Gatorade Kicks Off X-Factor With NFL Star

NEW YORK Gatorade has tapped Dante Hall, special teams all-pro with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, to star in the inaugural 30-second TV spot for its new Gatorade X-Factor line extension.

The ad, via Element 79 Partners, Chicago, breaks in mid-March as the new product finds its way onto shelves. The idea behind X-Factor was to take Gatorade’s three most popular sellers and make them more exciting by adding unexpected flavors. The three SKUs are lemon-lime plus strawberry, orange plus tropical fruit and fruit punch plus berry.

The Chicago-based company said Hall’s kickoff returns often proved to be the “X-factor” in many Chiefs victories during the 2003 season.

The letter “X” itself also has a starring role in the campaign. A baseball manager is seen making a sign to his player or coach, indicating the next play by “drawing” an X on his chest. And a basketball player holds his arms above his head in an X to indicate a play. Copy will likely say: “The X-Factor is part of the game. Is it a part of you?”

The spot will run in prime time during sports programming on ESPN and Fox Sports, as well as on MTV and other channels. Overall, Gatorade plans to have about seven ads on-air by April, which kicks off its peak-selling season.

The company spent $135 million on Gatorade advertising in 2003, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.