Native Advertising

Red Bull Strengthens its Storytelling with Outbrain Carousel

Cyrus Jabbari
Cyrus Jabbari
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How can you keep people engaged in your brand amid a crisis and fuel loyalty in a post-COVID world? Look no further than the brand that ‘gives you wings’: Red Bull. Red Bull’s strategy serves as an inspiration for other brands to lead with storytelling to create a bond with its customers.

Red Bull’s Storytelling Puts Audiences First

Red Bull is an energy drink product, but the company’s marketing strategy hardly reminds you of it. So much, in fact, that it’s hard to know without context if people refer to the drink, its F1 team, the Austrian football club, or the extreme sporting events associated with its name. 

That’s because their marketing strategy is about creating experiences – through content its audience is interested in and cultivating a community. Advertising its product comes second. It’s what has made the brand such a powerhouse, with audience interests and branding at the center of everything they do. Extreme sports have nothing to do specifically with the physical drink itself, but it creatively fits into the essence of the Red Bull brand ie. people get energy from the drink to perform extreme physical activity. Through exciting, creative, and fresh content, the brand engages its customers through experimental storytelling, especially at a time when sporting events are on hold due to lockdown.

Advertising with Wings

It’s not just Red Bull’s content marketing that is creative, but its advertising strategy and channels too. Rather than focus solely on traditional ads, the brand continually seeks to inspire loyalty and conversion through new creative formats that are engaging for consumers. Red Bull isn’t afraid to take risks when it comes to its digital strategy, looking to be daring and different to stay ahead of the game. It was therefore no surprise that the company became the first brand in Italy to test Outbrain’s Carousel Smartad across the open web.

Outbrain’s Carousel Smartad

Red Bull’s first original video series, Drive Me Crazy, was delivered across Outbrain’s discovery and native advertising platform with the goal to drive traffic to the company website. Told through the point of view of sports journalist, Irene Sanderini, the series talks about the world of motorsport, highlighting six extreme experiences in the sport around Italy and Europe. 

In search of a premium format that would effectively promote and distribute the campaign, Red Bull opted for Outbrain’s Carousel – an interactive Smartad powered by true interest data that brings a familiar swipeable gallery experience to the open web. This solution enables marketers to expand their strategy outside of standard display and video formats to increase awareness and consideration, while maximizing return on ad spend. For brands, Carousel provides them with a creative way to showcase various products and offers – in this case multiple videos within a series – while allowing consumers to browse through the items that are most relevant to them. 

The Results Are In!

Red Bull’s Carousel campaign highlighted each episode in its six-part series, using engaging images and copy for consumers to discover and interact. Moreover, the brand leveraged Outbrain’s Lookalike Audiences targeting tool to reach audiences with a similar user behavior as its most valuable customers. The results exceeded Red Bull’s expectations, seeing:

  • 26% Bounce Rate (-47% Lower Than Objective)
  • 4 mins 42 secs Average Session Duration (+96% Higher Than Objective)
  • 41% Of Session Were Over 30 Seconds (+150% Higher Than Objective)

“For the distribution and promotion of Drive Me Crazy, a 6-episode video series that tells the story of Red Bull in the world of Motorsports, we needed a premium format that could highlight the entirety of the series but also showcase a single episode. The Carousel format, launched by Outbrain at the beginning of 2020, was the perfect solution for our objective, therefore we wanted to be the first brand to test it in Italy.”

Ian Talamè, Digital Campaign Manager, Red Bull

Native Advertising

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Cyrus Jabbari

Cyrus Jabbari

Cyrus is the International Content Manager at Outbrain. His stellar writing skills bring clarity and consistency to Outbrain's messaging across the globe. A 'show me the data' kind of guy, he always weaves facts and insights into his pieces. In his free time, you'll find Cyrus playing the greatest songs of all time on the piano.

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