Case Study: Red Bull Stratos
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The Stratos campaign by Red Bull is a perfect example of participative advertising and marketing. The aim of the campaign was to allow the first human to break the sound barrier without engine power. Red Bull insisted ‘the mission to the edge of space’ was not an advertising campaign at all but a ‘scientific mission’. In the six months following the ad that wasn’t an ad, Red Bull’s sales rose 7% to $1.6 billion dollars in the US according to the private company research firm IRI.
Red Bull’s approach to this campaign has become increasingly popular in todays marketing landscape. Consumers want interactions with companies that don’t feel like a sales pitch. The modern consumer wants to interact and engage on an emotional level with a brand. We don’t want to be spoken at, we want to be spoken to. The Stratos campaign drew the viewers into Red Bull’s brand whilst we watched Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner break five Guinness world records during his free fall from 24 miles above the earth’s surface:
When we witness a campaign like this, we have entered into a participative interaction with the brand. Having been emotionally invested in this campaign, the viewer now feels a rush of adrenaline upon seeing the Red Bull logo. Sometimes it’s just this slight edge that a brand needs to elevate itself above it’s rivals.