Red Bull, the Austrian energy drink marketing company, have done it again. If you weren’t already aware of the daredevil jumper Felix Baumgartner then you probably are now. Hundreds of millions of people watched tonight as he made his jump from the edge of space, broke the sound barrier and broke several world records. The spirit of adventure and edge-of-your-seat safety issues have made this the sensation of 2012.
Felix took his balloon and jumping platform up to 127,000 feet before making the highest jump ever recorded. On re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere he broke the speed of sound, with just a few millimetres of plastic between him and air pressure changes that would otherwise make his blood boil.
But the story I’m really interested in is Red Bull. We’ve activated campaigns for quite a few drinks companies including Coca-Cola, Pernod-Ricard and Pepsico. Red Bull has an advantage, unlike alcohol brands, it can associate itself with daredevils, the crazy people who will go to extremes. For an Austrian company their dominance around the world is incredible. They were banned in France because of laws on contents of soft-drinks, but everywhere else they’ve become the standard energy drink. You don’t fill up your car and ask for a Monster or a Gatorade. You think “Red Bull”.
Red Bull itself has just one or two SKUs (products). They are really a marketing machine. In London there are the Red Bull studios, helping to make content that goes on pre-rolls at cinemas and shows extreme sports. They are a media company and as far as brand marketing goes an inspiration. I’m not saying they’re perfect, but if you’re a brand and are pondering your strategy, you could do worse than analysis Red Bull. Their Youtube channel alone, shown below has had over 300 Million views. Even Coke can’t match that. In fact last year Red Bull shipped 4.5 Billion cans. Coca-Cola, with a multitude of products, shipped approximately 6 Billion. Not bad for a brand first started in 1987.