Red Bull is almost as well known for its outlandish marketing stunts as it is for its products.
One of the most popular caffeinated drinks on the market today, Red Bull sold a whopping 6 billion cans in 2016 alone, and the brand’s wide-reaching ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ positioning continues to evolve and excite.
The energy drink has established a solid fan base through its sponsorship of extreme sports, with the iconic Red Bull logo now synonymous with everything from cliff diving and free running to F1 racing and snowboarding.
But Red Bull has by no means limited itself to the world of adrenaline-fueled activities. The Red Bull Music Academy is a world-travelling series of music workshops and festivals which has snowballed in popularity ever since it was first formed way back in 1998.
With its history of attention-grabbing campaigns, it’s no surprise that Red Bull pulled out all the stops for its latest experiential stunt in Berlin – the capital of electronic music and the birthplace of the Red Bull Music Academy – 20 years after its creation.
To mark the 20th anniversary, the brand built an epic music sequencer, aptly named RBMA-20, which took 30 technicians five weeks to assemble outside the iconic Berlin nightclub Tresor.
The gigantic machine measured in at 33ft by 7.2ft and weighed an incredible 600 kilos. To the delight of music fans, it featured 427 knobs and faders, four analog drum machines, a modular synthesizer and a sampling unit to create a booming electric sound.
To pay tribute to the most influential, mechanical instrument in club culture, the brand invited members of the public to join in and create their own beats with the giant piece of equipment. Delivering an unforgettable experience to club-goers, the sequencer could be tested and programmed with new grooves and beat patterns with the help of on-site experts.
A promotional video was created with local producer duo Symbiz feat. INSTANT using the RBMA-20, which further celebrated Red Bull’s tribute to the city where The Music Academy was formed.
Though the RBMA-20 was only in situ for the duration of the Red Bull Music Festival, the brand extended the campaign by integrating synthesizers and drum machines into the landscape of Berlin.
Throughout the month of October, residents and tourists were able to ride on branded subways and trams which were transformed into machines that have influenced music culture worldwide.
Building brand love by celebrating an important cultural aspect of a city famous for its clubbing scene, Red Bull’s picture-perfect design of trams and subway carriages has proved a great fit for the Instagram generation with plenty of highly-shareable digital content.
Of course, it’s not the first time Red Bull has pulled off an unusual stunt to grab attention: in 2016, the brand turned payphones into smartphones, while recently Budweiser embraced its own musical history with a clever keywords campaign.