Ad of the Day: A Young Serena Williams Sees the Future in This Excellent Gatorade Spot

Legend in the making

A new commercial from TBWA\Chiat\Day for Gatorade features tennis star Serena Williams as a young girl, when a reporter asked her what player she'd most like to emulate as an adult.

After an emotional montage of highlights from her subsequent career—she's won 21 major titles, putting her in the upper echelon of her sport, and all athletics—the camera cuts back to the answer she gave as a child. In retrospect, it's bold as well as prescient.

The clip is deftly constructed and features brilliantly animated moments from Williams' on-court career. In one shot, a fan bears a sign reading "Strong is beautiful"—a subtle jab at the body-shaming that has followed her fame, a subject that found fresh fuel in a New York Times article this summer.

The ad builds on Gatorade's "Win from Within" tagline. Three more clips (shown below) delve deeper into Williams' backstory. In her own words, she talks about the contributions her father made to her career, and how the competitive relationship with her sister Venus helped drive her success.

Hardcore fans may also appreciate the 21 pieces of artwork Gatorade commissioned to represent each of Williams' past wins at the majors—the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The pieces are available online with individual blurbs and were combined into a mural in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Williams is currently competing in the U.S. Open. If she wins the tournament, she will have taken all four majors this year, marking her first calendar-year Grand Slam, the first in the sport since 1988.


Client: Gatorade

Chief Marketing Officer: Morgan Flatley

Senior Director, Consumer Engagement: Kenny Mitchell

Director of Digital Strategy: Jeff Miller

Senior Marketing Manager, Digital: Abhishek Jadon

Assistant Marketing Manager: Emily Morrison

Senior Director, Sports Marketing: Jeff Kearney

Sports Marketing Manager: Aminah Charles

Director of PR Lauren Burns

TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles

Chief Creative Officer: Stephen Butler

Executive Creative Director: Brent Anderson

Worldwide Creative Director: Renato Fernandez

Copywriter: Parker Adame

Art Director: Matt Paterno

Director Of Production: Brian O'Rourke

Senior Producer: Christopher Spencer

Senior Producer: Jose Escobar

Producer: Garrison Askew

Managing Director: Peter Ravailhe

Director Branded Content: Marc Johns

Brand Director: Simon Nicholls

Assistant Brand Manager: Erika Buder

Group Planning Director: Scott MacMaster

Global Planning Director: Martin Ramos

Planning Director: Abigail Weintraub

Planner: Matt Bataclan

Junior Planner: Joe Elliott

Director Of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson

Business Affairs Manager: Laura Drabkin

Talent Payment Manager: Mirielle Smith

Talent Payment Manager: Annie Boyle


Senior Vice President: Courtney Quaye

Managing Supervisor: Brian Gabriel


Group Account Director, OMD: Susanna Earnest

Digital Strategy Supervisor, OMD: Brandon Saranik

Digital Marketplace Supervisor, OMD: Sadie Olen

Strategist, OMD: MiRon Leveston

Associate Media Director, Optimum Sports: Natalie Behrman

Supervisor, Optimum Sports: Adrienne Voltaggio


Group Account Director: Stephanie DeCelles

Sr. Account Manager: Maggie Glenski

Senior Social Strategist: Kyle Rogers

Senior Community Manager: Charles Gooch

Production Company: Mandalay Sports Media

Director: Ron Yassen

DP: Pablo Berron

Executive Producer: John Hirsch

Editorial: Venice Beach Editorial

Editor: Garrett Smith

Editor: Julia Bute

Executive Producer: Cristy Torres

Color Grade: MPC

Colorist: Ricky Gausis

Color Producer: Summer McCloskey

Audio Mix/SFX: Lime Studios

Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

Mixer: Mark Meyuhas

Assistant Mixer: Matt Miller

Audio Mix: Barking Owl Sound

CD/Partner: Kelly Bayett

Mixer: Rommel Molina

Assistant Mixer: Patrick Navarre

Music: Barking Owl Sound

CD/Partner: Kelly Bayett

Producer: KC Dossett

Online/Finishing: MPC

Executive Producer: Karen Anderson

Producer: Abisayo Abejare

VFX Artist: Mark Holden


@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.