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BizTrends 2018

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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Felix Baumgartner jump could yield over £100-million in exposure for Red Bull

Commenting on the recent space jump of Felix Baumgartner, Ilsa Grabe, business unit head at media agency Carat, says the stunt has been calculated to yield over £100-million in return on exposure for Red Bull.
Ilsa Grabe
This was calculated after only four days, while the impact of the feat is still reverberating through all media channels.

She says the jump was a "very risky marketing move for Red Bull - but it had the courage of its convictions and it paid off handsomely.

"The marketing impact is not just about being on the news, printed in newspapers and spoken about - it is about ruling the waves with funny, serious and viral memes. Had the jump been unsuccessful, for any reason, I have no doubt the amount of exposure and return would have been similar but not necessarily positive. Advertisers need to identify strong media platforms that fit their brands and be courageous in execution. In today's integrated media space, you can create massive impact when a big idea is executed in an epic way, whether risky or not.

"Stay true to key brand benefits"

"The rule is that you must stay true to your key brand benefits, which must come across very strongly. The jump was a proof point of the idea that the brand gives you 'wings'. Moreover, as an extreme sport like this is second nature for it, it became a marketing pioneer through the stunt and literally gave its own brand 'wings'.

"From water sports and motor sports to base-jumping athletes, the brand's single-minded support for extreme sport gives it phenomenal value."

Record YouTube audience, clever ambush marketing

The jump at its peak had eight million people watching live on YouTube, breaking the previous record of 500,000 concurrent views, according to AllThingsD.

"The video received over two million views with 24 hours of the jump, which is 1,388 views per minute. Gone are the days that global stunts and events are viewed later; the Web has changed the way we consume live events and within seconds, consumers are generating content, before you can, as the marketer or advertiser."

Not to be outdone, some brands used quick-thinking ambush marketing to link their own brand proposition to the stunt.

"American snack foods company Slim Jims, known for its comedic campaigns, responded with 'the world's shortest free-fall' on a popular American late night show, while Lego shot a short stop-motion film that recreated the stunt using a range of its space themed construction toys. Confectionary company Kit Kat capitalised on the tension preceding the jump, attaching a chocolate to a weather balloon and sending it up, with its tagline 'Have a break', for Felix Baumgartner."