Whenever the question of who the greatest athlete of all-time comes up my answer is always, Michael Jordan. You see, I'm a child of the '80s and '90s. Michael Jordan was everywhere. He was winning NCAA and NBA championships, MVP awards, scoring titles, dunk contests, and even a gold medal in the Olympics with the Dream Team. He was in the news all the time and was the focus of some hugely successful ad campaigns.

Thanks to Gatorade and their iconic ad, everybody wanted to "Be Like Mike." While Jordan's days on the court have come and gone, Gatorade is still creating cutting-edge advertisements featuring today's star athletes and inspiring a whole new generation.

Being a marketer, I've always been amazed by Gatorade's ability to engage their audience with great storytelling in their ads. It only makes sense that they would be partnering with a highly innovative story-telling app like Snapchat.

Recently, I was fortunate to be able to have a conversation with Gatorade's Kenny Mitchell, Head of Consumer Engagement, and Snap Inc's Jeff Lucas, VP and Global Head of Sales, about their new joint Snapcode campaign that promises a new and innovative way deliver inspirational content to athletes on their mobile devices.

Here is a piece of our conversation:

John White (Inc.): Gatorade is known for its master storytelling in (television and print) ads. However, with increasing competition and attention spans becoming seemingly shorter and shorter, how is Gatorade using new and innovative ways to tell an athlete's story and keep consumers engaged?

Kenny Mitchell (Gatorade): Indeed, storytelling has been a hallmark of the Gatorade brand. With such a dynamic and ever-evolving media landscape, there couldn't be a more exciting time to be a marketer. We believe it's critical to leverage the right storytelling media to educate and inspire our consumers with regard to our role in fueling athletic performance.

We'll continue to push the boundaries on innovative ways to tell stories and connect with our consumer, the athlete. Whether it's AR/VR, social platforms, immersive experiences, or more tried-and-true media like TV and print, we are constantly exploring the best ways to effectively engage our consumers in our brand story.

John White (Inc.): It seems like Snapchat is always innovating and this joint (Snapcode) campaign with Gatorade is a prime example of doing exactly that. Can you tell our readers about this unprecedented campaign?

Jeff Lucas (Snapchat): Gatorade has been incredibly innovative in our work together, from the dunk lens during the last two Super Bowls, which allowed Snapchatters to virtually experience the Gatorade dunk, to their Snap Ad game with Serena Williams, and their long-form video about Usain Bolt.

The new campaign starts in May. Gatorade has Snapcodes on hundreds of millions of bottles. Downloading the Snapcode from the bottle enables athletes to be able to unlock unique content via lenses, filters, and training/motivational videos right on their phone and in real time.

John White (Inc.): In our conversation, you mentioned that your team at Gatorade remains focused on delivering strong content to the right people on the right platform.

So, why are you teaming with Snapchat for this particular campaign? Who do you hope to reach and how would you like to inspire them?

Kenny Mitchell (Gatorade): Our goal with this campaign is to reach and inspire our core consumer, young competitive athletes, and provide tools for engagement, inspiration, and athletic utility by downloading unique Snapcodes that will give them access to unique content.

Content in development that will roll out in phases during the summer includes:

  • NBA Finals lens similar to Super Bowl Dunk lens
  • Sport and Gatorade sponsored athlete-specific filters
  • Custom emoji Gatorade keyboard
  • A new multi-level video game
  • Custom training, motivational and inspirational video content

It might be a JJ Watt custom emoji focused on a move he does or a filter with his quote using his avatar to tell a story. Snapchat makes storytelling fun!

We realize that today's athlete engages with content differently than athletes in the past. Snapchat is an ideal partner given its mobile and highly immersive platform that has tremendous reach and daily engagement with teen and young adult athletes.

John White (Inc.): Given the popularity of past campaigns (last year's Super Bowl dunk lens had over 165 million impressions), it's not surprising to see these two innovative brands working together again. When Snapchat and Gatorade get together and combine their unique storytelling skills and assets, it makes for a one-of-a-kind user experience.