Consumers live for experiences; a deeper connection and emotional meaning to recall upon to identify & define themselves and their tendencies within subcultures.
Red Bull knows this and builds their business around making playgrounds for consumers: playgrounds in music, sports & art.
“If we don’t create the market, it doesn’t exist” – Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull Founder
Purposefully eschewing big-ticket events (ahem: sans Formula 1), Red Bull favors constructing its own properties which they can build in their image – nurturing from the core and fed as a learning and growing entity.
Once the sub-community is satisfied and engaged, the brand scales the experience to reach all areas of the market.
Red Bull X-Fighters is a freestyle motocross stunt competition, contested in bullrings, bulldozed sites & famous locations around the world.
To celebrate the 50th event of Red Bull X-Fighters, the 2014 event’s final would be held in front of the historic Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa for the first time.
- Loerie Awards - Bronze - Live Events Sponsorship
Red Bull’s success of instigating new market pockets & possibilities, followed the competitors, who by riding Red Bull’s coattails had started gaining market share on the energy drink by offering larger cans, cheaper unit prices and adopting a marketing model similar to Red Bull’s – hosting events, perpetuating subcultural identities through sponsorships and high-end content production targeted towards young men.
Compounded by the general lack of FMX awareness amoungst South Africans, Red Bull needed to cement itself as the premium brand in the category and needed to show consumers Red Bull was not only head and shoulders above the rest, but that it was also proudly inclusive & representative of South African tastes and knowledge of the traditionally niche experiences.
Bring the global experience of Red Bull X-Fighters to life with a uniquely South African touch to create local buzz, excitement and interest in the competition even if they don’t care about energy drinks.
Maintain Red Bull’s premium price difference
Reclaim single ownership of energy drink equity by having X-Fighters be one of the most talked about (non-traditional) sporting events of the year
X-Fighters is a global event with a South African flavor
Educate South African’s through engaging content around the rules and tricks of FMX
To win the hearts of South Africans, we knew we’d have to discover an authentic entry point to invite people to become fans of a (largely) foreign activity/sport, yet still feel natural to our local culture… else our cheers would fall on deaf ears.
We recognized that South Africans may have slightly skeptical to embrace new sports, but cherished coming together with friends to participate & test the waters.
We needed to feel clued up on aspects to get us excited – sparks of conversation in their friend group to share the experience with.
Motivation to Participate
Friends are your best recruits & challengers
Grab Your Seat
Until the big event announcement, South Africans weren’t all too savvy with FMX, although we did know that most South Africans have Facebook profiles which they’d principally visit through their mobile devices & would regularly engage with brand content.
To raise initial hype & awareness for the premiere FMX event coming to South African shores for the first time, we created an interactive campaign prior the event to educate South African consumers about Red Bull X-Fighters.
OOH space in Gauteng was dedicated to local awareness & ticket sales, whilst social activity, radio spots & the broad points of sale available to Red Bull across the country had an in-store call-to-action which drove to an online trivia game to compete against friends to “grab your seat” at the final by winning tickets, Red Bull merchandise and the glory of topping the leaderboard… all while picking up the skills, rules and trivia of FMX.
Tune Up Trivia Game
By linking your Facebook or Twitter account to the X-Fighters portal, you could put yourself against the clock or challenging your friends to compete head-to-head. Participants’ answered FMX and Red Bull related questions to grab their seat in Pretoria.
With the help of interactive elements and mixed media formats, answering questions correctly and edging your challengers accumulated points – increasing your odds of winning.
Sharing your scores on social channels or inviting new challengers earned you extra points, all while helping spread the word of X-Fighters & FMX rules in South Africa.
Extras were added to maintain interest in build up to the event, including “Instacards”, which were digitally-collectable FMX fan cards.
10 cards were posted weekly on the Red Bull South Africa Red Bull X-Fighters Instagram accounts which included a rider’s signitaure trick & video trivia from the man, himself.
Entrees were encouraged to ‘pin’ these cards to their profiles by reposting the card to their own profiles & using the hashtag “#GrabYourSeat” to earn extra points, building a fan card collection in the buildup to the event & viewable all in one spread on your personal profile on the Red Bull microsite.
Identity & Guidelines
To resonate deeper than just surface level, we created a series of shweshwe patterns and handcrafted typefaces that combined elements of the high-octane, extreme nature of the sport with the tradition, heritage and aesthetic of South African art and culture.
Media Kit & Collateral
And focusing on the details, we released a limited number of Red Bull X-Fighters cans to the general public, included some branded, but uniquely African artifacts to in the media kit to create buzz in build up to the event and had all Red Bull staff, judges and personelle repping custom shirts or dresses for the event.
The event itself, was a huge success. With 22 000 fans in attendance making it thrilling and energetic sell out crowd, the favourite, Levi Sherwood, pushing through his ankle injury to put on a show for the fans before withdrawing & Josh Sheehan taking his first X-Fighters win and closing the 2014 tour in dramatic fashion – making South Africans take note of the premier FMX event and welcoming the Pretoria leg of the season back again the following year in 2015 & thereafter.
Client: Red Bull
Agency: Publicis Machine
Creative Director: Jake Bester
Art Director: Joshua Foster
Copywriter: Neil Meyer, Giran Adams, Kenneth Van Reenen, Brendan Hoffman
CTO: Andrew La Grange
Strategic Lead: Andy Gilder
UX & Strategy: Mick Valentine
Developers: Mick Valentine, Dustin Silk, Gareth Cozens
Designers: MW van der Walt, Joshua Foster, Jacque Smit, Cassandra Leigh Johnson, Alicia Nicola
Client Service: Jamie Lee Rossiter, Robyn Landsberg