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Some kind of sympathy: Powerade lets athletes deliver 'sorry, not sorry’ greeting cards

Powerade has activated the next phase of its 'That’s Some Kind of Power' campaign with the launch of “sympathy” cards aimed at athletes who can’t help but to apologize to teammates and rivals for their dynamic playmaking.

Each of the 10 cards have been made available for free online, and they feature the same sort of unabashed confidence (with unintended consequences) that has highlighted the campaign so far. Taking on the visual tone of sympathy cards, each card gives a “sorry, but not sorry” message to your rivals on the field.

One card is a near-snapshot of a bicycle kick from a soccer player, her message to the opponent she nearly decapitated in the process: “I was trippin’. I’m sorry I scored so many goals on you like that. I hope this doesn’t affect our friendship.” The two giraffes in the sunset hadn’t seemed to notice the savagery.

Alex Ames, Powerade’s senior IMC manager, said to The Drum that having that tangible product, made with the help of Wieden+Kennedy, for its audience mattered.

“The first ones landed on our deck about a week ago,” said Ames, “We opened it and started laughing, 'cause it’s the right kind of ridiculous. There’s gold foil and it feels real shimmery, plus it has that Wieden stamp, that credibility of working with real card designers who made sure the card stock was right and the designs looked like the real thing, 'cause it is."

Ames considered all the brashly competitive greetings “like children,” but made mention of the heartwarming touches to the ads. Like the butterflies seeming to explode out of the shattered backboard on a highlight-reel dunk, or the rabbit who came over to console a football player who was kept on the sidelines for a whole game.

Each juxtaposition of caring and cocky seemingly added to the dynamic humor Powerade has aimed for since launching the new campaign earlier this year.

The brand and Wieden+Kennedy created the cards as an added layer of the television spots that debuted during 2018’s NCAA basketball tourney. The March Madness-themed commercials introduced us to a bodega owner who’d tell his patrons of the kind of power the fitness drink would give him “back in my day.”

The same bodega owner returned during the Fifa World Cup in Russia, in a thrilling mini-movie based off the superstar he would’ve been if Powerade was right by his side. Complementary Spanish-language spots aired alongside to attract those watching through Telemundo, one of the tourney’s exclusive partner.

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