Bhaskar Sharma, GM, Red Bull India, explains ‘Fun on wheels’ with the Red Bull Tour Bus
When it comes to marketing, there are some brands who consistently do it exactly how it should be done. Experts around the world agree that Red Bull is one such brand. Not only is the international favourite energy drink a forerunner in its product category but is also a force to reckon with in the world of advertising. While its ownership of branded high-profile stunts are catching eyeballs on screen, the beverage giant also sets the bar for on-ground engagement. In conversation with Bhaskar Sharma, General Manager, Red Bull India, we learn more about their latest initiative- The Red Bull Tour Bus.
What is the Red Bull Tour bus?
The Red Bull Tour Bus was launched in October 2013 and is one of our experiential initiatives in the music space. There are several budding artists and talented bands in India that do not get a decent platform to be heard. With the capacity to house a 6-piece band along with their entire equipment, the Red Bull Tour Bus is a 36 feet vehicle that can convert into a stage anywhere it wants. The top opens, the foundation extends out, innovative lighting, sound, audio-visuals, the entire gamut. The initiative was put together with the purpose of placing deserving independent musicians on a stage and giving them an audience and the exposure they were missing.
Where can one catch a Red Bull Tour Bus concert?
The Tour Bus is currently active in around 11 to 12 cities within India. There are four zones- North, South, East and West. Each band comprising of a maximum of six musicians typically tours with the bus for two to three weeks and covers an average of three locations. For instance, a band from East India, which would in most circumstances never perform for an audience outside their region, is given the opportunity to travel to West India and perform at Mumbai, Pune, Nasik and Ahmedabad. The Tour Bus travels to Universities, College fests, music fests and even corporate hubs. You can view the schedule on the Red Bull Tour Bus India website.
What is the idea behind this initiative?
Music is an integral part of the youth lifestyle. But concerts are usually commercial in nature charging considerable amounts as entry fee. We realize college students operate on stiff budgets therefore our endeavor is to bring them a great musical experience absolutely free of cost. So when they look back and remember that moment of pure enjoyment they would associate it with Red Bull. This is our way of giving the artists ‘wings’ to perform and, in the bargain, bring some great music to the audience. It’s a win-win situation.
You guys do some great advertising and very innovation TVC’s, what does experiential bring to the table that other media platforms do not?
There’s only so much that advertising can deliver. Every brand needs a certain amount of on-ground engagement with the consumer in order to generate accurate feedback. What you show in the TVC may be great but you need to replicate that in physical form for the consumer to believe you. That’s where you are closing the loop. After which you can simply hope to translate your endeavors into a sale.
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