Lionel Messi's 'Mas+' Hydration Drink: Innovation or Imitation?

The greatest footballer in the world launches, alleged, Prime ripoff.

Lionel Messi's 'Mas+' Hydration Drink: Innovation or Imitation?
"Looks familar..." - KSI. Source: Messi

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi has made a splash in the sports beverages industry with his new hydration brand, Mas+.

Not for good reasons, however.

The launch has sparked a design controversy that's rippling through the industry.

Messi's foray into the beverage market comes with a noble mission. "I wanted a drink to inspire everyone to feel like a champion in every part of life," the Inter Miami player states on the Mas+ website.

He further emphasises that consumers shouldn't have to compromise on ingredients or taste. It's a commendable ethos that resonates with health-conscious consumers seeking performance and palatability. The more cynical among you will see this as nothing more than corpo-speak.

Good hydration is essential for our daily lives. So I went to work on a drink of my own.

Más+ has a taste I love and I'm proud to share it with my family and friends. Because we all deserve to feel like champions in every part of our life. - Messi

The discourse surrounding Mas+ isn't centred on its contents but on its container.

Industry insiders and consumers alike have drawn striking parallels between Messi's offering and the wildly popular Prime Hydration, co-founded by YouTube sensations KSI and Logan Paul.

Both brands feature vibrant hues, vertically aligned logos, and similar packaging formats - bottles and cans. The resemblance is so uncanny that Prime co-founder KSI quipped on social media, "Looks familiar…"

This perceived similarity has ignited a firestorm of reactions.

Some fans cry foul, with one wittily remarking, "They copied Prime's design and pasted it in ChatGPT 4.0. It gave them Mas+." Others speculate about potential legal ramifications.

Packaging is more than a vessel in the cutthroat world of consumer goods; it's a brand's first handshake with its audience. Originality in design not only sets a product apart but also communicates its unique value proposition.

Lionel Messi launches "hydration beverage" Más+
Who open mouth chugs a drink like that? Source: Just Drinks

Has Mas+ missed an opportunity to visually narrate its distinct story? Or will the brand power of Messi triumph over all?

His global appeal and sporting prowess could very well override design debates. After all, in marketing, even controversies can catalyse conversation and drive curiosity.

As this hydration saga unfolds, it prompts a broader dialogue about creativity, ethics, and the fine line between homage and plagiarism in design. Whether Mas+ sinks or swims may depend not just on its taste, but on how consumers digest its design narrative.