THIS WEEK: Red Bull dumps ‘confusing’ ads

Red Bull is to scrap its current advertising campaign and spend pounds 5m on a new branding drive - after research revealed consumers think the energy drink is a beer.

Red Bull is to scrap its current advertising campaign and spend pounds

5m on a new branding drive - after research revealed consumers think the

energy drink is a beer.

The Red Bull Company, which makes the high-energy Red Bull, is preparing

press and poster work and considering TV and radio ads for next year, as

it tries to turn around its product’s image.

It will spend around pounds 5m on advertising, heavy sampling campaigns

and sponsorship deals.

Originally positioned as a drink for ravers and clubbers, Red Bull is

designed to give a physical and mental boost to drinkers, replenishing

vitamins and amino acids.

Its poster work this year was intended to position the drink, which

contains caffeine, as a stimulant for adults, students and sports


Instead, the ads, which featured unlikely headlines depicting unusual

situations, such as ‘Clergyman in heterosexual scandal’, ‘Royal

confidante reveals nothing’, and ‘Minister’s wife has his love child’,

gave consumers the impression the drink was alcoholic.

‘That is the situation that we came across,’ said Michael Sirjani, who

heads Red Bull’s marketing. ‘This year was a year of experiment. We just

wanted the branding. Next year we will systematically push the features

and benefits of the drink.’ The advertising agency, Knight Leach Delaney

will be retained.

Despite the misconception of its drink, Sirjani said the brand was doing

well, and was second only to Lucozade in its sector. The drink is also

about to expand into the US market.

Sirjani will lead the fledgling US operation, but will also continue to

oversee UK marketing.

* Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury’s ‘ugly people’ TV campaign for Martini

attracted over 12,000 telephone calls in three days.


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