Brand: Red Bull
Agency: Red Bull Media House
Red Bull NA gets it -- plain and simple. It approaches a new market holistically, recognizes where consumers aspire to be, and has the softest touch of any brand to-date. Red Bull identifies a target demographic, examines who could build a career from that segment, hones in on those professionals, and supports them to the fullest -- thereby creating very popular and influential pros in the process. The company then builds from there, adding support for multiple professionals and teams and follows it up with live events. In the case of gaming, that meant recruiting Dave "Walshy" Walsh, the No. 1 "Halo" franchise gamer in the world at the time. This was a wise choice since Walsh -- at the ripe old age of 26 -- retired and became the John Madden of pro gaming. Talk about a return on investment for the brand! Taking to heart the valuable feedback of its pros, Red Bull partners with organizations that reflect the company's philosophy.
Full disclosure, one such strategy was the underwriting of individual memberships in the association I run, which represents gamers in the U.S. and Canada:
It's worth mentioning the above campaign because of its smart and intuitive tactics. Red Bull NA paid just $1 per underwritten membership and was able to give away a $20 value to its fans and followers. Additionally, it built a phenomenal database, which would have otherwise cost significantly more on a cost per acquisition basis.
What's next: Red Bull is really just getting started in the space -- making it almost unfair to judge. However, like most brands, Red Bull ebbs and flows in the gaming space, which is likely to do with budget constraints. That said, if it spent a fraction of its motocross advertising budget on national ad campaigns for gaming, the company would be far better off. For example, the brand spent millions on a multi-media spend, across various channels and even Xbox Live, to promote its disabled motocross athlete, Ashley Fiolek. She's beautiful and exceptionally talented, but gamers could care less. Had Red Bull instead spent that budget against professional gamer, Dave "Walshy" Walsh, it would have had a far more impactful result. I briefly spotted one ad on the Xbox Live dashboard a few weeks ago that featured its sponsored gaming team, Status Quo, and highlighted rising star Ian "enable" Wyatt -- this is definitely a step in the right direction.