Gatorade Celebrates Soccer’s Greatest in ‘Heart of a Lio’
Oh, the World Cup. For much of the world, this is the sporting event. Every four years, countries try to cement their soccer status as the greatest in the world. That is all I know. Do forgive me, soccer fans, but it is not a sport I follow. However, I do know that this World Cup featured two players that are considered by some to be the greatest of all time. That is no small feat given soccer is arguably the most athletic and toughest sport—as Gatorade showed in the short film “Heart of a Lio”.
To celebrate World Cup 2018 and to promote its new tagline “Win from Within,” Gatorade teamed up with TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles and Buenos Aires animation powerhouse Gizmo to produce a short film about the journey of Lionel Messi, one of today’s soccer stars who some consider the greatest of all time.
The film begins with an infant Messi kicking away a tear before quickly cutting to him leaving other kids in the dust on the soccer field. All is great until he receives news that he has a growth defect. His playing days seem done, but he’s visited by a vision of his future self, who tells him: “If you have a dream to chase, nothing can stop you.” From that moment on, nothing does. The ad kicks into high gear, showing Messi pull through to the top… like the ad itself.
Here’s where this short film scored like a game-winning GOOOOAAAALLLL…
1. Simple, Effective Story – It’s a sports story, tried and true, but no less effective. Sports are a great way to convey the ups and downs in life regardless if you are an athlete or not, and what better way to do so than with someone who is considered the greatest at his game? If he can have doubt and rise from it, so can we.
2. Star Power – Piggy-backing off of my last point, Gatorade chose well when it came to detailing Lionel Messi’s journey. I am not a soccer fanatic, but even I know of Messi and his standing in the game and its history. When you’re the greatest at your sport, even non-fans will give you a look.
3. Animation – Gizmo scored a hat trick with this film. The animation was fully realized and perfect for the story. The pacing and animated camerawork didn’t miss a beat and made me feel like I was running down the field with Messi. And the story itself, with doses of drama and sight-gag/slapstick comedy, kept me entertained, all the while receiving the message loud and clear.
4. Product Placement – Even though this was about Messi, the real message here was Gatorade. Unlike it’s “The Boy Who Learned to Fly”, I picked up the product placement better and caught the point. You can’t tell me that when Messi was having his Rocky moment and chugged that Gatorade the camera zoomed in by coincidence. Come on now.
Here’s where this Gatorade video gets a yellow card…
1. Nothing – Like Messi’s soccer abilities this short film was flawless.
Buoyed by the fame and revere of its protagonist, and assisted by great animation from Gizmo, Gatorade has a World Cup winner with “Heart of a Lio”.