With competitors like Gatorade wading into protein water, Protein2o is expanding its previously digitally focused marketing to target upper-funnel prospects on connected television.
Protein2o began running spots this week on Amazon Prime Video that focus on taste and functionality.
The Chicago-based company came early to the protein water space in 2013 when it was founded by former Walgreens and GNC merchandising executive Bob Kral.
“When I was at GNC I saw a huge opportunity with protein. There was no lower-calorie, refreshing protein beverage on the market,” Kral, who is CEO of Protein2o, tells Marketing Daily. “At GNC we were all about protein shakes with calories. Protein with calories gets you bulk muscle. But the normal consumer doesn’t want bulk muscle—they want lean muscle.”
This spot from the Someoddpilot agency aims to appeal to people who want liquid protein without having to mix it from scratch and experience the “blah” taste.
Another spot features a woman on an exercise bike drinking Protein2o for a “supercharge.”
One-third of Protein2o’s marketing assets are devoted to ecommerce—with Amazon being a major partner, according to Protein2o president Andy Horrow, whose background includes nine years in various marketing positions at Gatorade.
“Amazon is a window to the world,” says Horrow.
“We could create 3,600 cases of an innovation, put it on Amazon and within days we know whether this is working or not working. It’s almost like R&D,” adds Kral.
Although they didn’t ask for a competitor with the marketing prowess of PepsiCo’s Gatorade Zero, it’s not entirely a bad thing.
“They’re legitimizing our category,” says Kral. “They’re going to be shouting from the mountaintops, and we’re going to just take the stragglers and pull off some of those Gatorade customers.”
Protein2o’s board chairwoman is Sue Wellington, who was president of Gatorade from 1997 to 2002.