Tag Archives: advertising

Would Red Bull’s Content Strategy Work for Other Brands?

This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Dan Anslow at PRISM’s London office


Having recently discovered that Red Bull TV is available on any connected device, I’ve been gorging myself on great quality action sport stories.

It’s free, advert-free and if, like me, you’re into your octane, it just might be the best channel on digital air. And it’s all to sell more Red Bull.

But I’m not drinking Red Bull while I’m watching some Cali dude tailwhip his YZ over a mountain of dirt. I’m not even thinking about drinking it. Rather, I’m fantasising about pinning the throttle of a dirt bike with a sky-high rooster tail in my wake.

Does this massively expensive marketing tidal wave to keep Red Bull front and centre of the ‘global fridge of consumer cool’ really work, and, if it does, why don’t other brands do it?

In 2014, Red Bull sold 5.612 billion cans of energy drink and made €5.110 billion in revenue, sharing the profits with its Thai licensee (which makes the product). The company owns F1 cars, puts on amazing events and sponsors high-profile athletes, but it doesn’t make drinks.


Almost every brand out there makes content, but nothing else quite pops like Red Bull’s adrenalin-cool offerings.

But could a major (and already pretty cool) brand like BMW do a Red Bull?

A BMW channel experience that captures the best in art, design and technology, perhaps? There wouldn’t have to be a BMW in every frame, and if the content was good enough, the brand would benefit from its association and sponsorship of the channel. If we began choosing BMW to entertain and educate us for an hour or two every day, would the auto brand need to buy a magazine advert for the new 3 Series ever again?

Stepping away from the traditional way of selling cars with TV and print ads is likely a way too scary prospect for an established automaker, especially one that’s quite happily selling a huge number of cars already. But, if they went for it full throttle and pulled it off, wouldn’t all those conquest Audi and Mercedes sales pay for it?

It’s unlikely a decision any BMW boss would relish taking, while with nothing to lose and everything to gain as it went from zero to sugary hero, Red Bull was in a unique position to create its own marketing space. Now all it has to do is fill that space with great Red Bull stories.

Unique Red Bull might be, but I think any big brand with the corresponding kahooners could take inspiration from Red Bull’s success and create its own positive PR through killer content.

I might not drink Red Bull while watching the Air Race, but when the blue moon shines on that time that I need a kick-start, only the charging Bull will do.

Dan Anslow 

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 


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Content[ed.]: January’s Best Branded Content


Content[ed.]: a monthly overview of some of the latest and greatest in content creation. We applaud the benchmark breakers, berate the boring and confer over the opinion splitters, all in good heart and sometimes with a bit humour.


We’re fortunate to be in an industry where creativity has to be at the core of everything we do. And the rapid proliferation of content and digital platforms for entertainment and discovery means there is no end to the amount of information and inspiration that brands are providing for us.

This month there have been many notable pieces: FKA Twigs and Nike left us believing in more; Samsung showed us how crazy gyms are; Apple took a stroll in the much-talked-about ‘AirPods’. There’s also been an abundance of great content in the sportswear market. Nike, Puma, Under Armour, New Balance, Reebok – all well-known brands making great work in an effort to out-do each other. However, our pick has to be a brand that has really hit the year running – Adidas.


‘One in a Billion’ was right on the money. Superb cinematography, a dig at rivals Under Armour and a Beckham cameo. It’s a great example of how a strong piece of insight on stereotypes of China can be brought to life through content. Adidas is glorifying originality in everything it creates as we’ve seen in the ‘Sport Needs Creators’ and ‘Never Follow’ ads. This latest spot complements this message and celebrates individuality in China. A strong strategy and content to match.


This piece for Originals – Adidas’ most iconic sub-brand – is beautifully bold and rebellious, relentlessly pushing the message that ‘original is never finished’. They’ve avoided using superstars and gone for a more natural message of everyday suburban creativity, Adidas revisits its ‘Originals’ truth that real creativity is everywhere, is collaborative, and is continually evolving. That feeling certainly comes across in the raw and candid style of this film. The detail here is incredible and the song choice inspired, reinvented for a new generation as an anthemic call to action. The production is meticulously planned, but still carries that unpolished, incomplete, gritty feel.


