Red Bull: A Brand Pushing The Limits

Red Bull’s Stratos space jump, in which Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped from a helium balloon 24 miles over the earth last October, was a justifiable media sensation, however it is Red Bull’s Music Academy that seems their most adventurous campaign to date.

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Started in 1998, the Red Bull Music Academy is “a world-travelling series of music workshops and festivals: a platform for those who make a difference in today’s musical landscape.” Recently, they aggressively advertised a two-week New York event, featuring 31 DJs, producers, vocalists, and “all-around music mavericks”, including big names such as James Murphy and Brian Eno.

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An alternative source of physical energy, Red Bull naturally began their advertising efforts primarily in the alternative sports world (where they still have a large presence). Now, with the revitalization their Music Academy, Red Bull has established itself as a major player in the world of music and entertainment – previously unimaginable territory for an energy drink. For most companies, establishing, developing, and ultimately broadcasting a brand identity is half the focus of an ad campaign, while the other half is devoted to highlighting the particular virtues of the product.

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For Red Bull, their identity is their product.  After establishing the core essence of their product – exploration, adventure, pushing the limits – Red Bull has proven that nearly any market can be seen and targeted through that lens. Who’s making the most daring films, the most adventurous food? Which political candidate is radical enough to actually change things? Red Bull knows – that’s what they stand for – and they’ll be happy to tell you.

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