One small jump for Felix Baumgartner, a giant leap for branding !


Each year, more than 500 events in the world are sponsored by Red Bull. They all share the same characteristics: sports records, extreme sensations, great show … Here, the famous slogan ‘’Red Bull gives you wing’’  has never been so consequent. Indeed, on Sunday October 14th of 2012,  by sponsoring the stratospheric jump  of  Felix Baumgartner in which he broke the speed of sound barrier in free fall, the Austrian company founded in 1987  just signed his best marketing move for $50 million in creating a global social media event.

Calling the event ‘’Red Bull Stratos’’, Red Bull  keeps spreading an extreme sports imagery and tries to provide excitment and freedom feelings and a ”surpass yourself” way of life to its customers. Moreover,  according to  Keller’s brand equity model, Red Bull strengthens its brand resonance with a very active brand community and a strong loyalty by involving customers from all around the world in the same time. Indeed, with 35 cameras, the jump was accessible in live on Youtube. Here is a recapitulation of Felix’s jump:

The visibility of the leader brand of energy drinks was at its maximum : 922 000 fans on the facebook page, 188 000 followers on  twitter. In adition,  around 8 million people watched the livestream, it is the record for the most concurrent live streams on Youtube   (the previous record was around 500 000 concurrent streams during the 2012 Olympic games in London). These figures suggest that, currently, consumers tend to prefer content (sharing brand values, emotions…) than traditional advertising.

Red Bull sent a new  message to brands all around the world : it is important to create and share contente providing emotions and use all social media channels to share this content. Last but not least, rather than sharing everything all the time, it can be more efficient to broadcast just some content, but that inspire commitment.


Sources :

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11 Responses to One small jump for Felix Baumgartner, a giant leap for branding !

  1. Hi Flora !
    You are right, I think some big events like this one are the best way to communicate efficiently the brand image the company wants to give. But, not every company have $50 million to spend for promoting their brand.
    Red Bull always organizes this king of events, do you remember the Red Bull race we saw? They know how to manage to develop the awareness of their customers.
    I think there are not a lot of brand which prove their slogan and Red Bell is one of them!

  2. florachgn says:

    Hi Audrey, Thank you for the comment ! I agree with you that its an important budget, some companies prefer invest other fields, but for Red Bull Marketing is the most important ! Yes i remember the race, it was a very nice day !

  3. maudkh says:

    Good morning Flora,
    I agree with you, Redbull is a great example of a company who stucks and acts according to its image and slogan. It differentiates itself from its competitors by organizing events on a large-scale. The broadcasting of Felix Baumgartner’s jump was a genius idea that was truly innovative. But this firm has a huge turnover and can assume high costs to promote its brand.
    I think that even if smaller businesses do not have the same amount of funds available, they should still find a way to differentiate themselves on Social Medias by being innovative using tools like broadcast to advertise their brand/develop the brand awareness.

  4. mikejlemon says:

    Hey Flora! Great post. I was one of those people who watched the YouTube live stream. I agree with Audrey and Maud’s comments above as well. Red Bull has successfully branded and marketed themselves by sponsoring these types of sporting events. This event however was one which will be in the history books, and good on Red-Bull for being able to afford the high costs of marketing this historic event. Although $50 million dollars is extremely expensive, it was a wise decision for the company since that was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the sponsor. Successful companies take risks and Red-Bull is a prime example of this! 🙂

  5. emmanuelleh says:

    hi Flora,

    Your post is very interesting. It is impressive to see how Red Bull went to a part of marketing never explored before. I do not think that any brand ever planned to sponsorised such a big even. But they did it and accepted all risks. because for me this marketing operation was succesful or a total disaster because if something happened to this guy red bull notoriety would have been affected for a very long time. But Red Bull took the risk and it paid!

  6. cayuelajimenezalexandre says:

    Hey Flora,

    Interesting subject in the order that with “Red Bull Stratos” Red Bull has just achieved a masterstroke of how go through social media to enhance Red Bull awareness with as you highlighted a pick in the numbers of followers in twitter and fans in Facebook. I’m also interested about it, because with two comrades as you already know we are involving in one of the Red Bull project: Can you make it? ( ).

