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Red Bull Flugtag – A Serious Success


The Red Bull Flugtag blew into St Paul Saturday.

The word Flugtag comes from the German “Flying Day”. Participants are judged in three aspects: creativity, showmanship and flying distance. As you can expect, there are all sorts of designs out there and machines that really don’t work that well but are still awesome to watch. What’s that got to do with Red Bull…I’m not certain but read on and you’ll understand how the event placed their brand front and center for 24 hours in a metro area of nearly 3 million.

The premise is simple:

  • get together with some friends
  • create a goofy “flying” machine based on a theme (for which team costumes are mandatory)
  • roll your “flying” machine up a ramp
  • push your “flying” machine off the ramp (the precipice is 30′ off the water)
  • hope for the best

Flugtag was huge success! Red Bull officials anticipated a crowd of 40,000. Actual count – 90,000!

How did Red Bull get 90,000 people to hang out to watch a bunch of costumed, geeks jump 30′ into the Mississippi River (the water is disgusting!)? Along with that came coverage on all local TV, front-page in the StarTribune and Pioneer Press – all identifying the event as the “Red Bull Flugtag”.

As best I can tell Red Bull relied on high volume frequency of television impressions.

I had this goofy song bite in my head for a week prior to the event.

My takeaway. Be original Be consistent. Hit ’em hard. Keep hitting ’em even after they’ve had enough.


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