BodyArmor Challenges 'Field Of Fake' In Super Bowl Debut

Fresh off launchingBodyArmor Zero Sugar last month, the Coca-Cola sports drink and hydration brand is bringing its “Nothing Is More Real” message to advertising’s biggest stage.

The brand’s “Field Of Fake” Super Bowl ad opens on a robotic voice stringing together a word salad of marketing buzzwords for the category, over similarly artificial sports footage. When it announces “artificial flavor optimized for victory times,’ a voice cuts through the noise to proclaim, “BodyArmor knows nothing in sports should be artificial.” The spot cuts to footage highlighting the brand’s real celebrity athlete partners, including Christian McCaffrey, CeeDee Lamb, Joe Burrow, Alex Morgan, and Ronald Acuna.



“‘Real’ covers a number of different things. It covers that our product is real -- it has real sweeteners, flavors, colors, that everything we put in our product is A+ and premium,” BodyArmor CMO Tom Gargiulo told Marketing Daily. “The other thing [it covers], which is incredibly important, is our consumers’ passion for sports. People love to play them, and they’re incredibly invested as fans. We wanted to shine a light on why real is important, not just to our brand, but to [consumers].”

While the brand normally relies on its internal creative team to develop its advertising, BodyArmor enlisted creative agency Full Contact Advertising as a partner for its Super Bowl campaign when still brainstorming approaches.

“We were marveling at how pervasive AI is becoming as part of our daily lives, and discussing its role in sports, specifically,”  Kristen Rumble, vice president, brand strategy and creative for BodyArmor ,said in a statement. “We quickly came to the collective realization that there is no substitute for real – especially in sports....There are so many expected moments in sports – but as soon as you strip away the realness, well… that’s not sports!”

While not a national broadcast spot in the U.S. the ad will run regionally across 20+ key cities for the brand, run nationally in Canada, and on dedicated Spanish-language programming on Univision, as well as across digital, social, and programmatic channels. The campaign will also include brand activations in Las Vegas in the lead up to the Big Game, in partnership with Barstool Sports.

Why a regional campaign? The brand knew it wanted to expand on its “Nothing Is More Real” message with fresh creative, and decided to pursue an effort during the Super Bowl, but by the time the brand had developed a campaign concept, national broadcast ad inventory was running low, Gargiulo explained. “Instead of taking inventory during the last quarter,” he said  when many fans might already be tuning out -- the brand “looked at the most important targets from a consumer perspective, from a customer perspective, and a bottler perspective, and landed on 25 markets.”

The national broadcast in Canada is one key focus for the brand, as it recently expanded internationally with a launch in the country. BodyArmor’s newest athlete on its roster also relates to the push up north, with the brand announcing its partnership with Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid during the NHL All-Star Game.

That relationship is “pushing us into the hockey space,” Gargiulo said, with the brand planning to announce “a number of other partners … in coming weeks that will help us touch different demographics.” He also described advertising during the Univision broadcast as a “huge opportunity” while noting a particularly high development index for its Flash I.V. rapid rehydration products with Hispanic consumers.

Gargiulo described the Super Bowl campaign as “one of the first big tactics” the brand is deploying to promote the recent launch of BodyArmor Zero Sugar, which is given prominent placement but shares the stage with the rest of the brand portfolio in the ad. “We’re planning to launch a campaign exclusively focused on BodyArmor Zero Sugar shortly thereafter” -– some time in March or April, he said.


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