Red Bull Stratos
By Jenny Shaw, Mindshare
Red Bull has taken sponsorship to new heights with the Red Bull Stratos event. It’s being heralded as the company’s greatest marketing stunt and perhaps one of the greatest marketing stunts of all time. Details
A record 8 million people watched YouTube's live stream on Sunday 14th October, as Felix Baumgartner became the first person to break the sound barrier with a free fall jump 128,000 feet above the Earth that reached a speed of 833.9 miles per hour. Besides YouTube, the jump was also broadcast on more than 40 TV stations across 50 countries and 130 digital outlets. Red Bull's Facebook post-jump photo of Baumgartner gained almost 216,000 likes, 10,000 comments and over 29,000 shares within 40 minutes, and half the worldwide trending topics on Twitter were related to Red Bull Stratos. The video has since been watched over 10 million times on YouTube and the event has been front page news worldwide. Implications
The sponsorship transcended sports and entertainment into popular culture, hitting new consumers that Red Bull does not usually capture, on a global scale. It reaffirms that Red Bull doesn’t just sponsor events, it creates them.
Brand placement was ubiquitous. "You can't get a photo of Felix without the Red Bull logo and you can't talk about him without talking about Red Bull Stratos," said Ben Sturner, Red Bull’s CEO. By streaming it live on its YouTube channel Red Bull retained full control over broadcasting rights for the event. As well as the massive exposure for Red Bull’s energy drink, YouTube viewers were also shown a pre-roll advertisement for Chrysler.
Red Bull had been planning the event for 7 years and began building audience anticipation via its YouTube channel back in February 2012, uploading teaser videos on a weekly basis, which accrued over 27 million views before the live event. Red Bull also used Facebook and Twitter to build hype around the event, sharing photos of the Austrian skydiver’s preparation and a computer-generated simulation of the leap.
Red Bull went further than simply integrating social buttons into its site; the company provided great content which could be shared and used, both through social media and in the press. Red Bull’s social pages also cross-promote many other high-quality images and video clips of adrenaline sports to engage its target audience and affirm its brand essence of “transcending human limits”. Summary
The estimated value generated for Red Bull is in the tens of millions of $ and ‘Red Bull Stratos’ will continue to be talked about and distributed socially for a very long time. With a full length documentary coming out later this year and its YouTube channel now topping 400million views and 800,000 subscribers, Red Bull really is on top of the world when it comes to corporate sponsorship.