On October 14, 2012 Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner broke the world record for skydiving, as well as the sound barrier, by jumping from 24 miles above the New Mexico desert.
Sponsored by energy drink manufacturer Red Bull, the company’s logo was omnipresent, branded even on Baumgartner’s helmet.
Red Bull created a hashtag around the event (#redbullstratos), skinned all its social assets with its logo, and directed fans on social channels to its YouTube page, where the company delivered a live feed of Baumgartner’s jump. On the day of the event the video had about eight million viewers, driving nearly 2.6 million social media mentions.
This was a remarkably successful branding campaign. Event coverage landed on the front page of social news aggregator Reddit and crossed over into the mainstream media—including a parody on Conan O’Brien’s late-night comedy show.
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