Insight #10: Integrated Marketing Communication – Red Bull

In Chapter 17 of our class text, Seitel discusses what integrated marketing communications is and the many ways it can be demonstrated. He defines integrated marketing communications as “the intersection of public relations and publicity, advertising, sales, promotion, and marketing to promote organizations, products, and services” (Seitel). In this class, examples of these have already been brought to our attention, we were just oblivious: creating YouTube videos, product placements, celebrity sponsors/spokesperson, etc. Since the task at hand is to identify a national- or international- brand that executes integrated marketing communications, only one shot through my mind: Red Bull.

(Image displayed is credited to Mark Hogan’s article on WordPress.)

     It all started from one man, Dietrich Mateschitz. Red Bull has already been around for 25 years, believe it or not. Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz created the drinks formula back in the mid 1980’s. A couple of years later on April 1st, 1987, the brand was officially put on the market and sold in its very own home in Austria. This wasn’t just an average beverage Mateschitz came up with, creating a new product; this was the start of an entirely new product category. Since it’s first day on the market, more than 35 billion cans of Red Bull have been consumed and it is available in more than 165 countries (redbull.com).

Since 1987, integrated marketing has changed drastically and has become highly innovative; it’s also pertinent for your brand’s survival. The 21st century version is online marketing, television brand integration, buzz marketing, television and movie product placement, song placement, and sports team sponsors. Red Bull is on top of each and every one.

Red Bull has completely revolutionized online marketing and has taken social media by storm. As of November 2012, their Facebook page alone had 34 million fans, and stands ahead of Hogwarts hero Harry Potter, McDonalds, and Starbucks. They’re the second highest beverage company on Facebook, behind Coca-Cola.  “Even though Red Bull has been credited with inventing the energy drink industry, they do not sell you an ounce of it” says Pablo Davidov, writer for Americas Internet Marketing website. If you look closely at their marketing, they sell you adrenaline, they sell you action, they sell you passion (Davidov). Red Bull gained huge recognition on October 14th, 2012 for sponsoring Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner perform a record-breaking skydive from near-space down to Earth. They were mocked for “wasting” their money due to weather conditions, but they pulled it off and captured over 8 million viewers on YouTube. In turn, they broke the record for the most watched live streaming event on YouTube.

(Image displayed is credited to Brian Kotlyar’s article on Dachis Group blog.)

     Integrating their brand into the “fabric of what is presented on the television screen” has never been a challenge for Red Bull. Red Bull has always been known to sponsor athletes in extreme sports like snowboarding, motocross, skateboarding, and surfing, so they’re logo is seen everywhere when you turn on a game in those fields. However, they even have their own TV series available to stream right from their website. Snowboard Chronicles is one of their featured shows and they travel all around the world with professional snowboarders and learn about their unique boarding styles. Aside from their own TV series, their brand is featured a lot on MTV’s show, Wake Brothers.

     Buzz marketing, more commonly known as word-of-mouth, coincides with Red Bull’s integration on the MTV show, Wake Brothers. The show is about the life of two professional wake-boarding brothers that live together in Florida. They live a lavish life and are either wake-boarding or partying. Both have a huge fan base, which only helps Red Bull. In almost every episode, they’re wearing clothes or hats from the numerous sponsors they have, one being Red Bull. It promotes their brand and fans are influenced to buy anything that has to do with Red Bull. They also only distributed to 8 U.S. territories initially, putting any others wanting it on a waiting list. This made their product and brand exclusive, while also maintaining its credibility and uniqueness.

Red Bull has marketed themselves quite cleverly through television and movie product placements. When Comedy Central introduced its adult cartoon show, Shorties watchin’ Shorties, Red Bull was one of the consistently featured brands. Some other TV shows the brand has been featured or mentioned in is Reno 911! and The Office. Red Bull is also very good with movie product placements. In addition to the TV shows the brand has been in, some movies include: Superbad, Disturbia, Baby Momma, Yes Man, The Ugly Truth, Hot Tub Time Machine, and most recently Flight: A Snowboard Film.

     Sports venues today are almost always named after the sponsor that pays for it, and Red Bull has had this opportunity. The New York Red Bulls, the Major League Soccer franchise, paid more than $100 million for the integrated marketing privilege (Seitel). They have even “branded” their own sporting events: Infiniti Red Bull Racing. Red Bull Racing is one of two Formula One teams, both being own by Red Bull. When you have your own sports team sponsored for, what other advertisement do you need?

What else does Red Bull have? Their own music academy. No need for song placements here. Red Bull music academy consists of two groups of 30, ranging from DJ’s to all-around musical mavericks, that travel the world each year for two weeks at a time. An energy drink company that has their own music academy definitely proves just how times are changing. It also exemplifies just how innovative and current Red Bull remains.

The video displayed is credited to YouTube.

Davidov, Pablo. “Red Bull Marketing: A Revolution.” Americas Internet Marketing. N.p., 29 Nov 2012. Web. 12 Jun 2013. <http://americasinternetmarketing.com/red-bull-marketing/&gt;.

Sieczkowski, Cavan. “Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos High-Altitude Skydive Rescheduled.” The Huffington Post. N.p., n. d. Web. 12 Jun. 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/felix-baumgartner-red-bull-stratos-space-jump-date-time-live-blog_n_1958490.html&gt;.

Kumar, Arvind. “Buzz Marketing Success Story.” Experience. N.p.. Web. 12 Jun 2013. <http://s2b.experience.com/alumnus/article?channel_id=advertising_marketing_pr&source_page=additional_articles&article_id=article_1128702070987&gt;.

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