How Redbull 16x Their Marketing

If you got 1 dollar and it turned into 16 would that be a good deal? For most advertisers, this insane return would only happen in their dreams. But in 2012, Red Bull did exactly that.

Red Bulls 16x Marketing Strategy

If you got 1 dollar and it turned into 16 would that be a good deal?

For most advertisers, this insane return would only happen in their dreams. But in 2012, Red Bull did exactly that. They launched operation Stratos where Felix Baumgartner did the highest-recorded skydive ever.

The stunt cost Red Bull 30M The next month it made them 500M.

Thats a 16x return. How? I'll get to that.

But first heres what most dont know Red Bull is NOT a drink company.

Theyre a marketing company that happens to sell drinks.

Red Bulls marketing genius hardly gets the credit it deserves. So today, were going to dive into the 3 unconventional strategies they use to get ridiculous returns Facebook Ad geeks could only dream of.

Strategy #1 - Dramatic Demonstrations

Red Bull Athletes are the guys doing crazy stunts screaming Red Bull gives you wingssss. (Which they got sued for by the way. Thats why it has multiple Ss now. Apparently, you dont actually grow wings?)

Theyre not just doing these stunts to flex their athletic abilities. Its actually a huge part of why Red Bull is popular in the first place.

For example, The Red Bull Flugtag is an annual event founded in 1992.

By 2012, they had an attendance of over 220,000 people. Thats 3.2x more people than showed up to the Super Bowl that same year.

This was the origin of Red Bulls stunt program. Every year they aim to one-up themselves and do a crazier stunt than last year.

Like this one of Red Bull flying a plane through a tunnel.

The result of these stunts is massive attention from their target audience.

The Strategy

This is whats called a Dramatic Demonstration.

It started in the 1840s when people were scared to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. A guy named PT Barnum turned fear into profit by walking the worlds largest elephant across it.

Not only did this prove the bridge safe, but it promoted his circus business too. Effectively killing two birds with one stone.

There are 3 types of dramatic demonstrations:

1/ Launches - Create a story around the introduction of a new product or idea

2/ Events - Create an event where a community can gather around a common cause or idea

Example: Do a car show for charity the day your restaurant opens up

3/ Stunts - Manufacture a stunt to push a narrative of your product.

Example: Tesla completing a cross-country trip to prove long distances arent a problem for electric cars.

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Strategy #2 - The Law of Association

Red Bull knew their target audience from the start - college guys.

So they structured their brand around their target audience in a very new way.

Typically, college guys love two things. Pretty girls and sports.

So Red Bull associated themselves with both.

First, they created Red Bull Girls. They are a group of girls that are paid to hand out free Red Bull on college campuses.

Second, they ramped up the publicity of the Red Bull Athletes stunts.

The Strategy

This is called the Law of Association.

The more frequently we see things together, the more we associate them with each other.

If you see Michael Jordan shooting the game-winning shot in Jordans we associate athleticism with Michael Jordan and with the shoes. Causing the shoes to be more desirable.

The group of associations people think of when they think of your company is your brand.

The strategy here is simple. Be as loud as possible about the ideas, people, or events that push the narrative forward of your brand image.

Strategy #3 - Red Bull Athletes

Most Red Bull athletes are unheard of.

Thats on purpose.

Why would they pay Steph Curry or Patrick Mahomes millions to promote Red Bull?

Instead, they can get just as many viewers using non-famous athletes who will do it for the exposure.

Red Bull isnt selling the drink, theyre selling the athlete. To sell this image they only need athletes who are fitter and living a dream life.

All while being seen with Red Bull.

Their strategy was to find underpriced talent. Dont go for the NBA star, look for the guy who almost made it to the Olympics.

The Strategy

In Robert Cialdinis book Influence, he explains that as a culture we are conditioned to obey authority figures.

Thats why companies pay celebrities millions to endorse their products. But, since Redbull was on a shoestring budget, they couldnt afford the big guys.

So instead, Red Bull manufactured the authority by creating Red Bull Athletes for a fraction of the cost.

The bigger the stunt the more attention it brings the more attention it brings the more authority the athlete has the more authority the athlete has the more sales Red Bull gets.

The lesson here is authority pays. You dont have to wait to get authority. You can manufacture it by being associated with people or brands that already have it.

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