Felix Baumgartner’s jump for the Red Bull Stratos project created a number of records. Besides the significance of the feat, it was also important for brands for two reasons:
Firstly, it was not broadcast through television, but on YouTube (gaining nearly 8 million live viewers). Whilst there have been live events on the internet for a number of years, nothing of this nature has ever been broadcast in this way. We are moving away from traditional TV formats, to internet-based viewing on a range of devices – from TV sets, to tablets to mobile phones. Could the jump mark the start of a new way of broadcasting?
Secondly, the jump was not orchestrated by an agency, such as NASA or a private adventurer with brand sponsorship. Adventurous though it was Baumgartner’s feat was about creating brand content for Red Bull. Ironically it also created plenty of data for NASA to sift through. For many brands, the future of engagement is around content. Red Bull have been doing it successfully for some years and the jump was the pinacle of this approach.
Not to be outdone, Nestle sent a KitKat into space the following day. Whilst it only attracted 33,000 views, a fraction of the Red Bull visits, the budget was considerably less. A nice piece of guerrilla marketing.