Red Bull - Stratos (2012)

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Red Bull Stratos - World Record Freefall
The Stratos campaign by Red Bull in 2012 is an iconic example of participative advertising and marketing. The goal of the campaign was to allow the first human, Felix Baumgartner, to break the sound barrier without using engines. Red Bull insisted 'the mission to the edge of space' was not an advertising campaign but a 'scientific mission'. In the six months following the ad that wasn't an ad, Red Bull's sales shot up 7% to $1.6 billion dollars in the US according to IRI.

Why We Love Stratos

A. It hits the brand message spot on

The brand’s message: “Red Bull gives you wings” was further emphasized with this mission to the edge of space. The power of this marketing event lies in the synergy between the extreme event and the company’s existing marketing message. That message was amplified exponentially after the event.

B. It was emotional

By crafting up a unique experience, Red Bull was able to capture draw in curiosity and event participation as consumers interacted and engaged with Red Bull on an emotional level. As Red Bull created an event that transcended normal advertising, the engagement and amplification of their messaging solidified as a result.

C. It broke barriers, (literally)

The jump broke five records, according to the Guinness World Records, and Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound barrier without engine power. And the stunt didn’t just break physical records, but broke the internet as well. Red Bull’s stunt was shown by more than 40 TV stations and 130 digital outlets. Red Bull’s Facebook post-jump photo of Baumgartner gained almost 216,000 likes, 10,000 comments and over 29,000 shares within 40 minutes, and half the worldwide trending topics on Twitter were related to Stratos.

What We Can Learn From Stratos

1. Inspire awe

To break traditional barriers of marketing, sponsorship, and social media, Red Bull featured Baumgartner on live video as he became the first person to break the sound barrier from jumping from space, starting in a freefall 128,000 feet above the Earth that reached a high speed of 843 miles per hour.

2. Capture as much content as possible

One of the key considerations was to capture as much video footage as possible to assist in live video streaming and further content promotion. According to the Red Bull Stratos site, the capsule itself contained nine HD cameras, three digital cinematography cameras, and a further three digital photo cameras. Baumgartner wore three HD cameras on himself, while on the ground even more video technology was deployed.

3. Provide fresh content worth sharing

They provided great content which could be shared and used, both by individuals through social media and for the press. Its social pages contain many high-quality images and video clips through which they can engage their audience.

Key Moments

The Impact

In the six months following the jump, sales rose 7% to $1.6 billion

The Jump

Felix Baumgartner breaks the sound barrier in a 24-mile space jump; 52M people watch live around the world

It Starts

Planning and team recruitment begin

A Match Made in Heaven

Red Bull and Baumgartner partner to plan the Stratos mission