Twice Upon a Time in Gatorade History

NEW YORK Playing off its original “Origins” spot, which ran last year and told the story, in documentary style, of how University of Florida doctors created Gatorade to help the 1965 Gators football team play in the heat of Gainesville, Fla., Element 79 Partners created “Origins II.”

The spot continues the story of Gatorade. It uses archival footage of the Kansas City Chiefs playing football and new footage of players and coaches reminiscing about 1969, the year the team began drinking Gatorade during NFL games. In the spot, player E.J. Holub remembers how hot it was that year, and Hank Stram, the Chief’s coach, recalls when Florida Gator coach Ray Graves gave him a call to tell him about Gatorade. The tagline remains, “Is it in you?”

Pulling together the stories and footage in the ad was no easy task. During the four-month process, it was the Chicago shop’s executive producer Rob Jaeger’s task to track down the players featured in senior vice president, group creative director Danny Schuman’s script. While most were reachable through the Kansas City Chief’s players association, Jaeger tracked down Wayne Rudy, the Chief’s trainer from 1960-84, on his own and called him for two weeks until he finally answered. A week later, Rudy was flown from Arizona to Kansas City for the shoot, as were two other players, Len Dawson and Holub.

While a script was prepared beforehand, there was room for changes on set, as the player’s personalities shaped their dialogue.

“We wrote spot, and when we got there on set, we recorded scripted lines, as well as lines that just kind of came out of their mouths,” said Schuman. “E.J. Holub said, ‘Hotter than a Texas tamale.’ We thought of it for him, but only after we heard other expressions he said.”

Visuals came from the NFL archives, including sound footage of Stram during the 1970 Super Bowl, the first time a coach was miked during the game.

Agency chief creative director Dennis Ryan, group creative director and art director Dough Behm and director Mark Pellington of Crossroads were the rest of the creative team on the spot.

Can we expect more Origins sequels? Don’t count it out, according to Schuman. “Gatorade has these stories that go back 20-25 years about an athletic need, a problem and a solution,” Shuman said. “There might be a number 3, 4 and 5.”

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