Last Sunday, Red Bull truly was on top of the world. On the wings of Felix Baumgartner, the energy drink maker solidified their identity as purveyor of extreme in one monumental leap.
In what was likely the most daring advertisement of all time, Red Bull not only achieved their dreams of going higher and faster, but positioned their brand as the choice of those looking to push themselves to the limit. In truth, Red Bull really does give you wings.
In a recent Truth Central study we found that three-quarters of consumers around the world feel that brands must stand up for what they believe in and another 56% prefer brands that communicate a strong identity and role in the world. The risk alone – the capital investment and the potential loss of a human life – should be an indication of how much Red Bull believes in the pursuit of that which is truly extreme. The message on Sunday was clear; Red Bull stands for adventure, risk, and pioneering.
Industry experts assert that the jump was worth anywhere between $20 and $100 million dollars in ad spends. However, Red Bull chose not to be the focal point, rather they focused on the narrative of Baumgartner and his mentor, Joe Kittinger, the previous skydive record holder. In doing so, Red Bull was successful in feeling less like a brand sponsor or financier and more like a partner, jumping in tandem with Baumgartner.
The Red Bull Stratos project set the bar high for brands seeking to solidify their core message. The takeaway for brands is that standing up for what they believe will likely strengthen their identity and may also be exactly what consumers are looking for. For some it may be a risky endeavor, but sometimes you just need to take that leap.
Before I wrap up this blog post, I need to abandon my primary objective of discussing the relevance of the Red Bull Stratos project to brands and just revel in how amazing this feat was. It was one of the most inspiring, horrifying, and simply unbelievable things I have ever seen.
Last Sunday, Red Bull reminded us that in promotion, as well as in our personal lives, the sky really is not the limit.