Cover photo © Credits to T_o_m_o
Cover photo © Credits to T_o_m_o

Does Red Bull give you wings?

3 minutes to read

I am sure that almost all of you have heard of a famous slogan “Red Bull gives you wings”. This article will be dedicated to the most popular Austrian brand worldwide, except Mozart, maybe. While Mozart is a synonym for music, Red Bull is connected with excitement, and it is said, at least in the marketing campaign of the company, that the drink from a blue-silver can “gives you wings”.

From the copycat to the bull

The company Red Bull GmbH owes its fame to the energy drink of the same name. Red Bull beverage was inspired by the energy drink from Thailandn that had the same logo of a red bull on the yellow sun and the similar name. "Krating Daeng" translated from the Thai language means "red gaur", which is the largest extant bovine. The drink was modified by an Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz to fit the tastes of Westerners, and in a partnership with the owner of Thai company Chaleo Yoovidhya, he launched it in 1987 for the Western markets.

Photo © Credits to Mashable

Unlike in Thailand where energy drinks are mostly popular among the blue-collar workers as a low cost item, Red Bull has from the beginning positioned itself as an upscale, trendy drink with a premium pricing. 30 years later, Red Bull is the world’s third most valuable beverage brand, after Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Red Bull drink is sold in 171 countries, and in total, 6.3 billion cans of Red Bull were sold in 2017 worldwide.

Flying high

The main reason for the global success of the Red Bull energy drink, where this beverage has given birth to a totally new product category, is an excellent brand advertising strategy with a mixture of sports and events sponsoring. Red Bull has created a 'brand myth' around its name. Although often connected with the health risks and some negative publicity that came from those claims, the company has connected its product to the sport. And it was a major success. Red Bull is the owner of multiple sports teams such as football clubs RB Leipzig, FC Red Bull Salzburg, FC Liefering, Red Bull Brasil and New York Red Bulls. They also own Ice hockey teams - EC Red Bull Salzburg and EHC Red Bull München, as well as Formula One teams - Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. The company is also in the possession of the Red Bull Ring, previously known by the name Österreichring, a motor-sport race track with a long tradition of holding races and a home of Formula One Grand Prix in Spielberg.

Red Bull is famous for supporting extreme sports events such as Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Red Bull Air Race, Red Bull Crashed Ice and many others. It is also promoted via various music-related activities. They are the owners of Red Bull Records, a global record label headquartered in Los Angeles and the Red Bull Music Academy, that organises music workshops and festivals around the world.

Finally, the Red Bull Company is the owner of the Flying Bulls, a company gathered around a group of aviation enthusiasts with an enormous passion for rare historical aeroplanes, which owns a private aircraft fleet based in Salzburg. These rare planes among other stuff can be experienced in the Hangar-7, an architectural masterpiece and a unique hangar, located at the Salzburg Airport.

Their unique marketing strategy made Red Bull the energy drink with the highest market share of any energy drink in the world and the best-known Austrian product worldwide. However, Red Bull was accused of false marketing. The plaintiff in the case said that the claims that the drink can improve a concentration and a reaction speed were false and lacked scientific support. As a settlement, Red Bull has offered to compensate the consumers either with as $10 reimbursement or $15 worth Red Bull products. It turns out that Red Bull does not give you wings, even in the figurative sense.

However, being the most recognisable Austrian brand, we can say that Red Bull is giving wings to Austria and is doing very good marketing for the country.


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The author

Ogi Savic

Ogi Savic

I am Ogi. A journalist and economist, I live in Vienna and I am passionate about skiing, traveling, good food and drinks. I write about all these aspects (and more) of beautiful Austria.

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