Do you know who Dietrich Mateschitz is? Here’s a hint he was listed as one of Forbes 250th richest people in the world. He has an estimated net worth of $4 Billion. And most importantly he is the co-founder of Red Bull. Mateschitz created the energy drink industry, starting off without any competition and continuing to surpass competition.



With 5.2 billion cans of the energy drinks sold worldwide in 2012, making Red Bull the most popular energy drink in the world. The drink was co-founded by Austrian entrepreneur, Dietrich Mateschitz, in 1987, and brought to the United States in 1997. But how did a simple energy drink become known worldwide? That’s simple- genius marketing.


Red Bull has created an easy to remember slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings”. They have marketed Red Bull by creating their own events, such as starting the Red Bull Air Race in 2003, an international series of air races in which competitors are challenged to finish obstacle courses in record time. Another event is the Red Bull Crashed Ice, an international winter sports event.


Red Bull also became involved in sports team ownership such as Red Bull Brazil and Red Bull New York. Red Bull created its own record label, Red Bull Records. They have received endorsements from numerous celebrities and athletes. Red Bull joined in on the video game industry making sports games even with Red Bull billboards in the virtual world.


Why Did Red Bull Become so Popular?

One answer: content marketing. Everyone wants to be a part of something; everyone wants the newest and latest things. Red Bull made the people want the brand; they made the brand attainable and accessible by having so many sources of marketing. The audience wants the wings, to be above the non-Red Bull drinkers. Red Bull used ‘extreme’ sports to make themselves an ‘extreme’ brand.


Red Bull’s strongest attribute is entertainment. They entertain with sports, music, and videos. They get their name out their without necessarily showing someone drinking the energy drink. The energy drink follows the company name, not the other way around. The sales will come after people are entertained. Red Bull reversed the rule of “quality not quantity,” by getting their name and brand out there on every platform possible. Red Bull knows what the people want- people don’t want to be bored, so from sports to YouTube videos, to mobile games, the audience is always being entertained by Red Bull.


Red Bull targets young men, especially athletes, and where there are young men there’s young women, so that takes care of both genders when it comes to marketing. The demographic was first approached in colleges and Red Bull relied on the process of word of mouth to get their brand moving. Then Red Bull reached out to young men that were interested in extreme sports such as snowboarding, windsurfing, and other dangerous sports. In correlation with holding their own events, Red Bull has attached video cameras on the helmets of the athletes performing dangerous stunts. There are videos virtually everywhere on YouTube,  Vine, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


Move Over, Condé Nast

Red Bull took two different forms of marketing and molded them into a genius ploy to reach a larger audience. With the growth of digital marketing, social media, and blogs, Red Bull has grown from an energy drink to a marketing expert. Red Bull is now a marketing kingdom, with its energy drink taking the back seat.


Red Bull has taken charge in publishing media forming Red Bull Media House. Like most media companies, Red Bull has gone mobile creating their own app allowing for their own web TV and web radio. The app is designed to leave your boring life behind and get lost in this trance of exciting Red Bull videos on a Red Bull TV channel. The Red Bull App is the #1 app in Entertainment in Austria, France, and Sweden.


Debuting their first feature film, Red Bull created an 80 minute snowboarding documentary film titled “The Art of Flight.” The media powerhouse also established themselves in the genre of print with distributing 5 million copies a month of their own magazine.



Making a soft drink does not take that much money to create; the money goes into the packaging. Red Bull has made their packaging their product. When Red Bull was created, they created the energy drink industry. The closest competitor in energy drinks is Monster, even Coke and Pepsi have tried to come up with their own energy drinks but Red Bull has overpowered them by using outside strategies, staying away from generic branding, and attaching themselves to extreme events. According to Red Bull it seems better to stray away from the group and not play it safe when it comes to marketing. Get involved with ‘crazy’ ideas and see your brand get ‘crazy’ famous.


By Mary Zawistowski