When Red Bull decided to sponsor Felix Baumgartner’s record attempt to jump from the edge of space, they probably had a good inclination that it would be a good PR stunt. A PR stunt it might have been, but it captured the imagination of people around the world – to the point where even other brands attempted to leverage the buzz. According to a report by the Telegraph, the stunt generated over $150M worth of publicity.
The story had all the right ingredients to get people talking. There was adventure, suspense, danger, technology, and of course the boundless romance of space – that final frontier as one TV show put it. The suspense built up as Felix geared up for the launch, only for the jump to be canceled at the last minute. It seemed like every media house around the world was following the story minute by minute – publicity that is hard to come by without very deep pockets. Finally, on October 14th, Felix ascended to the heavens in his specially made capsule and took one giant leap of faith.
Here’s What Happened Next
On Facebook, Red Bull has always done a brilliant job of engaging its fans. In fact, it’s currently the number one beverage on Facebook according to the Unmetric Score. However, the nature of the space jump gave them extra ammunition to reach even more people. See how the fan numbers and engaged fans jumped at the time of the launch.
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Twitter was an invaluable tool for Red Bull to keep the media and waiting masses updated minute by minute. Was the jump going to go ahead? How high is Felix now? What altitude did he reach? Did he really just break the sound barrier? Every tweet was read by tens of thousands, retweeted by thousands, and picked up by the media. See the graph below to see how Red Bull’s follower growth jumped on October 13.
The space jump was a visual treat, from the futuristic capsule to the stunning panorama photos taken from the edge of space. Red Bull used YouTube to capture every moment and the final cut video has been one of the most watched videos on YouTube this month – check out the view growth rate; over 28M views and counting.
The event also had an impact on the number of subscribers to Red Bull’s page. They added over 150,000 new subscribers in just over 10 days. Most YouTube channels don’t have 150,000 subscribers in total with even heavyweight brands like Coca-Cola only tipping the scales at 85,000 subscribers.
The space jump was talked about by people, media, and brands alike. Kit Kat, whose branding is all about taking a break and finds innovative ways to take a break, opted for some event hijacking by posting this image on their Facebook page when the first jump was called off due to bad weather.
Kit Kat even proved to be dynamic enough to create their own space launch video by creating the first chocolate bar to be launched in to space. The video received attention from the mainstream media, but not on the scale of Felix’s space jump. That said, it was the most popular video Kit Kat have ever done on YouTube.
Space and human adventure still captivates the public imagination, and Red Bull scored a home run with their sponsorship of Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking jump. With everyone talking about Red Bull, who’s going to remember the other energy drinks?