Insights into brands using extreme adventure as a marketing tool
Adrenaline is the reason I do what I do.
- Julianne Hough
What is the first thing that comes to mind, when you think of extreme adventure? Historically, extreme sports have always been perceived as activities involving a high degree of physical exertion, immense speed, and risk. Only the most daring athletes engaged in these challenging sports because the activities induced adrenaline and created a sensation of thrill, even amongst spectators.
The concept of extreme adventure would not have been as popular as it is today, if it weren’t for two beverage brands: Red Bull and Monster.
Created in 1987 as a local energy drink that was meant to help keep consumers alert, Red Bull was the pioneer in promoting a high energy lifestyle for beverage drinkers by leveraging its infamous slogan “Red Bull Gives You Wings”. By targeting a younger audience and attaching a ‘cool’ quotient to consuming the drink, the brand’s marketing strategy has proved to be a success. Likewise, Monster Energy drink was unveiled into the market in 2002 and it similarly branded itself as a high-energy inducing beverage for millennials across the globe.
Both of these brands focus on sponsoring extreme adventure sporting events across the globe along with athletes that are looking to engage in them for the adrenaline rush. The end result? The communication strategies used by the companies create a thrilling experience wherein even a non-energy drink consumer gets fascinated by the energizing impact of consuming the beverage.
Looking at the word cloud data of the most used words in Instagram posts across all brands, we noticed a cluster of words relating to names of extreme sporting events, such as “x games women”, “red bull cliff diving world series”, and “natural selection tour”. This highlights the number of championships hosted by these brands that focus on extreme adventure: whether it is skiing, windsurfing, or rock-climbing - the common denominator is creating a perception of excitement, adventure, and exhilaration that will enthrall the consumer into wanting to try the drink. Interestingly, the names of the events have a raw, bold, and risk-filled vibe to them that generates an aura of intrigue.
We also observed the usage of phrases relating to streaming platforms such as “youtube”, “red bull tv”, and “favorite podcast platform”. This depicts the popularity and high viewership of all the sponsored events, which exemplifies the strong brand image that has been created. Being a spectator to a high-energy sporting event is an experience in itself that is a hook for brand loyalists.
What exactly are the primary communication cues of brands using extreme adventure as marketing tools online? Using our Culture AI, we analyzed the Instagram handles of Red Bull, Monster, and other beverage brands such as Mountain Dew that use a similar marketing strategy, in order to understand their messaging and style.
Communication cues used by these brands
Each of the brands that use extreme adventure as an advertising strategy have one common factor, as deciphered by our AI: short and quirky taglines that depict the energizing qualities of the drink. Whether the slogan is “Red Bull Gives You Wings”, “Do the Dew”, or “Unleash the Beast” - the idea behind communicating bold, energy-filled taglines is to create a consumer perception of being limitless. The taglines not only fuel the action-packed sporting content frequently used by the brands, but also give people the push to overcome their fears.
Most of the content produced by these brands is vibrant, energized, and thrilling. Since the communication is to do with sporting events, rallies, and sportspeople performing stunts, the accompanying music used is upbeat and motivational. The positive soundtracks inspire the audience to take a leap of faith and try out things they have never done before. Once again, the idea is for consumers to associate the brand and its products with attaining a daring attitude and overcoming obstacles.
Podcasts and Youtube channels
While most of these beverage brands try to equate their products to adrenaline-filled activities and extreme sports, they also portray themselves as experts in the space. Red Bull, Monster, and Mountain Dew all have active Youtube channels and shows where they not only live-stream sporting events, but also host interviews with sportspeople, stuntmen, and record-holders. The idea behind this is to increase engagement by providing the audience with insights into the uncommon sporting activities and displaying visuals of risky stunts. These channels also offer spectators a platform to interact with the athletes to better understand the sport.
In an attempt to capture the attention of their audiences, brands leveraging extreme adventure sports use bright colors on their communication channels. Our AI detected vivid shades of red, green, orange, and purple on the Instagram handles of these brands, which would likely increase user engagement. The vibrant content exudes energy and passion, which in turn ties in with the concept of extreme adventure and adrenaline.
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