I have termed this transformative typology of experience a Full Spectrum Experience, due to its multiple compelling attributes delivered in multiple dimensions of engagement: Intellectual, Physical (audio, video, motion, purpose, action, duration, risk), Emotional, Spiritual, Social as well as having a Temporal dimension (time and space) and a Transformative Dimension. Red Bull, a brand fully engaged in transforming their consumers into an audience, delivered one of the best examples of a full spectrum experience: the free fall from the edge of space. The October 2012 Felix Baumgartner jump had all the compelling attributes, and dimensions, of engagement of a full spectrum experience:

  • • Intellectual engagement.
  • • Physical engagement (audio, video, motion, purpose, action, duration, risk).
  • • Emotional engagement.
  • • Spiritual engagement.
  • • Social engagement.
  • • Historical.
  • • Temporal dimension (time and space).
  • • Transformative dimension.

All in the course of a timeline that started in 2005 with the first media stories about Felix Baumgartner, and the direction in which Red Bull was thinking. This was a multiyear journey, with public milestones along the way, milestones capable of attracting an audience and have them emotionally and intellectually invested, before the jump itself.

The event took place on October 14, 2012—a free-fall jump of 128,000 feet—and was watched on YouTube by eight million viewers, after a brilliantly planned teaser campaign that started in February the same year and focused on introducing the deeply human story of the little boy who wanted to break a record. The record for the highest altitude of a high jump and longest duration belonged to Joe Kittinger. The boy was Felix Baumgartner. In October 2012 he broke five records, and became the first human to break the sound barrier without engine power. Red Bull streamed the event live on its own YouTube channel, retaining all control over the broadcasting rights for the event.

Nearly 80 TV stations in 50 countries carried the broadcast. The live webcast was distributed through 280 digital partners and racked up 52 million views, making it the most-watched live stream in history.1 What Red Bull was successful in creating is a moment in history, and a moment that has become, on the same October day, an icon of popular culture. Red Bull's YouTube channel has at the time of writing 3,697,540[1] [2] subscribers and more than 4,000 videos.

There are many lessons that Red Bull's Stratos Jump can teach in connection with the planning and execution of an engaging full spectrum experience. It starts with a compelling story and content in the pre-promotion phase—aspirations to be the first and best at something are always compelling to an audience. This ensures temporal, intellectual and emotional engagement. A connection with the individual and his dreams and aspirations takes care of the intellectual engagement. High quality content on the YouTube platform combined with good story telling and a dramatic story to tell, supplies the social engagement and community involvement. And lastly, the records themselves provide the historical significance, strengthening the social engagement and adding a spiritual transformative dimension. Hard to beat.

  • [1] Available at: http://www.decisionmarketing.co.uk/indepth/content-really-king-marketers (accessed: September 3, 2014).
  • [2] Available at http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=red+bull (accessed: September 3,2014).
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