This isn’t based on an item from The Onion. But I checked several times to be completely sure.
Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a new Gatorade commercial sells sugar water (with electrolytes) by championing losing, and by reveling in the motivation that comes from failure.
“Make Defeat Your Fuel” is the slogan that drives the ad — and it makes sense, from a market-share standpoint. In every game, there’s both a winner and a loser, and in every league or conference, most teams end up losing. With so many losers out there, why not market to them directly?
The commercial starts with a closeup of Michael Jordan, a dry-faced mirror-image of the meme that has become synonymous with athletic failure. Jordan, who was cut from his high-school basketball team, is followed by J.J. Watt, who points out that he “started his career a walk-on” (at Wisconsin; he had a scholarship at Central Michigan). Next come the Manning brothers, with Peyton pointing out that went 3-13 as a rookie (the all-time rookie interception record he still holds isn’t mentioned), and with Eli saying he once led the league in interceptions.
Eventually comes Matt Ryan, with a recreation of his walk through confetti that wasn’t falling for the Falcons after Super Bowl LI, followed by a slickly-edited training montage.
It remains to be seen whether the effort to attach the leading sports drink to losing will continue to prompt athletes to buy Gatorade. If the goal was to inspire by latching on to the story of a loser who becomes a winner, the far more effective tactic would have been to digitally add some Gatorade swigging to the unforgettable training montage that came after Adrian emerged from the coma and gave her husband a one-word mandate.