Red Bull Hangs 10 With Surfers

NEW YORK Imagine adjusting to the rhythm of the surfboard as you ride Tahiti’s Teahupoo. Suddenly, a huge wave envelops you. You have two choices: stop it or watch it from all angles as the water crashes down.

Energy drink maker Red Bull has launched a new Web site dedicated to surfing. Redbullsurfing.com has incorporated video technology, created by Immersive Media, to provide viewers with the feeling that they are a part of the action. The technology uses a special camera that captures 11 separate video streams, which are arranged according to geodesic geometry to create a spherical image intended to provide a 360-degree view.

“We’ve captured a totally new perspective of riding inside the barrel — the most sacred place in surfing,” said Josh Kendrick, athletic marketing manager, Red Bull.

Over a period of five days, world-renowned surfers including Jamie O’Brien, Raimana Van Bastolaer and Ian Walsh, along with Red Bull’s technical team and artists, strapped on equipment to capture the essence of the waves from an insider’s perspective.

The initiative came about after TAOW Productions, charged in a marketing brief by Red Bull, sampled the Immersive Media technology off the Florida Keys in a gunboat simulation.

“That’s when it hit us. Our mission is to connect brands with their core consumers in ways that really impact and affect them in a multi-sensory fashion,” said Butch Bannon, director of special projects and business development at global marketing agency TAOW.

Red Bull’s goal is to increase traffic to its site by offering an experience that would not be possible otherwise, added a company representative. Marketing initiatives include a banner ad campaign.

“Red Bull is at the forefront of experiential marketing techniques that will have a profound impact on the industry,” added B. Scott Taylor, founder and president of TAOW.