Growth Hacking Red Bull Before the Age of Internet

The whole Red Bull story just fascinates me. These guys have really taken the status quo of marketing and turned it on its head.

They have taken a drink made in Thailand and marketed it so well that it’s known the world over. The drink isn’t that great, but the brand is amazing.

Growth Hacking Red Bull

Especially in the early days, they were very shrewd and clever with their marketing.

Legend goes that they would give a case of Red Bull to certain barmen in New York and these guys would promote it very “hush, hush”, but obviously the last thing that can be kept secret in a club full of drunk people is, well, a secret.

So patrons would storm the bar asking for this drink that gives you such a boost.


They would also apparently throw empty Red Bull cans on the bathroom floor. The clubbers would see all these empty cans and think that it must be good if everybody is drinking it. Pretty smart tactics!

Once they started making money they stayed away from the normal route of taking out full page advertisements, TV ads and Billboards, o no, they did something genius.


Russell Brunson talks in his book Expert Secrets about the blue and the red ocean. The red ocean is where there is so much competition between the sharks that the water is all bloody. You don’t want to compete there.


There is the blue ocean with no other sharks, where you can do what you want and have all the fish for yourself – this is the niche or spot you want to occupy. Well Red Bull knew this years ago and took it to another level.


They invented their own extreme sports – how is that for creating your own blue ocean without any competition?!

From human-powered flight events to the flying crusaders and the fastest sport on skates, they made their own blue oceans and flourished. Smart, shrewd and inspiring.


Written by Jaco Marais, Serial Entrepreneur

After working with startups such as YourStory, OfferGrid, UnBuffer and more for 7 years, he's decided to fill in the marketing gap by helping them grow without breaking the bank through his growth hacking experiments.

One thought on “Growth Hacking Red Bull Before the Age of Internet

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