    It’s not a coincidence if Red Bull is sponsored hundreds of events related to the sport because there are targeting those kind of people who are practicing sports and principally extreme sport but in general is our generation, they are targeting the teenagers and young adults. Moreover, they diversification in the sports has Formula 1, Soccer and so on permit Red Bull to be present in each sport sector and reach a huge amount of potentials consumers.

    I read an article which said that 30 % of Red Bull turnover is intended for sponsorship events and another 30% is used in marketing what let 40 % of the turnover for others activities. ( sorry for the English speakers, the link is in French). It’s a huge amount and can explain why people is so well informed about Red Bull and their slogan: “Red Bull gives you wings”.

    In addition, I agree with Emmanuelle as Red Bull take a huge risk with this event and they deserve it ( Huge profit, strong brand image) in the way that they invested a lot of money in it and they perfectly managed their communication, we can only be admiring even if is not because they sponsored the event that they were managing everything, it could have been done by others companies but at the end we retain the main one because also is a strength to know to choose intelligently their partner to avoid failures.

    Anyway supervised more than 500 hundreds events, more than 500 hundreds professionals sportive in many countries is not easy and they are doing it very well in term of marketing, they are one of the most efficient company if they are not the first one. Indeed, in 2013, they sold more than 5.3 billion of cans for a market share of approximately 60%. *

    Which huge event will be the next one?

  7. chgenin says:

    Hey Flora,
    What a great idea to take the Red Bull example. I totally agree with you when you are talking about not doing a lot of advertising but very good contents and events that can create a important effect on social media. And how this kind of event can be not commented, shared, watched by million and million of people. Red Bull gets all the point. It is all about emotion not just a brand among others. Each time they want to sponsor an event, it has to be out of the picture to get the attention of the most important range of customer.
    If a brand wants to do the same, I’m interested to see how they can reach their level.

  8. KiHoonKim says:

    Your post is so sympathy to me! I also think that Red Bull on the success of the marketing. I think that Red Bull used especailly, viral marketing. They knew well about the effects of SNS.
    They advertise their brand suitable for brand image “energetic”
    For example, in the event of a wooden box fell from the sky well represented a vibrant brand image that Red Bull has.
    Naturally, people posted the event on their SNS voluntary. So, Red Bull could attract the attention of people.

  9. gonzahell says:

    Hi Flora!
    It’s really interesting to read about the strategy that Red Bull used to promote Felix’s jump. It was considered one of the best marketing campaigns ever made, but is not the result of improvisation because the project had it brewing during seven years.
    All of this happened in an atypical weekend, when soccer has not caught the attention from the media because the major leagues were suspended by the concentration of selections. This was a great decision of Red Bull because the whole world was watching the jump and most of the sports newspapers talked about it during many days, and still today Red Bull is bringing to light new videos of the jump from many different angles. It is important to mention the advertising that Red Bull has given to GoPro because is the camera that was used to record the whole event.

  10. florachgn says:

    Your comments are all going in the same direction, we all agree that redbull marketing strategy is original, involving the consumer, and with a strong impact on social media ! Gonza, you are right about go pro, they have a partnership, also when gopro his making video to promote a new camera, you can see a lot of people dressed with clothes sponsored by redbull, or people in redbull cars.

  11. pvcris says:

    Hey Flora!
    i really like your post, and i think it’s really interesting to see how this brand has evolve to become one of the most succesfull ones in social media. I remembered the first ads i saw, with the “cartoons”, really simple ones and within funny scenarios. Red bull has always known how to reach consumers, even the slogan is just the right one from my point of view. And now , with social media, they just did a great job constructing and fometing the brand image, since is a energy drink the company always try to be in all extreme sports and events as possible, being active, and with this one they had a huge opportunity to even set more, if possible, their strategy. Risky at the same time if the jump wouldn’t have succed, but obviously everything was perfectly calculated, and as you mentioned, we just have to see the results of the campaign.

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