Exclusive: Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Dave Rienzi and John Shulman Created the Perfect Healthy Drink for 'People Who Get Sh*t Done.' This Super Bowl, They're Taking Their Expertise to The Big Screen with a First of Its Kind Commercial for ZOA Energy.
Dany Garcia, Dave Rienzi and John Shulman join the Hollywood star in a first-of-its kind Super Bowl ad for Zoa energy drink.
Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson and his business partners are known for going big — blockbuster movies, major business deals, and more.
So during Super Bowl LVI, when fans see Johnson appear in an ad, they may be surprised to see something much simpler. No fancy sets. No big explosions. Instead, fans will watch the four cofounders of a new energy drink called ZOA Energy — Johnson; his longtime business partner Dany Garcia; strength and conditioning coach Dave Rienzi; and Juggernaut Capital Partners founder John Shulman — who are hard at work, either at a gym or working on the brand.
That's by design. To this team, going small actually means going big — and standing out in a major way.
"We knew that for this spot we wanted to present something that was really authentic," Garcia says. "We recognize that if we were to shoot a spot that highlighted a few of the cofounders in the gym training, and then the additional cofounders working in a production manner, we would actually cover a huge aspect of our natural lives."
ZOA was founded in March of 2021, and positions itself as a healthier, vitamin-packed alternative to the crowded energy drink market. The founders say it came out of a personal need: They were seeking a healthy, yet efficient energy drink that they could incorporate into their lives without disruption or concern — and because it didn't exist, they created it themselves.
That full-life ethos has drawn a very particular kind of fan base that isn't looking for gimmicks or big sales pitches — which is exactly how the founders wanted to position the brand during the Super Bowl.
"What we have found across the board is our ZOA customer is a person who finds great relishment in getting sh*t done," Johnson says. "And that's across the board. That's all ages regardless of what they do for a living, what their income is. Doesn't matter. ZOA consumers, they want to get sh*t done and they relish in it."
As a result, these consumers connect with other people who think similarly.
"Being a co-founder of ZOA, the brand is tied very closely to all of our ethos," Rienzi says. "Health and fitness are extremely important to all of us."
Ironically, yet unsurprisingly, this is precisely the mentality that led to the team's debut Super Bowl spot.
"Super Bowl commercials are iconic, everyone brings their A-game and so many deliver and few miss," Johnson explains. "What I did feel was, and I can speak on behalf of our founders, that with this ZOA commercial for the Super Bowl, we had an opportunity to create something that was just a little different than what you typically see in Super Bowl commercials. And that is a real rawness and grit application to our commercial, to the point where what we are shooting is real life."
There was no hype up or fakeouts, no inaccurate depiction of how the ZOA founders really use the drink to fuel their lives.
"We really wanted our audience to feel as they were clearly seeing an accurate depiction of our lives and wanted them to come and join us," Garcia says. "There is a very inviting and open aspect to what we call the "ZOA Universe' and the "ZOA Energy Brand' so we wanted to make sure we were showing the dynamic nature, the true family and camaraderie and partnership that exists in "ZOA Energy World,' and invite them to come and join us."
From there, the team focused closely on how their own relationships captured the spirit of teamwork and friendship — and could inspire others to follow.
"Every frame of this spot was very carefully assembled with the goal of getting an essential message across to viewers," says Shulman. "All four of us feel so confident that we have accomplished this fundamental goal — that we four in partnership, friendship, family and common cause have brought a truly unique product to market for the first time. I believe that people will see the collective drive and joy that we have together and I hope that other groups of founders can get positive energy and motivation from our example."
The commercial is fast-moving without being hard to follow, intense in a realistic manner and hits all the points in an efficient and impactful manner.
"We knew that for this spot we wanted to present something that was really authentic. We wanted to present a representation of ZOA in our lives, naturally," Garcia says. "So the authenticity was off the roof."
Because efficiency, intensity and vigor are what the ZOA Warrior (as consumers of the brand are called) is all about.
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