Red Bull hands its media account to Vizeum

Red Bull has appointed Vizeum to its media account, making the Dentsu Aegis-owned agency responsible for the Austrian-owned company’s media strategy, and planning and buying duties across New Zealand.

This comes after a competitive pitch involving a final shortlist of four agencies, and sees the account moving on from Lassoo, the incumbent agency.

Spokespeople from both Lassoo and Vizeum were asked which agencies were involved in the final stages of the pitching process, but both declined to comment. 

Winning the account means that Vizeum will now be required to work closely with Special Group, which continues to hold the Red Bull creative account. 

Given the emphasis that Red Bull places on digital communications throughout the world, Rob Harvey, the chief executive of the Dentsu Aegis network in New Zealand, believes that Vizeum is a good media match for the company. 

“Digital is a core component of the Red Bull brand and as an agency built for a new era of media we also put digital and innovation at the heart of the Vizeum offer,” says Harvey.

Winning the Red Bull account will however place pressure on Vizeum to grow the company’s share of the massive energy drink market in New Zealand.

According to Nielsen’s supermarket statistics, Kiwis spent $86,505,775 on 29,810,644 units of RTD energy drinks over the course of the last year (stats run to 3 August 2014).

But, in contrast to almost every other market in the world, Red Bull does not have the lion’s share energy drink sales in New Zealand. The energy drink leader in the Kiwi context continues to be V Energy, which holds over 60 percent of the market share.   

In an effort to challenge V’s supremacy in the market, Red Bull has outspent its competitor by over $1.6 million on marketing over the course of last two years. According to Nielsen’s rate card-based ad spend figures, the last time V outspent Red Bull was between 2011 and 2012.   

When asked what Vizeum would do differently to grow Red Bull’s share of the market, Harvey was coy, saying: “Now that would be telling. We will save a response to this for our activity, although we believe the Red Bull brand has significant opportunity in the New Zealand market and we are looking forward to working with the Red Bull team to realise that potential.”

Red Bull’s marketing approach has seen the company attach its logo to a range of sports and entertainment events, and its most recent global ad featured three Kiwi athletes—freestyle motocross legend Levi Sherwood, kayaker Ben Brown and mountain biker Brook Macdonald.

And while showing a collection of footage isn’t a revolutionary approach, the ad, which was adapted for this part of the world, shows just how intertwined the brand has become with adventure sports. 

And Red Bull’s reach extends beyond the realm of Kiwi sports. The company also recently launched Sound Select in New Zealand with a block party in late June at the Nathan Club, Roukai Lane and Orleans Bar in Auckland’s Britomart that played host to 11 local artists and three top international acts. 

And on top of this, the company also runs The Red Bulletin, “the men’s active lifestyle magazine with a global print circulation of more than two million”. 

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