Beverage Industry

Muscle Milk and Shaquille O'Neal launch special edition interactive bottle

January 12, 2010

CytoSport, Benicia, Calif., partnered with the Cleveland Cavalier’s Shaquille O’Neal to release an interactive bottle for its Muscle Milk ready-to-drink protein-enhanced beverage. The special edition bottle includes augmented reality technology, an online application that allows the user to interact in real-time with computer-generated imagery, CytoSport says.
 
Special instructions on product packaging direct consumers to the Web site www.musclemilk.com/cleveland where they will have the opportunity to view five virtual videos from O’Neal challenging popular Cleveland landmarks such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Key Tower.
 
By holding the bottle and marker code 2 feet from their webcam, consumers will see what appears to be O’Neal actually popping out of the bottle, the company says. While on the Web site, visitors can opt to enter an official sweepstakes to meet O’Neal.
 
“This limited edition interactive bottle in partnership with O’Neal will engage our consumers beyond the point of purchase and is consistent with our brand as an innovative protein drink,” said Nikki Brown, CytoSport’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “Connecting with consumers via the virtual world is a large focus for all CytoSport brands and the opportunity to work with the groundbreaking technology of augmented reality is something we’re very excited to introduce."
 
The limited-edition, 14-ounce bottle is available in Chocolate and will be sold at retailers in Ohio such as Speedway, Walgreens and Giant Eagle, among others. The special-edition campaign, titled “Genuine 33,” is supported by in-store point-of-sale, out-of-home advertising and radio in six key Ohio markets including Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo.
 
Distribution is exclusive to the Ohio area, however consumers nationwide, excluding Maine, can enter the sweepstakes and interact with O’Neal by logging onto the Web site. In place of the bottle, a special marker may be printed from the Web site, which will create the same user experience when held in front of their webcam. Additionally consumers can download a Muscle Milk coupon available for redemption at their local retailer.
 
The winners will be announced in June and will receive an array of signed memorabilia. One grand prize winner will be awarded an oil painting of the winner with O’Neal and the chance to meet him.