Perhaps the greatest marketing stunt of all time! That's how a top US marketer today described Felix Baumgartner's 24-mile space jump.
Just 24 hours earlier , Baumgartner broke the sound barrier shattering the existing record for the highest skydive. The event, titled Red Bull Stratos and sponsored by Red Bull Energy Drink, reflected the company’s slogan: “Red Bull gives you wings.”
Not only wings - roughly 8 million eyeballs watching live coverage of the feat and Red Bull’s logo, but how will it benefit Baumgartner and Red Bull?
Ben Sturner, President and CEO of Leverage Agency, a sports, entertainment and media marketing company had no doubts. He told Forbes magazine, “The sponsorship transcended sports and entertainment into Pop Culture, hitting new consumers that Red Bull does not usually capture, and on a global scale.” said Sturner.
“The value for Red Bull is in the tens of millions of dollars of global exposure, and Red Bull Stratos will continue to be talked about and passed along socially for a very long time," said Sturner.
Importantly, Sturner told the magazine, there is no way the Red Bull brand could get cut out of the press coverage.
Red Bull will use Baumgartner’s image and likeness and the video in company advertising, media and appearances, Sturner believes. He says Baumgartner will have many speaking engagements - and be paid handsomely.
The event was very Red Bull-centric. but Sturner thinks there are a few endorsement categories "that may make sense for Baumgartner, including video games, apparel and snack food."
Overall, no matter how much money Red Bull and Baumgartner receive as a result of the space jump, it is" mission accomplished" for the company and the man.
Forbes magazine went further with a heavyweight compliment: once upon a time, Steve Jobs and Apple were the masters of marketing buzz, said the mag.
"Today, Apple continues to create buzz with each new version of its iPhone and iPad, but energy drink manufacturer and distributor Red Bull have surpassed it.
The secret? The enlisting of the right messengers to spread the company’s brand to the right audience in the right context. "
A message launched in a cosmopolitan city, in front of a landmark structure, a statue is more effective than a message launched in the middle of nowhere.
Red Bull sponsored events have included a jump over the Corinth Isthmus, a dive in the Voullagmeni Lake, and a Formula One race.
"Now Red Bull Stratos, a group of extreme professionals, has carried buzz marketing into the space," said Forbes.
"Judging from Red Bull’s rapid transformation from a start-up Austrian corporation to a global giant that is challenging Coke and Pepsi in their own home-turf, its buzz campaigns must be working. "