Not actually a piece of work by Adidas this one, as it was made by a German advertising student, but it picked up a lot of views earlier this month. Hats off to the chap because it’s a class piece of content about an ageing marathon runner who is determined to break out of his retirement home. It’s an emotional account that’s left many cheering and some crying. It had such an effect that the Huffington Post and other media urged Adidas to run it. Unfortunately, those calls were ignored. Although the brand was reluctant to back the student ad, we think the message gels with the Adidas’s overall philosophy of inspiring creativity. Not only is the sportswear-maker inspiring athletes to be creators, it seems like they’re inspiring those outside the athletic community, too.

Written by: Oliver Salman & Simon Hanley

Are Brands Losing Faith in the Super Bowl?


This Sunday the Atlanta Falcons meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51. It’s one of the most-watched sporting events in the world (115 million Americans tuned in last year) and a place for brands to wheel out their most impressive, splashy TV commercials.

According to Variety, Fox (the broadcaster that owns the rights to the match this year) is charging from $5m to $5.5m for each 30-second commercial spot during the Super Bowl broadcast. For comparison, a similar slot during a really popular primetime show in the US, such as American Idol, costs around $500,000.

But this year a number of regular Super Bowl brands have decided to sit out the game. Doritos, which has advertised for the past 10 straight years, has declined to buy any time in the Super Bowl, Ad Age reported back in December. This is especially significant given the popularity of Doritos’ Super Bowl ads, which have claimed the top spot in Ace Metrix ranking of the top Super Bowl advertisers from 2010-2016.

Heinz’s Super Bowl ad from 2016 was a big hit

It’s not just Doritos. Digiday reported last week that Toyota, Butterfinger and Taco Bell, all Super Bowl regulars, have declined to buy space. Toyota, which has just been usurped as the world’s largest carmaker by VW, says it has no major car launches in the US until spring, so a Super Bowl spot didn’t make sense.

No word why Taco Bell and others have declined this year, but it could be down to the ever-increasing cost, plus the plethora of alternatives to traditional TV advertising that continue to grow in importance each year. Tellingly, Taco Bell has poured huge resources into leveraging social media, with a broad strategy that includes all major social platforms. This insights report cites a 33% engagement rate on Instagram for Taco Bell posts – 33%! – and 251 million views of online video content since 2011.

With declining attention from TV audiences, many of whom watch with a second screen in their hands, and spiralling costs, perhaps it’s not surprising that some brands are pursuing alternative channels. Added to this, if a brand misjudges its Super Bowl commercial, it can be a very costly, and very public failure.

The day following Super Bowl Sunday, expect industry media (and increasingly consumer press, too) to deconstruct the best and worst commercials that aired. Last year, the New Yorker decided this one from AXE was the best, with this spot from Doritos polling highest with members of the public.

The big fails last year? According to most chatter, this putrid attempt to persuade Americans that borrowing money is patriotic, and this one about a man who has taken so many prescription opiates that he’s badly constipated and jealous of a pooping dog (above).

My favourite from last year? So glad you asked. This one, from beer brand Shock Top. Look out for reports on this week’s big winners and losers on Monday morning. Go Falcons.

Nick Taylor


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PRISM Designer Named Top Talent at Creative Pool

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PRISM London’s Creative Designer Annalisa Milano has been named one of Creative Pool’s top 25 talents of its Digital Creative Teams. She’s also in the top 25 of the site’s list of Advertising Creative Teams.

Creativepool is a digital network for agencies, brands and individuals to showcase what they do, connect with each other, collect inspiration, hire or get hired. Its members, from designers to journalists to creative directors, upload their work, where it can be viewed and shared by other creatives who use the site.

It also posts regular features on the week’s best ads and interviews with C-level industry leads. It’s a great site with loads of inspiration for anyone who works in a creative field -and that’s everyone at PRISM.

We checked in with Annalisa and asked what she’d enjoyed most at PRISM since joining the London office at the start of April.

“I deeply enjoy any project that involves creativity,” she said. “Especially if photo-retouching is involved. I like to embellish reality and make things look different, make a brand stand out of the crowd and highlight the product. It’s cheesy, but that’s the reason I moved from product and industrial design to graphic and digital design.”

Annalisa says she’s an ardent follower of creative advertising. “I’m an advert-addict so creating something that people will notice and then remember is the thing that pushes me the most. There is no advert in the tube that I ignore; everything gets analysed.”

Annalisa says the best thing about working at PRISM is (naturally) the fabulous people. “They’re multicultural, young and fun, and the fact that I wake up in the morning and I know I’ll work on something different every day – that’s great. New challenges push me a lot (in a good way).”

Check out Annalisa’s Creative Pool page here to see past work and track future projects, and sign up to the site here.

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