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(International Student)
Individual Assignment
Company Case: Red Bull: A Different Kind of Integrated Campaign
1. List all the ways that Red Bull’s promotional efforts are unique from those of the
mainstream.
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Red Bull sponsored and paid for the whole space jump of Felix Baumgartner.
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Red Bull lets the rumors spray without saying anything: bad publicity is free publicity.
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Red Bull sponsors more than 500 top athletes mostly in extreme sports. The athletes
always have the brand logo on them every single time they appear in public or on TV.
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Red Bull owns 4 soccer teams, a NASCAR team and two Formula 1 racing teams, not to
make profit out of the teams but to create value around the brand and use them as
advertising mediums.
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Red Bull sponsors existing sports events, creates its own sports (Red Bull Crashed Ice)
and its own sports events (Red Bull U.S. Gran Prix).
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Red Bull owns its own music performance troupe (Red Bull Flying Bach) and created a
music completion (Red Bull Canvas Cooler).
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Red Bull produces TV programs and has its own Media Network (TV, Radio…)
2. Which promotional mix elements does Red Bull use? What grade would you give Red
Bull on integrating these elements into a core marketing communications campaign?
Red Bull uses advertising, public relations and sales promotions among the promotional mix
elements. If I had to explain how I perceive Red Bull’s way to promote its brand, I would say
through its sports events and athletes sponsorship. I think traditional advertisement comes later.
Red Bull mainly focuses on Public Relations (PR). Besides the traditional TV commercials and
printed ads promoting for the product itself, Red Bull has used its YouTube channel to broadcast
videos from the athletes the company sponsors as well as special events such as Felix
Baumgartner’s space jump. Red Bull advertises for its product but also advertises for it public
relation events. Those events are sponsored by Red Bull or can be directly created by the
company. The Red Bull logo mainly appears on athletes’ outfits and on banners during those
events. The third step of Red Bull’s promotion goes through sales promotion. Red Bull does not
offer discounts on its products but gives away free cans in special areas where its main target
audience is. Those free cans first remind customers to buy the product but also bring new
customers who had never tried it before.
I would give Red Bull an A+ for its integrated marketing communication. I think the company’s
marketing strategy is more than coherent and each element of its promotional mix matches the
message other elements provide. The slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” that we hear in the
traditional commercials is emphasized by the events the company organizes when we see Red
Bull’s Diving contests or extreme sports athletes performing with the Red Bull logo on them. As
the case study says, the taste does not matter; Red Bull is all about marketing and brand image.
3. Will Red Bull eventually need to embrace more traditional media marketing in order to
keep growing? Why or why not?
I believe Red Bull does not need to promote through more traditional media marketing. The
brand image is not “traditional”. If Red Bull wants to remain “cool” and reflect an extreme sport
and dynamic lifestyle image, the marketing strategy should remain “marginal” through those
extreme events such as the space jump or imaginary-sport competitions. If Red Bull changes its
strategy toward a more mass marketing strategy with traditional mediums, the target audience
won’t feel special anymore and will lose its loyalty in the brand.
4. Describe Red Bull’s target audience. Are Red Bull’s promotional techniques consistent
with that audience?
Red Bull’s target audience mainly consists in young males in need for energy. I currently have a
Red Bull can on my table while I am writing this paper, and the can says: “Improves
performance, especially during times of increased stress or strain” and “Increases concentration”.
Red Bull hence target people in need for energy during anytime of the day. Some people use it to
wake up after a short night, some other during the day if they feel tired or need to focus n a
special task, and some other would use it at night to stay awake longer. Red Bull has several
dimensions and can be used for sport (endurance) as well as for productivity use (concentration)
or social use (party longer).
5. At some point, will Red Bull have to branch out beyond its target market? Will it need
to alter its promotional strategy in order to do so?
As I said earlier, changing its strategy to become more traditionally marketed or to target new
people could confuse existing customers. I believe the strong current marketing strategy is
enough to create word of mouth outside the target audience and actually attract new customers
without really changing the marketing strategy to target them directly. I believe most of the
people over 30 year-old have seen the space jump and are aware of the Red Bull brand, even if
the space jump did not target them directly. I believe in positive externalities without mass
marketing.