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Gatorade, PowerAde Begin to Wage Battle: Bayer Bess Vanderwarker Breaks New Spots In Competitive Southern Markets By Jim Kirk with Alison Fahey in New Yor

CHICAGO – Quaker Oats is not taking Coca-Cola’s entry into

Quaker Oats this week will launch a new Bayer Bess Vanderwarker-produced spot in southern markets for Gatorade in areas where Coke is testing its new PowerAde beverage, which touts that the drink has 33% more carbohydrates for energy than the top-selling brand. Gatorade is using its trump card – Chicago Bulls’ star Michael Jordan – in the spot which breaks Jan. 13.
Jordan appears with Chicago Bulls trainer Chip Schaefer, who lists Gatorade’s benefits while Jordan is shot flying through the air shooting and jamming in the background. The spot uses the tagline, ‘Nothing beats Gatorade.’
‘Nothing replaces fluids, minerals and energy better than Gatorade,’ says Schaefer. ‘There may be other sports drinks out there but I believe in Gatorade. Gatorade’s the only one on the Bulls bench.’ At the end, Jordan teases Schaefer about doing his first-ever commercial.
‘The spot was developed for our more competitive markets,’ said a Quaker spokeswoman.
Jordan, lured from Coke in 1991 with a reported $18 million 10-year contract at Quaker, will appear in more spots this year.
The southern push is only part of an overall agressive push by Quaker Oats this year behind Gatorade and Gatorade Light. Sources say the company will increase spending around $10 million this year, putting the budget close to $40 million. The company will spend $6-7 million of that money on new flavors.
Quaker also has a new mainline campaign in the works through Bayer Bess which is slated to be finished sometime this Spring. It is believed that there will be a renewed emphasis on the product’s benefits in an effort to further separate itself from the competition. Although the spokesperson wouldn’t comment, the company is expected to go back to using the ‘For that deep down body thirst,’ theme last used extensively in 1991.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)