Caffeine culture: Austria’s Red Bull creates its own extreme world


Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t the only extreme American icon to come out of Austria. As is turns out, Red Bull, the first and most popular energy drink, also has Austrian origins.

Since it was first sold in Austria in 1987, the brand has moved into global markets in over 160 countries and obtained almost 50 percent of the energy drink market share with approximately four billion cans consumed each year.

The energy drink claims to enhance users’ mental and physical performance through a combination of natural and added ingredients, including taurine, glucuronolactone, caffeine, B vitamins, sucrose and glucose. The brand’s only major problem is that the drink doesn’t taste very good.

Now you may be wondering, how did Red Bull become so popular? The answer is that the company has created its own young, active culture — “the World of Red Bull,” as its commercials claim — to surround the brand. Red Bull has used this culture to pound their message into the heads of youth all over the world: To be active you need energy, so guzzle our caffeinated drink.

Red Bull makes it clear that no matter your lifestyle, Red Bull helps you do what you need to do better by enhancing your energy, strength, concentration, and alertness. Whether you’re an athlete who wants to up his or her performance in extreme sports, a student who needs to do some extreme studying, or a professional that wants to breeze through the work day, Red Bull is for you.

Red Bull’s key to success has been to create a truly extreme culture to surround the brand. Those who drink Red Bull don’t just use a brand; they live an extreme lifestyle in one way or another, and Red Bull makes that possible.

Let’s say you’re a young person, and you ask, “How do I know Red Bull aligns with the type of activities I like to do?” As could be expected, the brand advertises their extreme message and culture using sports heroes as spokespeople. But the company has also taken their marketing to the next level by Red Bull sponsoring all kinds of sports and recreational activities that appeal to this young crowd:
• it sponsors air racing, extreme sports teams and soccer teams internationally.
• it sponsor seven more types of sports teams in Austria.
• it has its own culture website with dance, music and film related to Red Bull.


Red Bull has even created its own publications and shows for all of the major media platforms, including television, magazines, blogs, videos on the web, and a handful of interactive websites. Red Bull Media House—the brand’s subsidiary media company—coordinates the company’s media efforts to promote Red Bull-infused lifestyles, sports and entertainment.

If anything, Red Bull’s marketing mantra would have to be: extreme marketing for an extreme lifestyle.

“Red Bull gives you wings.”

Written by: Jamie Tanner and Claire Taylor

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