In the middle of 2018, Red Bull, the world's leading energy drink brand, launched a bold campaign titled "Conquer Challenges, Pursue Dreams 2018." This campaign directly addressed the theme of "physical strength in achieving dreams" among the youth while showcasing the brand's prowess in a relatively new field - Sport Marketing. Red Bull, known for its excellence in unconventional sports, achieved remarkable success in Sport Marketing by combining physical and mental elements throughout the campaign. They seamlessly integrated these elements into the daily routines of young adults.
The sporting spirit among Vietnamese youth has been steadily on the rise. According to a 2015 survey by Q&ME, 60% of respondents engaged in physical activities at least once a week. Sport Marketing, therefore, became a topic of great interest to marketers, eager to incorporate it into their communication campaigns. However, due to its relatively new nature, very few campaigns were capturing the attention of the community.
Recognizing this opportunity, Red Bull, a brand synonymous with unique and daring extreme sports, launched an exciting Sport Marketing campaign that stirred up the Vietnamese youth.
This campaign also aimed to reaffirm Red Bull's position as the top-of-mind (TOM) brand in the energy drink market by addressing the deepest aspirations of the youth: the pursuit of dreams.
Red Bull targeted the mass market, especially individuals aged 18-30, who possessed high energy levels and strong desires to chase their dreams. However, in reality, very few could reach their aspirations. Surprisingly, 8 out of 10 Vietnamese people admitted that they had not achieved their dreams (according to a Red Bull survey).
Young adults, while emphasizing personal growth in terms of knowledge and skills during their youth, often overlooked the importance of physical health. They forgot that enduring physical health is the sustainable energy source needed to fuel their continuous and challenging journeys.
Even when they were conscious of the significance of sports in life, as reflected in their gym memberships and participation in trendy fitness activities like boxing, pole dancing, or yoga, they still struggled to overcome their inner resistance, making daily exercise a habitual routine.
This inner resistance, often referred to as "physical inertia," posed a significant obstacle to making physical activity a daily habit.
Red Bull adopted two key strategies: "Creating Connections" and "Creating Touchpoints." These strategies led to a simple yet highly successful idea that emotionally connected with Vietnamese youth. Red Bull encouraged and provided them with the energy, both physical and mental, to "overcome all challenges" and transform from mere dreamers into doers.
The only way to pursue dreams is to confront physical challenges and break through your own "physical inertia."
Building on the previous "Charge Ahead Into Your Dream" messaging, Red Bull introduced a groundbreaking idea in 2018:
"Conquer Challenges, Pursue Dreams."
The noteworthy aspect of this idea was its emphasis on physical elements, a rarity in the industry, rather than the usual focus on mental aspects. To achieve this, Red Bull enhanced the physical experience by highlighting the expanded and community-oriented Gym, a form of exercise that was both approachable and trendy for young adults.
The Red Bull Dream Gym, an outdoor interactive gym system, made its debut in Vietnam, setting a standard in fitness facilities. This became a brand touchpoint that attracted people to engage in exercise, thanks to the holistic interactive experience it offered, featuring modern and user-friendly equipment such as stationary bikes, rowing machines, and ab trainers, available 24/7. Importantly, it was entirely free for everyone, garnering significant attention from society.
In addition to this, Red Bull elevated the spirit of individuals by introducing the #DreamGymChallenge. By overcoming physical challenges at each gym machine, participants would receive an automatic reward—a Red Bull can—through a smart connection system linking the gym machines to vending machines.
Through the grand idea of "Conquer Challenges, Pursue Dreams," Red Bull's message was clear: The only way to pursue dreams is to have the courage to face physical challenges and break through your own physical limits.
Over the course of three months, the "Conquer Challenges, Pursue Dreams 2018" campaign by Red Bull was consistently and effectively executed across various media channels through video clips, activations, and public relations (PR).
The cornerstone of the campaign was the video clip "Conquer Challenges, Pursue Dreams," released in May 2018, which became a sensation in the market, deeply touching the hearts of the youth.
