Red Bull’s death defying marketing strategy

Written by Steve on November 7, 2012

Red Bull’s decision to sponsor Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space, was a tactful move that was by no means coincidental. They knew that this PR stunt would generate a great deal of attention and capture the imagination of people around the world – Lets face it, you know your stunt is huge when other brands try to piggyback off it.

felix-kit-kat

The whole process had all the ingredients to create that all important buzz: adventure, suspense, danger, technology, and of course the fantasy of space travel.

Following Felix’s jump, or his ‘leap of faith’ as I’ve seen it called, Red Bulls Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts saw stark increases in the number of enagaged users. On Youtube, brands like Cocacola couldn’t even compete with the number of active suscribers.

The brands ethos has always been to sponsor athletes, especially those in extreme sports—an angle that would make the company synonymous with energy boosts far beyond any television campaign could have. Felix’s space jump is by far the most extreme event they could have possibly backed, I mean, they weren’t even sure he’d get back to earth safely- how would their brand have coped then? Who know’s, maybe it would have given them even more publicity!

Here’s my final thoughts on Red Bull’s remarkable marketing strategy: they always aim to cover off these four concepts (brands take note…)

  1. Consumer engagement through sportsmanship, heroicism and ideals
  2. Viral videos depicting feats of athleticism and bravery – evoking the rush people seek from drinking the product
  3. Brand recognition through logo saturation
  4. Attainment of widespread brand recognition and loyalty first among a core demographic, then carefully building a credible bridge to achieve it in another