February 16, 2005
Excerpts: Brand Hijack - Part V
Mateschitz learned in the pre-launch years that advertising would play a very specific and limited role in the marketing of his complex brand: It is used to reinforce, not introduce, the brand experience. Red Bull only aired ads after the launch phase, and they remain a small part of the overall marketing mix.
Initially, Red Bulls agency, led by Johannes Kastner, could not even come up with an idea for an ad campaign. But once they realized that the ads only purposes were to build brand awareness and likeability and not to do the overall marketing job (i.e., establishing and increasing the understanding and acceptance of the energy drink category)the task became much easier for the creatives.
In a now well-known last-ditch effort, Kastners team came up with the Red Bull gives you wiiiings campaign. The odd cartoon with a problem/solution message has been run consistently since 1988 on TV and radio throughout the world.
The company is also clever about the more subtle aspects of media planning. For instance, the brand stays off-air during the peak summer months, when share of voice would sink significantly anyway. In order to reach the right audience, its media planners focus on progressive and innovative TV and radio stations. Also, Red Bull doesnt use print media to convey its brand message. The flatness of the medium doesnt connote energy, which is the key Red Bull message.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.