Red Bull Canada: McMorris & McMorris

I’d give the crown to Red Bull for any of its branded content – think Felix Baumgartner’s 2012 moon jump.  This was all about reinforcing Red Bull’s extreme sports positioning and definitely gave a new meaning to red bull gives you wings.  It was different than advertising because it was newsworthy and succeeded in reaching millions of viewers without any paid advertising support.  All the investment was in producing the event itself:
Since I’m Canadian however, I’ll nominate a Red Bull Canada branded content series – McMorris & McMorris – that airs on MTV Canada and follows the extreme lifestyles of last year’s Sochi Olympics Bronze Medalist Mark McMorris and his brother..  The series does no hard selling, Red Bull doesn’t even advertise during commercial time in the show, but it is very effective at reinforcing Red Bull’s positioning.  The series provides the perfect narrative to reinforce Red Bull brand attributes.

Brands becoming media owners like Red Bull is one of the key trends predicted by industry experts in the The Future of Branded Content Marketing report that was included in the last edition of our Best of Branded Content Marketing book. Others like Ogilvy Group UK’s Vice Chairman Rory Sutherland think that brands need to be realistic about competing with content creators, unless they’re prepared to risk allocating budget that could result in failure. You can read the interview with Rory by BOBCM’s curator Justin Kirby, and more of his vital insight in Justin’s ‘A glimpse into the future of branded content marketing’ article for Contagious..

The Red Bull Stratos campaign mentioned above is discussed by former Ad Age editor and recently appointed Chief Content Officer at DigitasLBi Scott Donaton in Justin’s interview with him last year when he was at UM. He was the president of the Branded Content & Entertainment jury at Cannes in 2013, and explains in the interview the campaign was thought to be favourite to win the Grand Prix before the jury had convened. But by end of the week the jury were less sure whether it would have won anything because it wasn’t really a story.

These different perspectives form part of a new report we are putting together for the latest edition of the Best of Branded Content Marketing that this series feeds into. You can find out more about the report, the responses to date and even participate yourself here.

If you’d also like to share an example then please tweet via @juzzie using the #BOBCM hashtag or get in touch through the contact page.