This video, featuring no dialogue but striking visuals combined with concise narration, delivered impactful messages that resonated with viewers: "It's about a dream that keeps you awake and passionate in every breath, providing the physical and mental strength to face every challenge."
Red Bull Dream Gym, the first outdoor interactive gym in Vietnam, was officially introduced in August 2018 at Galaxy Kinh Duong Vuong in District 6. Subsequently, similar gyms were established in Galaxy Trung Chanh (District 12), Oriental residential area (Tan Phu), and Era Town residential area (District 7), with the goal of having one interactive gym in each district.
By offering expanded training facilities suitable for all fitness levels, entirely free of charge, and available 24/7, Red Bull aimed to engage people from all walks of life. The outdoor gym featured standard exercise machines, such as stationary bikes, rowing machines, chest presses, and abdominal trainers. This public fitness initiative not only aligned with Red Bull's brand image but also gained widespread public appreciation.
In addition to this, the #DreamGymChallenge involved participants in physical challenges at each gym machine, pushing them to give their best effort. Upon successfully completing these challenges, participants received an automatic reward—a Red Bull can—through the smart connection system linking gym machines to vending machines. These challenges took place daily from 6 PM to 8 PM starting on August 4th.
Red Bull also leveraged the popularity of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) among the youth to further enhance the appeal of Red Bull Dream Gym. Personalities such as supermodel Minh Tu, dancer Lam Vinh Hai, and world top 16 freestyle footballer Tungage were invited to the grand launch event at Galaxy Kinh Duong Vuong on August 4th, 2018. This strategic move significantly boosted Red Bull Dream Gym's attractiveness in the eyes of the youth.
With "Dreams" and the pursuit of aspirations as the central theme, PR efforts focused on building brand recognition through the grand opening of Red Bull Dream Gym and the propagation of the #DreamGymChallenge.
The PR campaign, backed by compelling stories of starting from scratch and persevering to achieve dreams, aimed to:
Create awareness through the launch event of Red Bull Dream Gym and the spread of the #DreamGymChallenge.
Provide guidance on physical fitness routines and encourage people to visit Red Bull Dream Gym.
Furthermore, "Dreams" served as the overarching theme for a series of social media posts on community pages related to sports, fitness, and lifestyle. These posts aimed to inspire and connect people, encouraging them to participate in the #DreamGymChallenge and surpass their personal limits.
Within just three months, the "Conquer Challenges, Pursue Dreams" campaign achieved remarkable success in terms of video engagement and the number of participants at the Dream Gym.
To date, the "Conquer Challenges, Pursue Dreams" video has attracted over 11 million views, an impressive figure for such a concise and impactful campaign.
In less than two weeks, hundreds of people flocked to the Dream Gym to engage in physical activities, and this number continued to rise. Moreover, participants in the #DreamGymChallenge, who pushed themselves to overcome physical challenges, enjoyed Red Bull's automatic rewards. The campaign successfully distributed a significant number of "Real Energy Drink" cans.
The campaign received overwhelmingly positive responses from the community and the media. Many expressed their desire for the Dream Gym concept to expand beyond District 6 and be accessible in all districts.
From a marketing perspective, the campaign's creative formula of identifying a social issue (youth awareness and physical inertia towards fitness), addressing it in a simple and innovative way, closely aligned with the "Fight for a cause" creative model. This model, one of the successful advertising models developed by Yonathan Dominitz (a global creative advertising expert and founder of Mindscapes), has been applied to campaigns that brought glory to global agencies. It explains why Red Bull, a famous energy drink conglomerate, has dominated 70% to 90% of the energy drink market in over 100 different countries worldwide for the past 30 years.
The "Conquer Challenges, Pursue Dreams 2018" campaign, with its fixed physical infrastructure in the form of the Dream Gym, will perpetually maintain its image and stay in the hearts of customers, reminding them to courageously "conquer" every challenge on their journey to achieving their dreams.