Integrated Marketing Communication – Controlling the Consumer.

Integrated-Marketing-Communications‘We’ve got a fantastic new product, this will sell itself !’ Maybe once upon a time this was what a GM or company owner might have said, but not in today’s market place. It’s more than just coming up with a good idea, it’s combining every little detail to give your product it’s best chance at success in a cut throat market. The marketing of your new product will be an integral part of this process, some may say the most important aspect.

Marketing infects every part of our day to day lives, it’s constantly around us, on our screens, in our stores, on our roads, in our fridges – its EVERYWHERE!

So why, why is it everywhere? why do companies put it under our noses, shove it in our faces, and ram it down our throats? because they can, because they need too. They want you to know what they want you to buy. But with today’s fast paced lifestyles, and trend away from more traditional media usage habits, companies must ensure they send one consistent message to their target market through all of their chosen marketing channels.

“Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is simply defined as the idea that all marketing activities conducted by a particular company should be consistent and coordinated” (Thorson / Moore, 2013)

Companies want their brand and their product to have a positive image, and in turn generate interest from their targeted market segment, which will lead to increased sales. Lets face it, every company wants to have products that sell, and net the company a reasonable profit.

IMC is still a relatively new concept amongst marketers, and with the current changes in trends by the general consumer, it’s becoming more important to get it right. Companies must first develop a message that is central to their marketing objective. This is the crucial element that should be spread throughout the company, infiltrate advertising, PR, employees, packaging, promotions and essentially shape the future of the company.

Effective use of IMC in todays ever changing market


Red Bull energy drinks, only one segment of the market, just one category of products. They target their segment very well, by utilising all the things that their key customer enjoys. The company’s target segment is young active people, on the go, looking for a pick me up or energy hit to help them get through the day / night / game. The slogan “red bull gives you wings” is highlighting the products implied effect, a pick me up, a hit of energy, drink our product and you will get the lift you’ve been looking for.

The company markets their product through traditional media channels, but primarily uses association with events and celebrities to drive its brand image and awareness. Red Bull chooses to be associated with anything exciting, extreme and relevant to young people. They own or have associations / sponsorships with sports teams, sporting events, music events and festivals, just to name a few. They interact across the board with all these events and also sponsor directly a lot of key athletes in each of the fields. You will also find Red Bull has a very strong digital presence, with a very extensive website, youtube channels, facebook pages, twitter accounts, the list goes on.

All these channels pushing the one message, the one product, in the one market category, energy drinks. The message is coming through loud and clear, when you need an energy hit, its gotta be Red Bull. Their website states their products are available in 167 countries around the world, and they’ve sold more than 50 million cans so far. Not too bad seeing as they only have 11 different products available.

Red Bull have been able to build and sustain this global success story by remaining relevant in all the different market places. They do this by participating on a global scale, by having association with all forms of sporting events and stars. Here in Australia Red Bull are associated with many forms of sports, and specifically with Australian’s Daniel Riccardo (Red Bull F1 Racing team) Craig Lowndes and Jamie Wincup ( Red Bull V8 supercars).

The video below is a perfect example of Red Bull aligning themselves with a consistent message to their target audience. This recent record setting achievement by aussie Josh Sheehan just demonstrates Red Bull’s “finger on the pulse” event association. It’s a prime example of how they are keeping in touch with the moment, and their target market through relevant events.

What do you think about Red Bull and how it approaches all aspects of integrated marketing communication? What areas of their communication with their target audience do you feel could be strengthened?

Can you recount another company that has a particularly impressive IMC plan ?



16 thoughts on “Integrated Marketing Communication – Controlling the Consumer.

  1. I have always been impressed that Redbull has maintained such a strong market presence with only 11 available products. To be honest I definitely fall into Redbull’s target audience. I’m young, active and enjoy sports of all kinds. The funny thing is I don’t even drink energy drinks because I don’t think they are particularly healthy! But on the rare occasion that I do choose to have a pick me up energy drink, I will choose Redbull. For me, I enjoy supporting a brand that supports advancements in sports and Redbull does well in communicating to me their involvement in this. I can’t fault Redbull’s marketing strategy, I just look forward to seeing what they are going to do next!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I come from pastoral background where cows are kept for pride particularly bulls. Red Bull brand appeals directly to my community because they enjoy bulls’ fight as a sport. Red Bull energy drinks is the most consumed energy drink among my people because their is that natural association between what they do and RED BULL’S advertising appeal.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for the reply. Do you think then that Red Bull’s marketing caters to your community and other communities like yours purely through that association with the bull, or is it specific in its targeting of these communities ? I wonder how the origins of the branding were affected by the choice of the segment they would target ?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes I agree with you. Redbull has strong IMC, especially by sponsoring many sporting events. They integrate the events to the actual usage of the product so they can sell their products during the event too. I am impressed with their marketing strategy. However, I am not interested to buy the drink because I don’t see that type of drink is healthy (I agree with what @grossodan said). It’s not the type of drink you can drink it every day, only occasionally and not too much.

