On October 15th, 2012 Felix Baumgartner hurled from space, flipped through the atmosphere, and landed on earth. He fell at a rate of over 800 mph, free falling a distance of 24 miles (over 127,000 feet), and shattering 4 world records along the way. Felix captivated over 8 million people who watched live on YouTube. More than 40 TV stations picked up the feed. More than half a million Facebook users “liked” a photo of Felix landing back on earth within moments of him landing. 30,000 shared the photo just seconds later. Over half of the worldwide trending topics on Twitter involved this event. In typical LRW style, we hear all this data about this seemingly epic event and ask, “so what?®”
Baumgartner would not have been able to make his record-breaking jump without sponsorship from Red Bull. Red Bull spent 7 years and likely millions of dollars on Felix’s fall to grace. On its face, the daring and extreme stunt challenges human limits. What could be more fitting for the Red Bull brand? After this jump, does “anyone doubt that Red Bull Gives You Wings?”
But will the “mission to the edge of space” strengthen Red Bull’s wings? Sure there were lots of eyeballs on Felix all week…but how many of them understood the Red Bull connection? How many video viewers headed out to their local convenience store to buy a can of Red Bull? More importantly, how many will reach for a Red Bull instead of a Monster, Full Throttle, or Rockstar next month because Felix broke the sound barrier wearing Red Bull on his suit?
Felix said just before he jumped from the edge of the stratosphere,
“Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you really are.”
We agree. You must often change your perspective to get perspective. Soon enough Red Bull will know the business impact of this one-of-a kind event. They will know if the energy and dollars expended for science and marketing strengthened Red Bull’s brand associations and its sales.
With feet firmly planted on the ground, we wonder if Felix’s space jump gave Red Bull wings.