which anchored a campaign hinging on the idea that drinking Gatorade would help athletes perform at their peak. This year’s reboot, like other media from the ’90s and early 2000s that have seen recent revivals, has a slightly different message.

Youth participation in sports tends to drop off considerably around high school, and “It Hasn’t Changed” is centered on addressing that drop-off by showing young athletes that they already have what it takes to be great, Anuj Bhasin, Gatorade’s chief brand officer, said.

“The best athletes in the world…all have one commonality,” Bhasin told Marketing Brew. “They have that belief inside that they are able to overcome, that they have that ‘it,’ that spark, to actually overcome the hardship that is facing them. Today, that greatest obstacle for these athletes is within…That tagline from the ’90s is even more relevant today than it was when it first came to market.”

Go big or go home: The campaign is Gatorade’s biggest yet, both in terms of media spend and in athlete involvement, Bhasin said. It’s running across platforms including TV, social, and out-of-home. Some billboards, including one of Caitlin Clark in Indianapolis, went up in mid-May, but the official tagline revival will be on full display starting May 28 with a 60-second ad that debuted during Game 4 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals.

Continue reading here.—AM



36 million people may play pickleball…


And while the fastest-growing sport in the US deserves its props, it’s also known that Tubi has over 75 million viewers. Does this make Tubi more popular than pickleball? You can be the judge there.

This kind of popularity can spell massive potential. As primarily cord-nevers and cord-cutters, this audience can be incremental to any TV buy. If you’ve just experienced a marketing light-bulb moment, Tubi’s got direct and programmatic brand marketing opportunities.

Tubi’s audience is young, diverse, and engaged. They’ve got thousands of movies and TV shows that are ready to watch and 100% free. No subscription is required to dive into Tubi’s rich selection of culture-spanning classics.

Ready to tune in to something good? Tubi’s ready when you are. Just don’t forget the popcorn.


Count ’em up

a TV screen with a lock and chain over the front Anna Kim

Folks still using their exes’ Disney+ passwords, it’s (almost) over: Starting this summer and rolling out globally this September, Disney will officially begin cracking down on password sharing, CEO Bob Iger said on the company’s most recent earnings call.

Disney is not the only one bringing the hammer down. Netflix also plans to expand its paid-sharing efforts, the company’s own answer to widespread password sharing across households, CFO Spence Neumann said on the streamer’s earnings call last month.

The major streamers on the market are at different levels of maturity, but they’re responding to similar market pressures and industry trends. Now that earnings season has wrapped, here’s a rundown of how streamers stacked up.

Netflix numbers: The streamer now counts nearly 270 million global paid subscribers, according to its letter to shareholders. Its ad tier is also continuing to grow: membership of Netflix with Ads, which had around 23 million subscribers in January, grew 65% quarter over quarter, and more than 40% of signups in its ads markets were for the ad tier, according to its earnings release. After price hikes, Netflix is also making more money per subscriber in the United States and Canada, with average revenue per membership hitting $17.30, compared to $16.64 in the previous quarter.

  • However, this is one of the last times Netflix will break out average revenue per membership. Starting in 2025, it will no longer report quarterly membership numbers and average revenue per membership partly as a result of differing price points across its global offerings, the company said.

Keep reading here.—JS



Winging it

an Applebee's storefront Education Images/Getty Images

Few combinations scream America like football and chicken wings.

And Applebee’s, the restaurant chain known for its boneless wings, is cashing in. When football season kicks off later this year, Applebee’s will be the official bar and grill of the NFL as part of a partnership struck up earlier this year.

The move to team up with the league is the latest in a series of pushes into sports marketing from Applebee’s, which has made plays to center itself around America’s actual favorite pastime.

“We’ve done some work, some research, and Applebee’s guests over-index as NFL fans,” Joel Yashinsky, Applebee’s CMO, said. “We were able to work together to develop a partnership that we were really excited to bring forward that we think is going to be a huge benefit for our restaurant, and, most importantly, for our guests.”

Play ball: Applebee’s restaurants have long featured televisions that are often showing sports, and in the United States, no sport is more popular than football: In a Gallup survey conducted last December, 41% of US adults ranked football as their favorite sport, a larger percentage than those who chose baseball and basketball combined. It has maintained its position as the top sport among US adults since 1972, when it overtook baseball, according to Gallup research.

Applebee’s, meanwhile, has also aligned itself with the sport in other ways: It has been the official sponsor of Football Night in America, the pregame show for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, since 2019. And last month, Whistle, a sports and entertainment content creation company, released a video—sponsored by Applebee’s—where San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk works as an “undercover server” at an Applebee’s.

Continue reading here.—JN




Livin’ the stream dream. With over 75m active users, Tubi’s direct and programmatic marketing opportunities can spell rich potential for any brand campaign. And if you’re lookin’ for something great to watch, Tubi’s got you covered there, too. Check out their 100% free selection of movies and TV shows and stream anywhere, anytime.


Influencer IQ: Kit Keenan’s masterclass

Morning Brew Event Promo

Join us at Marketing Brew’s half-day event, Perfecting Your Influencer IQ, on June 25 for an exclusive dive into the future of influencer marketing with Kit Clementine Keenan. Discover strategies that thrive amid the ever-evolving creator economy. Tickets are on sale now—get ready to network with brands, agencies, creators, and influencers in NYC.


French Press Morning Brew

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

Magic number? A look at how many Instagram story posts could be too many.

Toolkit: A roundup of some social media management tools.

SEO secrets? Understanding the Google Search document leak and what it could mean for SEO marketers.

What’s on?: A lot, if you’re on Tubi. Stream thousands of movies and TV shows absolutely free. Oh, and if you’re looking for direct and programmatic brand marketing opportunities, they’ve got those too.*

*A message from our sponsor.


a pillar with a few pieces of paper and a green pencil on top of it Morning Brew

Stories we’re jealous of.

  • The Atlantic wrote about Amazon’s return policy, the challenges of reverse logistics, and why returning an online order has gotten so difficult.
  • Vox looked at why many brands have opted to stay silent on social and political issues in the last year, and why “the revolution will not be advertised.”
  • The New York Times covered Bag Balm, a skin-care product originally made for cows that’s currently going viral on TikTok.


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