Soaring new TV commercial for Red Bull indeed has wings.

January 29, 2013

I believe I can fly…

Extreme sports typically don’t attract my attention. But I’m a huge fan of Red Bull’s latest TV commercial celebrating “crossing the line” in sports. There’s nothing outlandish about the spot’s concept. “Red Bull gives you wings” is the brand’s well-known slogan and this TVC merely dramatizes the point. The content and subsequent imagery is, necessarily, breathtaking yet it’s nothing one can’t find searching extreme sports on You Tube or myriad other venues. Though, to be sure, you won’t find better. These men fly. And in some cases they really do have wings!

But like I said, the hair raising content is just table stakes. What makes this commercial so captivating is it’s flawless execution. Especially the bravado of the music. Linking emotional music to epic sports imagery evokes Wieden & Kennedy’s iconic commercials for Nike, even harkening back to the Oscar-winning film, Chariots of Fire. The plainspoken narrators somehow transcend the grandiosity of what they are saying: hyperbole about exploring and crossing lines.

It all works.

No secret Red Bull has invested much in the realm of hyper-stimulating sports, starting with its sponsorship of numerous extreme sports and ending with the world record “high jump” from a capsule in space. Fittingly, the commercial ends with that heart-stopping event, which captivated the world. The dude jumped from damn near outer space! We all watched him, fearing the worst, or looking forward to it, depending on one’s mood. Either way, it was a must see, oddly reminiscent of Evil Knievel’s daredevil jumps of yore. And then some.

With the Super Bowl approaching and all the hype surrounding the commercials, I’m betting few will capture the essence of sports like this film does.

And for those who would suggest Red Bull is a dangerous product imploring young people to risk their lives in pursuit of thrills I say more power to them. In my opinion, Red Bull’s message is a far sight more aspirational than most beer advertising. Instead of choosing to advertise Red Bull as a potent upper when mixed with alcohol, the brand takes the high road, literally and figuratively.


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