Atlanta was lucky enough to be one of two cities selected to host this year’s annual Red Bull Soapbox Race. Red Bull closed off 10th street in Midtown Atlanta and created a curvy track that tested the skills of each driver and the agility of each handcrafted soapbox car.
Fifty teams entered the human-powered race to compete for the coveted title of first place and a weekend NASCAR experience in Charlotte, NC. Each team was judged on their speed, creativity and showmanship. With each team being encouraged to perform a skit, dance or some form of entertainment prior to their race down the track, there was no shortage of leprechauns, lederhosen, togas and other various “characters” walking the streets of Midtown.
The race was loads of fun and I was incredibly appreciative of the fact that admission to such a fun and popular event was free. And being such a nut about cool advertising techniques, I couldn’t help but notice the promotional products and amazing branding that Red Bull does for this once-a-year event.
As we walked from the train station towards the race, we followed the banners (not to mention crowds of people!) to the designated entrance. An imprinted hand fan was the first item we received as we walked the path to the Pit to see the soapbox cars before the race. Then we received an icy-cold free Red Bull. FREE. Yay! That almost never happens anymore. With the free drink and an invitation to their outdoor lounge area, I actually felt like a VIP for a minute! After we found the perfect place to watch the race, the Red Bull crew (wearing Red Bull tanks) distributed imprinted bells to those lining the track. While that was the extent of the giveaways I actually witnessed (although I did see several Red Bull custom shaped coolers in passing), I would bet that near the finish line and judges’ station (we were at the starting line) many other items were offered as well.
Take a tip from Red Bull when planning your events. Getting your name out into the public is a great way to generate knowledge and demand for your products or services. Need to create buzz about your event? Promotional banners are a great way to market an upcoming event. Post them in areas surrounding the location of the event. They’ll help promote beforehand and add to the excitement the day of. Hosting an outdoor event? Offer guests imprinted hand fans to help them cool off. There’s nothing worse than a cranky crowd of thousands of sweaty people! And make sure to set up drink stations where people can take a quick break from the festivities and grab a water, or in this case, possibly a Red Bull.
While you may not have a tangible free sample of your product to offer or the financial backing to organize such a large-scale event, you can still use some of the demonstrated tips and tricks used by Red Bull to promote and generate excitement about your company. Remember to have fun with your marketing. Entertaining guests and attendants and giving them a promotional product to take home is a great way to increase your corporate branding.
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