This was going to happen sooner or later.
Red Bull has been celebrating extreme sports for years. In doing this, they've developed a veritable content library of extreme sports coverage. But it's not just about the content -- the content is the result. It's about the idea -- Red Bull wants to own extreme sports in all its forms. And when you own an idea, good things, like a video library of extreme sports coverage, happen.
By owning any idea, brands become a source for audiences. You may not be looking for content sponsored by Red Bull, but you may be looking for videos about BMX contests, snowboarding, kitesurfing, cliff diving, skydiving, Danny MacAskill, Sean Pettit, and Felix Baumgartner. And when you find it, you'll most likely enter Red Bull's world.
But even if you don't find yourself in Red Bull's world with the first extreme sports video you choose, think about all the related videos that are available from Red Bull. If you keep clicking, you'll land on one of those eventually.
Owning an idea also means taking it where it's never been before, showing audiences something they've never seen and won't soon forget.
This brings us to Felix Baumgartner -- the world-famous daredevil -- and his record-breaking jump from the edge of space in October. Red Bull and Baumgartner began working on the jump in 2005. The logistics were mind-boggling. They had to develop the capsule, the suit, the parachute, safety protocols, secure high-altitude helium balloons, a medical team, a U.S. gas balloon license, and conduct multiple tests, training sessions, and trials, all before the real jump.
This level of brand commitment only happens when you want to own an idea.
What did Red Bull "get" from this commitment? Beyond the mainstream media coverage of Felix flying up to 127,000 feet, opening the capsule, jumping out, and breaking the sound barrier falling to the earth with Red Bull branding in nearly every shot, Red Bull's campaign for the jump scored 147 million video views in October alone, with 50 million views coming in its first three days. It's become the second largest video campaign of the year, the fourth largest video campaign in history, and trumps the second place brand on this month's chart by three times the views.
And even after all that, Red Bull didn't miss a step in continuing its drum beat of content. It's published close to 100 videos since Baumgartner's jump, all related to extreme sports.
Which makes sense, because one of the biggest benefits of owning an idea is that figuring out what's next comes naturally -- the next big jump, the next big race, the next big [insert extreme sport here] competition. Not that it's easy, but it's an organic progression.
A steady stream of content is critical in a world where audiences can choose to watch branded video whenever they want. If they're looking for a video about skydiving and Red Bull hasn't published a video recently, they'll simply choose another video, or, worse, another video published by a competitor.
If you're looking for other examples of brands owning an idea, look no further than P&G and the 2012 Olympics. For eight months leading up to the games, P&G published multiple creatives about Olympic athletes and their moms with the support of multiple media pushes to own the Olympics. If you wanted to learn more about the Olympics or Olympic athletes, P&G had you covered. The result? 46.2 million video views.
Let's look at another CPG brand -- Betty Crocker. Betty Crocker wanted to own birthdays. To do this, the company produced more than 30 how-to videos about how to make extravagant birthday cakes, ranging from a princess cake to a castle cake to a fire engine cake and much more. Owning birthdays and birthday cakes proved to be a powerful idea and over the past few years has won Betty Crocker and the campaign more than 150 million video views.
Each of these CPG brands found an idea to own and ran with it, generating millions of video views in the process.
And with this idea of owning extreme sports leading to Red Bull's content strategy, don't be surprised when we see another massive video campaign from them again. After all, it's fun to watch a guy jump out of a space capsule at 127,000 feet. I'm looking forward to seeing how they top that.
Matt Fiorentino is the director of marketing at Visible Measures.
iMedia's Top 10 Brands in Video chart, powered by Visible Measures, focuses on aggregated brand view counts across related social video ad campaigns. Each brand and campaign is measured on a True Reach basis, which includes viewership of both brand-syndicated and audience-driven video clips. The data are compiled using the patented Visible Measures platform, a constantly growing repository of analytic data on close to 400 million videos tracked across more than 300 online video destinations.
Note: This analysis does not include Visible Measures' paid-placement (e.g., overlays; pre-, mid-, and post-roll) performance data or video views on private sites. This chart does not include movie trailers, video game campaigns, TV show, or media network promotions. View counts are incremental by month.
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