This 2007 television commercial for Gatorade was one of the most iconic and memorable ads from my childhood. It features two famous athletes, Mia Hamm (USA Women’s Soccer) and Michael Jordan (NBA), competing in a compilation of sporting activities to the tune of “Anything you can do I can do better”. All the while, Michael and Mia taunt one another and drink Gatorade, which also seems to bead off of their bodies as if they are literally sweating Gatorade as they are playing
What made this commercial so memorable was the thought of being able to compete against my childhood hero, Michael Jordan, in these sports. Mia Hamm contending with Michael in this ad was inspiring to watch for a young male athlete and made me think that I might also be able to hold my own against Michael if only I had some Gatorade to fuel me! Clearly, Gatorade did an excellent job of placing these two icons together because I highly doubt that I was the only young athlete with this same kind of thinking.
Another interesting aspect of this ad is that it places a man and a woman against each other, but competing at equal levels. Neither Michael nor Mia win all of the events but seem to split wins, which connotes a message that men and women are equal. Being a male, I cannot say for sure, but one can imagine that this ad must have been equally or more inspiring for young girls in sports than it was for young boys.