MaxiNutrition: Using experiential to go viral

Brian Carruthers

New product launches are frequently accompanied by a sampling campaign and when MaxiNutrition, a sports nutrition brand owned by GlaxoSmithKline, introduced its Protein Milk product it had 70,000 samples to give away. But it also had an ambitious idea to make the impact of those samples go far beyond the traditional face-to-face experience.

"Those days are over," declared Claire Stokes, managing director of Circle Agency, an experiential specialist. And she told an audience at Marketing Week Live, an event held in London in June 2014, that a sampling brief should not be taken at face value.

At the outset, MaxiNutrition had wanted Circle to design an experiential activity to create product awareness, explaining why ordinary people needed to consume protein to help them get through a busy day.

As Mark Morgan, senior sponsorship and PR manager for MaxiNutrition, put it, the brand's products were not just for "that big meathead guy in the gym curling the 40kg dumbbells … we're about all types of physique". Most people, he said, had a diet rich in carbohydrates and didn't take in enough protein on a daily basis.