Felix Baumgartner-and the Red Bull logo--in training. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife) Ask an ad guy: In this cynical, media-soaked age it's tough to get anyone's attention anymore. What it takes to really break through: authenticity.
...In the apex of the age of consumerism, we’re just drowning in pitches to buy.
Then comes today, with Red Bull. Yeah, as one friend just said to me, “I thought it was just some stunt,” — and it was. But what a stunt. Jumping from a balloon in near-space to fall more than 23 miles while breaking the sound barrier, risking his life, setting records, Heroic Stuff! The Right Stuff! And all brought to you by Red Bull.
In this new age of attempted authenticity (just act natural! CEOs Tweeting! People Like my new product!) they just absolutely killed it by being absolutely, totally, truly, over-the-top authentic. They backed a guy in an insanely risky, old-school kind of venture that was elegantly simple in its principles (go higher than anyone else, jump, live) yet so hair-raisingly sophisticated in its execution (pressure suit, capsule, hours of countdown, etc.) that it grabbed the world’s attention and kept a good part of it on pins and needles for a week, and talking about their brand. Why’d we watch, why’d we care? ‘Cause it was, in the words of Van Morrisson circa 1971, really, really, really, real (Lord have mercy).
You can’t tell immediately how many views this live stream of the jump on their site pulled in, but over on the YouTube live stream, at the peak of coverage, there were 8 million concurrent viewers from around the world watching. The walkup videos in the months ahead of today pulled in more than 5 million views, and got shared, of course, like crazy. Red Bull hasn’t said what all this cost, and it couldn’t have been cheap, but it certainly would be in line with a couple minute spots on the Super Bowl....
[Good insight into Red Bull's marketing grand slam ~ Jeff]