Sports drink Maurten has been flying under the radar, despite its use by high-profile endurance athletes. The company shies from callling out its professional patrons, lest it endanger those marathoners and triathletes' sponsorships with other brands.
But to make life easier for these pros, the company, along with its agency Akestam Holst, released a special line, “Maurten Unofficial.” The packaging is brandless and free of logos or recognizable colors, though the product itself is unchanged. So now athletes can use it even in public, without worrying about angering big-name brands.
To get the word out, the company released a new series of spots featuring the usual montage of athletes training, working out and rehydrating, set against an inspirational voiceover about achievement. Combine that, however, with the trappings of a crime thriller.
Rather than the familiar faces of superstar athletes, all that’s visible above their necks is a pixelated mass, and like people in witness protection, their voices are distorted and deepened, all to protect their lucrative sponsorships.
Fortunately for them, and all other athletes using Maurten on the down-low, they now have the brand's anonymous line of sports gels and drinks.
The campaign was directed by Madja Amin via Halal and stars actual elite athletes who use Maurten, though not ones with external sponsorships. The brand didn't want to risk anyone's livelihood, of course. The Unofficial products are available online and in 15 stores worldwide, though there’s the potential for broader distribution depending on their popularity.