    The other brand that has strong IMC is Coca Cola. Even though they have lots of different slogans but they always convey the same message of being fun, happy and entertaining. They have amazing marketing campaigns that no one can ever think of. They also integrate Coke drinks to be part of everyday lives and also special occasions thus the products are being sold everywhere. You can find Coke in every restaurant from take away, fast food to high class restaurants.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the reply. I think your right with Coke, they have a very specific kind of marketing approach, and they make it universal. Coke has products that appeal to a very large segment of the market, and translates well into almost every country. They try hard to associate they products with good times, summer, happiness, special occasions, and when you think about their products its actually not really relevant to those occasions. You shouldn’t really drink anything high in sugar and caffeine when its hot, or when your trying to be out and active, these products actually have a detrimental effect around most of the associated activities. Yet everyone, including me, is partial to at least an occasional coke product. So I guess they have spent years training us as consumers to look beyond what is in their product, and see the association they created for us – have a good time with your friends, your family and our products. Genius.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good post! I don’t drink them because they are unhealthy! but the odd one doesn’t hurt. Looks like there is a trend here with the comments around this also 🙂

    Red Bull has an impressive IMC, I often see a few vehicles advertising the the brand but what I also think they do very well is wait for a hot day and give Red Bull’s out for free to passing public. Very clever. All cold and icy! Lasting taste then.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree, I think that Red Bull have one very strong message that has been fully integrated into everyone of it’s messages. I am willing to bet the same message is even used internally with their employees – I can only imagine what their offices look like! It must have been tempting over the years to increase their product rage, or to go after another segment, but they certainly seem to have built success by sticking to what they are good at.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Red Bull’s marketing campaign consisting of the slogan ‘Red Bull Gives You Wings’ has landed them in some hot water recently.

    The company has been sued for false advertising, arguing that drinking Red Bull doesn’t give you any advantage over your competition or offer any increased physical and mental performance as so many Red Bull advertisements imply.

    “Such deceptive conduct and practices mean that [Red Bull’s] advertising and marketing is not just ‘puffery,’ but is instead deceptive and fraudulent and is therefore actionable,” the suit said.- The Telegraph.

    It is interesting that Red Bull have aligned their brand with extreme sports and an adventurous lifestyle when their product is packed with unhealthy ingredients and laden with caffeine. This is obviously well known looking at the comments above.

    Maybe targeting the average office worker who ‘need’ a caffeine hit before they start their day would be another approach as not many of us are extreme sportsman or diehard adventure seekers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Laura. I guess the association with the extreme sports and adventure seekers gives us everyday office workers the opportunity to drink a Red Bull and for a minute or two be a part of that association. We can feel like were going to conquer the day, or climb that proverbial mountain (of paperwork)!! At least that’s what Red Bull want us to do, isn’t it ??

      On the lawsuit side of things, I’m constantly amazed at the general consumers naivety around marketing ploys. As if any product could give you wings, or that coke produces happiness, or vegemite puts a rose in every cheek, or KFC is always finger lickin’ good. We can’t expect products to actually deliver on these kind of ‘claims’, and I don’t think we can then turn around and be disappointed when they don’t.

      As consumers we need to be aware that brands/products/companies advertise certain associations that are perhaps possible, but in no way probable. And yet I believe that Red Bull did settle that lawsuit out of court, allowing consumers disappointed with the side effects of their product to be compensated with either a payment of $10 USD, or a voucher for $15 of free Red Bull. I wonder which choice will be more popular??

      Liked by 2 people

      • It would be very interesting indeed. I would assume that the $15 voucher for free Red Bull would ultimately win out even though the consumer has stated their displeasure with the product not ‘giving them wings’. A good marketing strategy by Red Bull in itself.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to say I have always been impressed with how Red Bull is marketed. They are always linked to successful events with sponsorship everywhere.

    The amazing thing that amazes me with red bull is their use in the alcoholic drink Jagerbomb. Red Bull is not advertised an adult only drink and tried to link with everyone with their humour. However whenever the popular drink Jägerbomb is made, Red Bull is always the choice of mixer. Even with a large range of energy drinks such as Mother and V, Red Bull is the undesibuted choice for mixer. Just a weird thought I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Red Bulls approach to marketing has not only been very successful but its diverse approach to ensure a thought out IMC has ensured that it remains a strong brand with loyal customer base. The fact that Red Bull has targeted its audience is important because it has been able to ensure that their message is delivered clearly. It will be interesting to see how its competitor Mother, who seem to have a very similar marketing communications strategy, has impacted Red Bull strong grip in the energy drink sector.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. wow, in terms of red bull, i wil talk about other interesting market strategy which used by red bull. Recently, you can always see red bull mobile louderspeaker parked near the Monash University. their employees go into the library and provide free red bull for student. There is no doubt that this market strategy is very successful.because you know, this month is a miserable month for unversity students, we have a lot of assignments to finish,so we really prefer to use engergy drink to stimulate our mental state.I have to speak highly of red bull’s marketing department, they really catch the demand of customers.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, exactly. Delivering free red bull in universities during exam preparation month is a very successful marketing strategy. It targets students and links red bull to the success of their exam preparation. Thus, students are more likely to buy this products when they needs to be energetic.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Very interesting post.
    Red Bull has been developed for people who want to have a clear and focused mind, perform physically, and are dynamic. But it is seen as an addictive beverage with negative health implications. Due to the high levels of taurine and caffeine, it has been banned in Denmark, Norway, France, Uruguay and Iceland. Some may argue that it could increase both blood pressure and heart rates, but because its target customers are young people, these concerns are not that important.
    In fact, by only focusing on energy drinks, Red Bull has received huge success all over the world. It sponsors not only sports but also music festivals. In Korea, Red Bull was sponsor at many famous music festivals such as World DJ Festival and Ultra Music Festival. People could drink and dance inside the big Red Bull lounges. It was certainly a good way to advertise the drink. At music festival, many people want to enjoy and used up their energy, and Red Bull finds out when and where people want the drink and satisfies people’s needs.

    Liked by 1 person

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