Viewers around the world tuned in last weekend to watch Felix Baumgartner complete a world record, and ridiculously crazy, skydive from 120,000 feet. Red Bull, which is also the brand behind equally thrilling events like Red Bull Cliff Diving, Rampage and Air Race, once again seized an opportunity to take advantage of a cutting-edge event and turn it into a hugely successful awareness and branding campaign.
The event was broadcast live over 40 networks in 50 countries and drew scores of interest and comments across social media sites and Red Bull's own video channel, RedBullTV. Google also confirmed that the event was watched by 8 million concurrent viewers on YouTube, the largest in the site's history (President Obama's inauguration was the previous record holder). And the first picture of Baumgartner after his landing in the New Mexico desert, which was posted by Red Bull, was shared nearly 30,000 times in 30 minutes. Twitter said the event generated more than 3.1 million tweets as well.
That's the type of engagement that major brands invest millions in advertising and other campaigns to generate, and often fall short. But Red Bull has consistently proven that its approach can be more effective. Red Bull understands the value of great content and invests heavily in producing the type of content and events that allow consumers to connect with its brand in a way that doesn't make them feel like they are being advertised to. Red Bull isn't about connecting its brand to its energy drink, it's about connecting its brand to a lifestyle and encouraging people to participate in that lifestyle and community.
From the beginning, Red Bull understood that this event was an opportunity to, as Brian Morrissey notes, make content the end goal, not a sidelight. And they made a point of making video a huge focus of their content marketing strategy. The company had a clear strategy for producing a steady stream of video content leading up to the big event to build excitement and get viewers connected and invested to Baumgartner's mission. They also let the content take center stage instead of making their brand front and center. They fundamentally understand that in order to cut through the noise, a great ad just doesn't cut it anymore.
There are a lot of great lessons for other content marketers and brands to take away from Red Bull, including the important role that video plays in content marketing efforts, and we continue to work with our brand marketing customers around the world to make it easy for them to focus on delivering high quality content experiences to audiences on every screen. It's a tough world out there for marketers today, so it's great to see companies like Red Bull changing the game for how we market to consumers.