Jaide Bucher and How Gatorade Killed the Content Marketing Game
In October 2015, Gatorade added an episode to their Win From Within series about Jaide Bucher, a girl born with one hand, but doesn’t allow it to keep her from playing the sport she loves. The episode is titled “Jaide Bucher, Defying Doubt.” The story was published on Gatorade’s YouTube account.
The five minute episode tells Bucher’s story and exhibits her unwavering dedication to the game of softball. Bucher was born with just one hand, but it hasn’t stopped her from playing the game. She made the Varsity team at a younger age than most. She has talent, but many people overlook her due to her appearance. Being a factual story, it’s important that Gatorade show stories like this.
The Gatorade brand is represented clearly in the beginning and end of the video. Something Gatorade does is just let the story happen as it does. They don’t try to get product placement, which makes the story just that much more organic. The Gatorade “G” label is clearly placed on a black background at the beginning and end of the video, although it’s almost insignificant to the story.
Gatorade tends to feature kids with disabilities or a set of difficulties, particularly in their Win From Within series. Bucher, however, represents herself, not necessarily a group of people. There is no particular campaign tied to this story, but the Win From Within series always features great sports stories that the Gatorade company is able to find.
This story is important for so many reasons. It’s innovative in its own way. When was the last time you saw a feature story about a girl with only one hand playing a sport like softball? Gatorade presents something generally untouched and ties the idea of winning from within to the story. Nobody can compete with a story like this. Powerade isn’t making mini-documentaries like this. Gatorade has done something new here that not many sport drink companies are able to do: tie a young girl’s story to their product.
Many others have picked up Bucher’s story since Gatorade presented it. The L.A. Times did a follow up, as many major outlets have. The Win From Within series has always been a major talking point when it comes to Gatorade’s social media presence, but this particular story picked up much more interest. Bucher is appealing because she’s a young, high school girl who could potentially play softball at college. There’s no better “feel good” story than Bucher’s when it comes to female softball. Not many other stories can pull the audience in via emotion quite like Bucher’s. This is due to the fact that she’s a kid (to an extent) who loves her sport and will stop at nothing to play it.
Other brands need to start doing this more. Content marketing is a sure way to get consumers to notice your product or, in the case of Gatorade, continue to follow your product. Showing a story of someone or a group of people talk about something they love is a sure way to pull at the emotions of the audience. Nearly all brands should be using content marketing skills, particularly already known brands. Gatorade didn’t necessarily set the stage for this, but they have perfected the skill to an extent. They do a great job of truly using content marketing to pull in the audience.
The idea is that people already know what Gatorade is and what they do, but to use someone’s personal story to promote their product in a new way? They do an excellent job of that.