Gatorade’s Gritty New Ad About Failure Accidentally Proves Its Own Point

The plight of Cubs star Kyle Schwarber

Gatorade has released a gritty new ad from TBWA\Chiat\Day about the value of failure—something the best ad agencies have known for a while, and the best marketers have also embraced.

Along with legendary athletes like Michael Jordan and the Mannings brothers, the spot features a notable cameo from Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber. Yes, Schwarber—who just got demoted to AAA baseball after a wretched start to the 2017 season.

See the spot here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSLV3AjLiZk

Some see Schwarber’s cameo as a gaffe on Gatorade’s part. “Gatorade picked an unfortunate time to feature Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber in a national TV ad,” reads one typical assessment.

But really, it just reinforces the ad’s point.

Schwarber is just going through everything the commercial is talking about. Presumably he’ll come back stronger in the end. (And when he does, maybe he can re-record his line of dialogue to focus on his own stretch of futility rather than his franchise’s.)

And it sounds like looking at his failings the right way. “I ain’t a guy to back down from the challenge,” he said this week. “We saw it last year, being able to try to help my team win the World Series and everything like that. I’m not going to back down at all—trust me.”