Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a capsule at the edge of space and captured the attention of the world. It was an amazing feat of courage and science, and it was a brilliant marketing campaign as well.
Energy drink maker Red Bull was the sponsor and their logo was on everything, from the capsule to the special suit Baumgartner wore. It is not clear how much Red Bull may have spent on the event, but an article in Forbes puts the PR value for Red Bull in the tens of millions of dollars. Eight million people watched the jump live on YouTube which was itself a record for a live broadcast online.
RedBull started its marketing life with overly cute cartoons featuring little characters flying around as the tag line was “Red Bull gives you wings.” I never would figure out exactly what that ment. Now Red Bull has graduated to extreme sports. Their website is loaded with videos, photos and articles about all manner of high energy sport and entertainment. They clearly know who their demographic is and they are giving them exactly what they like. Red Bull Stratos was the biggest, baddest, most radical stunt yet. I have to give Red Bull a lot of credit for the guts it took to pursue this campaign. There were so many ways it could have gone bad. So many ways Felix could have died. Usually corporations are way to conservative to attempt anything this risky. But therein Red Bull lives out it’s brand; bold, exciting, extreme. Red Bull doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk and I think people really respect that. This event will be talked about for years, and on all those videos and photos will rest the Red Bull logo.