Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Red Bull gives you nightmares

Red Bull's ads have long bothered me. The off-putting animation style, the emphasis on sex as though they were Viagra ads, the potentially dangerous implication that the more Red Bull you drink, the more focused you'll be... the list goes on. This one, though? It's just kind of gross.

So, which part was your favorite? Was it:

* The visually-indicated dog lust?
* Once again, the suggestion that Red Bull is some sort of male enhancer?
* The least subtle erection reference in advertising history?
* The thought that a dog has been drinking can after can of a product that even humans shouldn't gulp down in such quantities?
* The idea that the small dog is apparently going to fly up and hover in mid-air so as to have sex with the large dog?
* The idea that a litter full of puppies is about to be forced to watch their parents have sex right in front of them?
* The fact that the only way the artist came up with to denote the large dog's femininity was to draw six pointy teats on her?
* Red Bull's insistence on spelling it "wiiings" in their official slogan?

Who can choose? Personally I feel bad for those puppies, since it looks like they get stuck watching Mom and Dad get it on almost constantly. Maybe this wouldn't be such a bad thing if the dogs weren't vaguely anthropomorphized - note that Dad grabs the Red Bull like he has fingers. Perhaps all the energy drinks he's consumed have actually mutated him into the next stage of evolution.

I've often wondered how Red Bull gets away with these ads, though. It's not like there aren't ads that hint at sex on television all the time, but this one does way more than hint. It's probably not even the most egregious one in the series, but I can't find the video of the one where clothes drop into frame from the top of the screen and we hear various pleasured sounds. What the hell? Isn't Red Bull mostly consumed by college students cramming for finals? Why would anyone associate it with getting laid? Also, it tastes like fucking cough syrup. If I have to give Red Bull credit, it's for building up their brand to a point where people want to drink it even though, compared to most of its competitors, it kind of sucks.

But that doesn't make me any less baffled as to how an ad like this sells Red Bull. "Oh, well, if those dogs would use it as a marital aid..." Other ads in the series, where they at least give the "vitalizes body and mind" spiel - a gross exaggeration if ever there was one, but at least a claim about the product - make more sense. This one's just "Red Bull might help you fuck, if you're a dog, and if you take the 'wings' slogan seriously, which no one would." Great.


c12h22o11 said...

Maybe since it has three "i"'s in it, they can copyright the slogan.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

I think Red Bull is mostly consumed by people mixing it with vodka or Jager. Maybe they should aim their advertising towards drinkers -- really anything just to get away from that tiresome animation style.

Anonymous said...

I agree with so much of what you've pointed out in this truly undesirable example. Nothing about it is compelling. For such a great product from the beginning, they've always had disappointing ads. This is a new low.

Anonymous said...

It baffles me how they have used the same slogan,,same crappy animation since they launchd 20+ years ago. Compared to todays savy ads,,Red Bull looks very dated.