When Felx Baumgartner jumped from about 23 miles above the earth on October 14, he broke every skydiving record on the books. But you probably also know that by sponsoring the event, Red Bull gained a record-breaking level of mentions on social networks. Mentions don’t instantly translate into sales of course, but on the other hand top-of-mind gives any brand a very real advantage.
Here’s another stat: In just four days, videos of the jump were viewed FIFTY MILLION times, breaking every viral record but one – Kony in 2012.
In the good old days of advertising (anything before 2005) it used to be enough to just do very clever broadcast work – tv and radio spots – to get a lot of buzz. Brands with lesser budgets would attempt to do the same with print, digital and maybe outdoor. Those days are gone.
Today, you still need creative advertising of course. But it’s just as important to come up with new ways to tell your brand’s story that will be shared on social media. In other words, you have come up with some news-making event ideas. This is a fundamental change.
In effect, your community of brand evangelists is out there waiting for you to provide them with fun stuff to share. They are your unpaid sales force. And all you have to do to put them to work is provide the kind of content that they want to tell friends about.
So you might be thinking that’s all well and good, but we can’t afford a guy who’s going to jump out of a balloon that’s 23 miles up. But that’s OK. Because all you really need is something fresh, entertaining and different. Something that isn’t expected in your category. Something that people will tell their friends about.
Now I’m not going to tell you specifically what that might be, because that’s what I get paid for. If you’d like an idea or two, just give me a ring. But meantime, keep in mind that it’s not just about great advertising anymore. You need to keep your brand’s story alive through events that will be considered ‘newsworthy’ on the social web.
It’s not rocket science. But it just might be balloon science.