By all accounts, 2008 was Lil Wayne's year. He had the best-selling album and was nominated for the most Grammys. He received numerous sloppy, wet kisses from marketers. He even sold condoms. Most important, a wide variety of real people and critics (including myself) thought "The Carter III" was an awesome collection of songs, and it solidified Weezy's place as the most fascinating guy making pop music today.
We could go on, but it shouldn't be a mystery why Gatorade and its agency, Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, have picked him to narrate a new spot re-branding the beverage line. As iconic sports figures such as Dwyane Wade, Serena Williams, Bill Russell, Derek Jeter and Muhammad Ali pan by in black and white, Weezy deadpans lines like "G's the emblem of a warrior, it's the swagger of an athlete, a champion and dynasty," "it's a lower-case god," and even "it's the GOAT." (The last of these is a hilarious acronym for "greatest of all time," a phrase that we will endeavor to work into our vernacular.)
The ad seems designed to make people wonder what "G" is, because it's never explicitly spelled out; one columnist admitted she initially thought it might have been some pseudo-religious pitch. We're assuming it would take some inspired sleuthing to figure out that this ad is for the PepsiCo beverage line, because googling "G" will get you nowhere.
This is decidedly less crucial, but, for most, another element of mystery will be who's talking. In a random sampling of acquaintances, SFS couldn't find many, even among the most music-savvy, who recognized Lil Wayne's voice. Of course, it's distinctive and captivating in its slurry way, and realizing it's Weezy is mostly for bonus points.
Gatorade also has another new spot featuring an original, short track from indie rapper Murs. He takes the time to give himself a shout-out, but also leaves viewers in the lurch as to what they're watching. While the Weezy ad has been running alongside college football this past weekend, we're not sure whether the Murs spot will be airing on TV.What is clear is that Gatorade has done a good job of getting people talking. Getting them drinking will be a much larger hurdle.