Ever since the first time I tasted Red Bull back in high school (~8 years) before a football game, I haven’t really understood its appeal. It tasted pretty bad and I don’t remember playing football much better (not that they promised I would…). But the company’s persistent and creative marketing has done them well. It seems everytime I see a clip from an extreme sports event Red Bull is advertising somewhere in the background and many of the athletes have, the now iconic, Red Bull checkered helmets. However, I was really surprised to see Red Bull sponsoring a traditionally elite sport of Formula 1 racing:
F1 compared with extreme sports always seemed like the horse racing yang to the dirt track auto racing ying in the US. The video Red Bull produced above shows they haven’t lost their hill-billy roots when they came to the highfaluten F1 with lots of dirt flying every where and plenty of tire smoke. Even if I cringe when all the rocks are hitting the pretty body of the F1 car I get goose bumps from the trumpets of the engine everytime I watch the video.
Additionally, Red Bull has found lots of other creative marketing through the usual cheap tricks, but, more creatively, they have created there own World Series of (alternative-) Sports. Also, Red Bull has the Flugtag, paper airplane competition, and Red Bull Records. Surprisingly, Red Bull Records is an indie label who offers there recording studio for free to artists. This appeals to my open-source heart.
There are obviously other beverage company’s like Red Bull with big advertising campaigns but none that have been so creative while hanging with the big dogs of F1. Maybe the only thing this says is I don’t have a good sense for a company’s potential success until after they are successful, but then again I am probably not Red Bull’s target audience. After admiring all Red Bull has done I went to Yahoo Finance to see if they were public, unfortunately they aren’t… yet. Being a public company may tame there wild marketing soul and that would be a shame because they are adding to our culture by sponsoring things like paper airplane competitions (usually only cool to the geekiest among us) and downhill ice hockey racing (in Minnesota).