Red Bull’s Out-of-This-World Campaign

Looking back on 2012, there were many great marketing ventures that were successful and creative. We all have our personal favorites, but there is one in particular that will impact the future of creative marketing that we will remember forever. A few months ago, 8 million people across the world tuned in to watch one of the biggest dare-devil stunts known to man. Felix Baumgartner defied the odds and jumped literally from “out-of-this-world” with the Stratos Jump. This feat was beyond ambitious; it was pure adrenaline and one of the most risky ventures the world has ever seen. For marketers though, what was truly “out-of-this-world,” was the campaign behind the event, created and sponsored by Red Bull.

Red Bull’s Tip Top Strategy

This one stunt embodies everything the Red Bull brand stands for and is almost literally in line with the brands current tagline “Red Bull Gives You Wings.” Everything, from the concept of the stunt down to the tone and voice of the campaign and the event itself match perfectly with Red Bull’s strategic positioning as a high-risk high-reward, adrenaline rushing, fearless, extreme, going-big brand. Those associations that reinforce the brand messages will be ingrained in the minds of the 8 million people who watched the event and the millions who were exposed to the media coverage afterward.

Record-shattering Added-Value Media Coverage and ROI

Assuming, Red Bull’s main objective of creating the event and sponsoring this risky feat was to capture new consumers across the globe, they succeeded in record time. It only took 4 minutes and 20 seconds of freefall for the brand to be introduced to households worldwide. Red Bull received a record-shattering amount of added-value coverage that came after the actual event. It was an impressive, albeit risky, investment that paid off with incredible ROI. They let the event speak for itself and in return had the benefit of huge media exposure through broadcast of the events, local and national new coverage, print articles on the stunt worldwide and most importantly word of mouth impact.

Red Bull took a page out of its own book and made a daredevil move by investing a good amount of money in something that could have gone terribly wrong, but the risk paid off. According to industry leaders, Red Bull’s Stratus jump is suspected to be worth 100 million pounds (over 160 million US Dollars) in ad spend for the brand.

This may seem like a lofty execution that’s out of reach for most brands, but the fact is any brand can apply this concept on any budget no matter what the geography. It’s just a matter of creating a strategic catalyst that will spark media coverage for the brand and reinforce the campaign’s ad messages. It could be an event, a contest, a unique sponsorship, anything. We still have fond memories of the special “Hooray for the Bay Contest” we executed for the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The contest not only allowed for ambient media placements throughout the state of Maryland, but it also garnered dozens of media coverage instances and hundreds of thousands of added-value impressions.

So start flexing your creative muscles and figuring how what your strategic catalyst will be in 2013.

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