Monday, June 27, 2011

Sharp-Edged Beverage Marketing, The Red Bulletin Is a Product Worthy of Its Product.

The new “modern lifestyle magazine focusing on sport, people, art and culture” arrived in the Sunday edition of The Houston Chronicle and I’m real thankful. Otherwise, I would have missed Red Bull’s launch of the US edition of The Red Bulletin.

It’s the second month the sports-and-party drink has put more than a free million copies of the excellent publication in major metro newspapers like The Chron; the intro also included the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald and the New York Daily News.

I wish I could report that I’m squarely in its demographic – I’m not. But The Red Bulletin comes with a terrific range of people-oriented articles that are cleanly written: the edge doesn’t come from a fakey-hip style but from excellent copy. Add vivid photos and a powerful European design concept…this is an arresting property.

As mentioned in the AdAge launch announcement: Red Bull already publishes the magazine in countries including Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Austria, South Africa, New Zealand and Kuwait, with distribution totaling 3.4 million before the U. edition. Red Bull plans to add further editions later this year and in 2012.

I stopped an Outside subscription years ago as the quality of its writing (which was exceptionally high) fell off and the publication turned to full-time product flackery. My sub to Wired will be allowed to lapse because it has become an all-out product-sales hype machine with muddy direction and too many easy, smarmy articles.

The distinction I am pointing to is honesty. The Red Bulletin has been frank as well as smart in publicly owning its mission: support of global marketing efforts for the world’s best-selling energy drink (2010 saw a 15.8% increase in sales, worth US$1.5 billion).

Find and review a copy for yourself. The Red Bulletin is not going to drive me to buy the drink but my already deep interest in its marketing programs has taken another big jump. And the thinking part of Red Bull’s demographic will love it.

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