Nail Biters of the World Unite Around Real Life Space Drama

Austrian daredevil, Felix Baumgartner, successfully jumped from a balloon hovering 128,000 feet above Roswell, New Mexico today.

After cartwheeling through the stratosphere for a time, Baumgartner gained control of his trajectory and proceeded to make a safe landing.

The nail-biting event aired on live 40 television networks in 50 countries and the live feed was streamed by 130 digital partners on the Internet. Personally, I had one eye on the web feed, one on the Discovery Channel and another on Twitter, where the shared interest was palpable.

This latest long form “ad” for Red Bull is another textbook example of the power of content to pull people in. Ads do not perform this way.

“This is taking it to a whole new level,” Jonas Feliciano, beverage industry analyst at Euromonitor International, told Agence France-Presse. “It has turned a PR event into a news event.”

Very few other companies, one notable exception being Apple, manage to do this, Feliciano said.

Baumgartner is basically “a flying can of Red Bull,” said Christoph Boesenkopf from advertising agency Wirz.

One other important factor here…like making a movie, today’s jump took five years of preparation and planning. That’s commitment and investment on a level few brands dare to make.

And it appears that the spoils go to the bold. Red Bull, which doesn’t rely on traditional advertising, sells 4.5 billion cans of its energy drink every year.

Previously on AdPulp: Red Bull Founder Sees His Content Strategy As “A Line Extension” and Red Bull Bets Big On Soccer



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.