Branded Content Marketing: What Your Business Can Learn from Red Bull

Six-year-old Red Bull Media House has over 135 full-time publishing house employees. They’ve produced 105 videos with at least 1 million views on YouTube. Their 2011 film, The Art of Flight, topped the iTunes charts. And those are just a few of their marketing milestones.

Walking through their Santa Monica facility at a breakfast meeting recently, I was visually reminded of Red Bull’s shrewd choice to market their brand using “pull marketing” techniques.

Contently cites the opportunity for other companies to learn from Red Bull’s strategies:

Just as Red Bull capitalized on the lack of media attention to extreme sports there are other opportunities for brands to fill gaps in the content universe.

There are myriad topics with hungry audiences but nobody creating a consistent amount of high-quality content. It’s on brands to locate those opportunities.

In doing so, brands would be smart to remember their advantages as publishers:

  • They have no need to sell advertising, besides their own branding, which allows them to offer their audience a cleaner and superior experience
  • They can run at a loss while still delivering a net profit
  • They can leverage the large, built-in social followings that many top CPC brands enjoy

Taking a Leading Role in Branded Media Content Marketing

Red Bull Media House – No media company on earth owns the extreme sports space like Red Bull, and more than any other company, they represent the full potential of brand publishing, capitalizing on nearly every multimedia channel available.

Contently outlines Red Bull’s successful, content oriented approach in the PDF “How Storytelling is transforming CPC” (Consumer Packaged Content Marketing):

On the surface, Red Bull’s approach isn’t particularly ground breaking. It identified its core consumer and asked: What do they want? What do they like?
Well, they like extreme sports and action.

Lots of brands get to this point. The difference between Red Bull and most brands, though, is that it got to this point and decided to create the vehicle through which its core customers consume the things they love.

Red Bull Media House lives up to its name; there’s a whole family of media sub-brands driving Red Bull’s content marketing operation. The company’s magazine, The Red Bulletin, is available online, via an iPad app, and through a print magazine that boasts around 5 million paid subscribers. Red Bull even has a film studio and a record label.

The marketing strategy that has worked best for us is not to publish our strategies,” said a Red Bull representative. But it’s not difficult to decode and see how the blueprint can be applied by other CPC brands. It can be summarized in a sentence: Determine what your audience wants, and give it to them better than anyone else.


sporting4Feature Film: The Art of Flight


Print: The Red Bulletin


Sporting Events Captured on Media:
Formula One, plane racing, snowboarding, cycling, more…


Music: Music School and month long event – Music Academy

The need to produce original marketing content creates similar challenges for new businesses and established brands.

Jeff Bullas writes about the difficulties companies face when adopting a branded content marketing model:

Its pull rather than push marketing
Entertain and educate first and sell second
You don’t talk about your product
You must think and act like a publisher not an advertiser
You operate in real time
Need different resources
Needs a different culture

Publishing branded content and embracing this new marketing approach means:

Re-allocation of company resources
Re-educating the team
Changing the culture
Adapting to a mobile content world
Understanding re-purposing of content
Developing an integrated mindset
Creating “conversations around the brand” not about the brand

Inside Red Bull’s Santa Monica California Production Facility

So what can your business learn from Red Bull?

Here are a few strategies to consider and apply:

Learn to “entertain first”
Build an audience for your content and the sales will come

Create conversations “around” your brand
No one wants to talk about a drink…
But they will talk about music, share amazing photos and embed videos that are epic!

Learn to “monetize your content”
Red Bull licenses some of their images, sells movies and charges to read their magazine

Create a “focused and powerful content strategy”
Red Bull set up a separate, media company to publishing their awesome content

Understand the “importance of mobile”
Red Bull has developed apps, games and platforms that work on a variety of devices

Quality is very important, but “you need quality and quantity” too
Red Bull is “everywhere”! Look around.

Mashable said: “Red Bull is a publishing empire that just happens to sell a beverage.”


terrysarticle1Power Breakfast # 72 at Red Bull – Nikolaus Kimla CEO of Pipeliner


Red Bull is the most popular energy drink in the world with 5.387 billion cans sold in 2013.

Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz was inspired by a pre-existing energy drink invented and sold in Thailand. He took the idea, modified the ingredients and founded Red Bull GmbH in 1987, in partnership with Chaleo Yoovidhya.

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About The Author: 

Terry Hayes is an Online Marketing Consultant and Hubspot Software Consultant at Agency IMC based in Santa Monica, California.

by admin
Posted: June 10, 2014