Red Bull Amplify Brand Properties on Pack

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 18.32.31[Guest blog from David Nichols, brandgym's head of invention]

A year ago, we posted about Red Bull taking  amplifying their Red Bull Air Race property at the point of sale.  Now they are taking the next step and bringing amplifying this asset on pack – a first for Red Bull.  Up to now the famous Red Bull pack design has been zealously guarded from alterations – no ‘tweaks’ from keen new brand managers.  This attitude seems to be softening, in Europe at least, with the emergence this summer of the first promotional packs to feature the Red Bull Air Race.

There will be 1.42 million of these limited Edition 250ml cans in circulation this sumer to leverage the Ascot leg of their global Air Race.  Again a first, there will be a national TV, Poster and digital advertising campaign to drive volume – all driven around the Air Race ‘chapter’ of activity.

I was alerted to this when I received a parcel direct from red Bull.  As I went to the Ascot Air Race last year, I was clearly on their direct mail database.  This is a traditional mailshot approach but done with style.  It also nicely blends the Ascot brand together with Red Bull – not an easy match on paper.

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They are also making an effort to make the Air Race to more accessible and engaging – by using the latest Occulus Rift gaming hardware & software.  Go to Ascot and you can see what it’s like to hurtle around at 50ft and 220pmh!

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What are the benefits of this approach?:

  • Chapter Based Marketing: Red Bull are the masters of ‘chapter-based’ marketing.  Rather than think of their communications by media (‘what’s our TV campaign?’) they think of it in terms of waves or chapters of activity around a single theme.  This focuses investment and increases engagement whilst leveraging past investment in marketing assets.
  • More Value from brand properties: The Red Bull Air Race is now one of their strongest and most global brand properties.  This activity leverages value from it specifically to drive sales.  Even Red Bull have to show ROI on their investments, and though I doubt they do the direct calculation, this is a smart way to get more return on their investment to date.
  • Refresh old techniques: Sending your database a free product sample is a technique as old as the hills, but it doesn’t mean that it is irrelevant in this digital obsessed age.  Red Bull have refreshed this approach in a relevant and simple way.  No expensive key rings or useless gadgets, just product with an engaging message direct to yor door.


Again Red Bull are evolving their activation tactics whilst keeping their core message consistent.  They are leveraging existing assets to maximise the investment already made.  Let’s hope this year’s Ascot red Bull Air Race is as good as last years…when the Brits won!