For more than 30 years, the winning players of the Super Bowl have crowned their coach with the iconic Gatorade dunk — an organic moment that started spontaneously without any involvement from the brand. It’s the ultimate symbol of victory viewed by millions, but only experienced by a select few. So how could the brand let its fans on social media take part in the celebration?


This year, we not only wanted to let every fan see the dunk, but also experience it for themselves. Our research showed that more of the brand’s social media fans between the ages of 13-34 were shunning first-generation social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in favor of Snapchat. In fact, more than 60% of U.S. 13- to 34-year-old smartphone users are active Snapchatters, and are up to eight times more likely to use the platform over TV for viewing and communicating about live events. 

So we created an augmented reality experience that leveraged the native “lens” functionality of Snapchat to allowed fans to create user-generated video of themselves getting virtually dunked. The lens featured a 3D representation of the iconic Gatorade cooler seen on every NFL sideline. Through Snapchat’s facial recognition technology, users could select the Gatorade lens and open their mouths to activate the orange Gatorade to splash over their head and body, giving the impression that the user had just experienced a true Gatorade dunk. Users could share the special moment directly with individual friends via Snaps or to all of their Snapchat connections by placing a photo or video of the dunk in their “Snapchat Story.”


Without any paid media to promote it, the Snapchat Gatorade dunk went live the day of the Super Bowl. With more than 165 million views and more than 8 million unique videos in less than 48 hours, it was the most viewed and interacted with ad of the Super Bowl and it never even appeared on TV:

  • 165,339,701 total platform views 
  • 60,881,205 total swipes
  • 8,231,033 unique user generated videos
  • 29.91 seconds per use

Additionally, a Millward Brown Study was conducted and found:

  • Recall of the ad was 1.5 times higher than norms for social campaigns from well-known CPG companies
  • Most Snapchatters who remembered seeing the lens reported seeing themselves, family members or close friends inside the ad a major differentiator from other Super Bowl ads with large reach
  • 85% of Snapchatters who remembered seeing the lens said that it made them happy — not typically the emotion people associate with watching ads
  • 88% of Snapchatters who remembered seeing the ad said they loved or liked it
  • Snapchatters who saw the lens were 21% more likely to call Gatorade their go-to drink when exercising
  • The lens increased brand favorability 1.4 times more than norms for mobile campaigns from well-known CPG companies
  • The lens increased purchase intent 2 times more than norms for mobile campaigns from well-known CPG companies