John Deere Gator: Gator Versus
Category: Leisure Products and Services
Brand/Client: John Deere Gator / John Deere
Lead Agency: GSD&M
State of the brand's business
John Deere Heritage.
In 1992, John Deere introduced the first utility terrain vehicle (UTV), a small two- or four-person four-wheel drive off-road vehicle with side-by-side seating. The new vehicle, dubbed a "Gator", followed Deere's template for function and durability and was designed for farmers, ranchers and commercial worksite managers to perform tasks like hauling materials or people around their properties.
Rise of the recreational vehicles.
Recreational use of 3- and 4-wheel ATVs (all-terrain vehicles with motorcycle-style straddle seating), grew dramatically in the '80s and '90s, and manufacturers like Polaris, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda introduced high-adrenaline off-road machines to outdoor and power sports enthusiasts. However, the 3- and 4-wheelers proved dangerous and unstable, and as these guys grew older and began having families, they started seeking a safer, more socially oriented way to get their adventure fix. In response to these changing consumer attitudes and needs, those same manufacturers launched recreational-grade side-by-side UTVs. In short, they co-opted the Gator design for fun.