Who is more popular: Red Bull or Felix Baumgartner? – Stratos Project

It was October 14th 2012, a regular Sunday evening. Why would this day become so incredibly special? I was just at home, dining with my friends and suddenly I got a message from another friend who texted: OMYGOD, in a few minutes some SICK-dude will jump from 39 kilometres (128.000 ft.), you can watch it live on YouTube, TUNE IN TUNE IN! At first, we were not that surprised. OK, someone will jump, but whatever he must be out of control right? She then mentioned: No really, you have to watch it on YouTube, this is not normal!
So we grabbed my laptop and watched it together online. Suddenly, we were aware that this was a media stunt of Red Bull. Within a few minutes we were all silent watching him jump. It was amazing, never seen such thing before.

In case you have not seen the jump on YouTube or another live stream, here it is:

After the jump, we discussed: why would Red Bull put so much money into one jump? Before the jump, there were so many checklists, and people working ‘behind’ the jump. Why would Red Bull do this? Apparently, this media stunt of Red Bull really worked. Social Media was up side down because of the free-fall of Felix Baumgartner. But why was this stunt not hyped all over the news worldwide?
Today I did some research on how Social Media was influenced by this free-fall. I found a remarkable blog post of someone who did some research before the jump (thus, creating the buzz). She researched whether Red Bull got more exposure or Felix Baumgartner since he is an popular skydiver, Dare-devil and Base-Jumper. He already did some amazing jumps and broke many world-records.

Of course, Red Bull was hoping to get more popularity, since they are the sponsors and it is all about their brand (energy drink with slogan: “Gives you wings”). Therefore I guessed Red Bull would win the ‘popularity contest’. She did some comparisons before the jump (from 7 October till 10 October) with some keywords such as “Livejump” (official hashtag of the Stratos Project) and “Baumgartner” for Felix Baumgartner, and the keywords “Livejump” and “Red Bull” for Red Bull.

These are some statistics found by her:

Clearly, Baumgartner is the winner when it comes to Blogs, News, Forums and, Twitter. His name reached a higher amount of mentions than Red Bull.

After these comparisons she broke her research down by researching tweets on Twitter. This is only the comparison for Twitter (of course, this is one of the biggest social network sites of today). Here is the graph for that comparison:

You can see that Baumgartner has more popularity, since he had 17,136 tweets and Red Bull only had 12,381 tweets. This is a significant difference.

Her final comparison was the popularity difference of these two between countries.

As for popularity of these two in the United States and Mexico, Red Bull is more popular than Felix Baumgartner (however, these differences are not that big). In the United Kingdom and Spain, Felix Baumgartner is more popular than Red Bull. Next to that, Felix Baumgartner is slightly more popular in ‘other countries’.

After here calculations and comparisons, Felix Baumgartner became the absolute winner of the ‘popularity test’. He won with 58% share of voice.
What do these outcomes mean? So far, as for these comparisons, Felix Baumgartner is more popular than Red Bull. I think that the promotion of Red Bull, for their own brand, was not enough. For example, my friend was watching the live stream already and did not even mentioned Red Bull when she texted that we should watch (two times). Besides that, before her text message, I had no clue Red Bull was even preparing the jump. I think, Red Bull needs to put more effort in promoting these ‘crazy’ media stunts. There were so many people ‘behind’ the jump working for the best results. Felix risked his life for this jump. So why was this media stunt not hyped all over the world? Normally Red Bull is a promoter and sponsor of such extreme sports. We should have known that this was a new media stunt of Red Bull. However, in this case it did not worked. In addition, YouTube had approximately 8 million viewers (Telegraph.com). The amount of viewers could have been much higher.

So what do you think were the mistakes Red Bull made before the stunt?

Isabel Beijers 335155


Blogpost and comparisons by Renee (including graphs): http://blog.sysomos.com/2012/10/10/felix-baumgartner-vs-red-bull-who-got-more-exposure/

Telegraph.com: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/9608815/Felix-Baumgartners-record-skydive-millions-watch-and-follow-on-social-media.html

Information Red Bull and Stratos project jump: http://www.redbull.com/cs/Satellite/en_INT/Red-Bull.com/001242745950125


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