Dan Holden's Blog

Screenwriting, Film-Making and Web TV

Red Bull Nails It: Every Company is a Media Company

StratosMy good friend Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher has been saying for many years that “every company is a media company.” But few have really tried to plumb the full depth of what he is advocating.

There are, however, a few outstanding exceptions – and many of these come from the sporting goods industry, where action is the name of the game and watching the best at their sport is second only to being there yourself.

Among the sporting good companies who really nail this are ruggedized camera maker GoPro and energy drink maker Red Bull.

GoPro has created a social media phenomenon by creating contests whereby fans send in their GoPro videos with the hopes of winning still more, state-of-the-art GoPro equipment. This has the enviable effect of organically growing a massive audience (40,000 videos have been sent in so far) and building intense demand for an ever-improving product line.

Red Bull has taken this even further, creating “challenges” in a variety of sports and then throwing huge publicity campaigns at them, thereby turning them into massively popular viewing events. (It should be noted that GoPro is the camera of choice for many of the athletes in these competitions).

As commentator noted Marty Smith noted, Red Bull makes its strategy well-known.

Red Bull doesn’t limit their content. They don’t edit based on what THEY think customers want. Red Bull casts a large net across adventure sports, car racing, video games and music. Their multi-channel strategy is sure to create content their 18 – 30 year old male audience wants, will talk about and share.

The literal height of this strategy to date was the Stratos Jump, in which a well-qualified daredevil Felix Baumgartner made the highest-ever jump from a balloon (with the previous record holder as his mentor and ground control). Stunts like this are extremely expensive, so they aren’t for everyone.   But Red Bull has clearly put its brand name way out in front by doing them.

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This entry was posted on March 15, 2014 by in Best practices and tagged , , , , , .
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