Red Bull just gave everyone a Master Class in social branding – here’s how and why:
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Global viewership, life and death stakes, an historic moment – Red Bull masterfully combined all these ingredients to create a social and shared brand experience on a scale never seen before. While the live and post leap coverage focused on Felix the man and , no doubt, daredevil, let’s deconstruct the top ten features of this masterstroke in social branding.
1. ANTICIPATION: Like veteran launch expert, Apple, Red Bull built anticipation for the leap for the last year while Felix spent the last 5 years preparing for jump (above is a video prepared by Red Bull in January this rear.
2. HUMANITY: What Red Bull did so well was to communicate directly and coordinate through PR sources the human story of Felix which allowed people to emotionally connect with the brand.
3. IMAGINATION: Full credit goes to Red Bull to go one better than their already startling array of live, daredevil events, literally reaching the stratosphere on this one. It’s this flight of imagination of a brand that matched the raw ingenuity and ambition of Felix.
4. ALIGNMENT: There is perfect alignment between Red Bull’s tagline, ‘Gives you wings’ and yesterdays record-breaking leap unlike some brands that revert to unrelated but sensational stunts to attract attention to their brand.
5. SENSATIONALISM: There was quite literally an unparrallelled degree of breathtaking sensationalism to the world’s furthest free fall which can’t help but attract ten of millions of dollars of free PR and media exposure that will enhance the brand for years even within the history books.
6. BALANCE: A common mistake of brands hosting dramatic lives events is to focus exclusively on the technology or on the participants, but here Red Bull did a masterful job of fueling the mind with science and the heart with trepidation.
7. URGENCY: Stakes get no higher than life or death stakes and discussion of his suit failing, his visor breaking or his blood boiling on re-entry brought an almost horror movie compulsion to watch the event live.
8. PERSONALITY: While the Red Bull logo was consistently visible from every camera angle of every aspect of the leap, it was the brand’s personality (by extension from Felix) that was given the greatest boost in visibility.
9. COMMITMENT: Sundays leaps and postponed attempts we’re the result of years of planning and research that could have either failed, ended in tragedy or gone largely unnoticed but this did no deter Red Bull.
10. SOCIAL: From Over The Air television, to network news, to cable to livetsreaming on the web through PC’s or smart phones, and across all social media channels, the final attempt was a shared experience that had views, news anchors and mission control staff on the edges of their seats.
For a second-by-second recap of the leap click here including tweets from Felix inside the capsule. For a great understanding of the technology involved, click here. And consider this as a window into the future – more than 8 million people watched a livestream of the record-breaking jump. And just because it is so breathtaking, here’s that leap again (in social branding) that Red Bull took!