Red Bull - Where has the fun gone?
There has been much talk about Red Bull in the past 7 days and whether or not they are going to recover from their current driver spat or not? I personally don’t really care. I like Mark and I feel a bit sorry for him but I also like Seb, I believe he is the best out there and he brings a relaxed and intelligent view for an F1 driver, which is refreshing. I’m sure we will talk about ‘that’ race for years to come, and who was to blame, who came out stronger and who - eventually - walked, but for the moment I think I have solved Red Bull’s issues.
The problem is: They just aren’t fun anymore.
It’s ok to win everything. Pick up driver and constructor titles. Sign big name sponsors, and be on the front page of every magazine, but if all you are really trying to do is flog some fizzy drinks then there is a bit more to it than ‘just getting to the top step of the podium!
Now, I am no marketing genius. And it may sound bonkers to be offering marketing ideas to what most people would consider the leaders in that field, but I remember the good old days.
The days where you were dragged kicking and screaming from one Red Bull party to another; where you had to fight your way through hordes of stunning models parading around the paddock for no other reason than to provide a bit of eye candy. I remember Hollywood A-lister’s, helicopters and speedboats.
And what do we have now?
A rather annoying pointy index finger.....
We have a team that win everything but have lost exactly what “made” them number one in the first place: Genius marketing with a laid back, relaxed attitude and a surf dude mentality.
Maybe they should never have got involved in F1? We all know the old Red Bull from ski events, moto-cross, air racing and skydiving; did they really need to splurge a huge part of their marketing budget on a stuffy, up-tight and arrogant sport that is exactly the opposite of where they started from?
Luckily for us though, I think we may just have a new contender heading to the top of the class at the Red Bull marketing school:
Lotus F1 Team, have for me, done it right in the past 2 years.
Do you remember in 2010 when Lotus last came back into F1, with a green team called Lotus, which had nothing to do with Lotus? Lotus then decided that Lotus couldn’t use the name Lotus and so Lotus took Lotus Renault to court. Lotus became Caterham and Lotus who didn’t want to be in the sport in the first place became Lotus F1 Team..... Keeping up?
Anyhow, forget whether they want to be here or not, and forget what they are called (right now) and where the money comes from; the Enstone mob is doing it right!
They have employed the right people to run their team under the management of Eric Boullier. Their marketing and promotion is new, fresh and open. They laugh at themselves. They use Kimi’s awkwardness in front of the media to their advantage. They hand out ice creams, give away free cd’s; they have their promotion, humour and sarcasm down to a tee.
So, Red Bull, to get back in the game forget about your current driver disagreement, don’t bother developing your 2013 car anymore, get rid of that Newey bloke and spend the spare cash on parties, girls, rock groups and ice creams!
Put the fun back in the paddock!
It’s a marketing plan that may just (not) work…..
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