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Red Bull Changed the Face of Branded Content

A decade after Red Bull created Media House, Pepsi announced it’s opening its own in-house studio.

Red Bull’s beverage is pretty strong. But its brand might be even stronger.
Way back in 2007, when other companies relied on ad agencies to produce its branded content, Red Bull decided to create its premium media in-house. From Red Bull Media House’s inception, the Austrian brand stopped being just an energy drink and started becoming a full-fledged media company: Rolling out everything from a TV network to a feature film intended for theatrical release, from literally out-of-this-world digital content (they broadcast a man jumping from space to earth) to a traditional print magazine. (The Red Bulletin has a monthly circulation of two million — more than double GQ’s 864k and Esquire’s 750k.)
“For many years we did marketing in a way where we did maybe two or three spots a year,” Kristin Patrick, svp of global brand development at PepsiCo, told Digiday. Today, PepsiCo will create an estimated 400.
This will be a good thing — especially considering that Google reported that views of the top 100 brands’ YouTube videos doubled and subscriptions to their YouTube channels increased by 47% between 2014 and 2015.
Pepsi’s ability to create more content can be credited to the time and money saved by moving production in-house. While turning around a video through an agency took approximately two weeks in the past, Digiday reports that it will now only take an hour. Furthermore, while outsourcing typically took $5,000, hiring an editor for a day will just be $750 on average.
“Red Bull has been really smart at being the pioneers,” Frank Cooper III, PepsiCo’s chief marketing officer of global consumer engagement, told Variety. “Why rent when you can own?”
Pepsi isn’t the only one emulating Red Bull’s model. In November, L’Oréal brought an in-house studio to its Canadian headquarters. Kind is reportedly building one, too.
Vice Media’s global executive creative director, Tom Punch, speculates that in-house studios might not just be a passing trend.
“More and more brands will start to create their own content studios,” Punch said at PromaxBDA: The Conference 2016’s panel “Reimagining Relevancy: How To Create and Distribute Content at the Speed of Today” in New York last week. “Honestly if you have the right appetite to take on the risk, I think it’s not a bad move.”

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