24-mile skydive breaks into social stratosphere, redefines event marketing

By Cory Bergman 

Felix Baumgartner’s skydive was initially planned for a weekday, but blustery winds delayed the jump from the edge of space to a Sunday. Perhaps in retrospect, the delay heightened the live event’s social splash, attracting over 7.5 million concurrent viewers on YouTube, dominating Twitter’s trending topics and burning up Facebook with spectacular photos.

Here’s a look at YouTube moments before he stepped off the edge and plummeted to earth:

Discovery TV covered the jump in the US, and it will be interesting to see how YouTube’s numbers compare to Discovery’s ratings. Then wait until the jump highlights hit YouTube (anytime now), certain to attract tens of millions of views, all originating from Red Bull’s own YouTube account.

This amazing photo (above), courtesy of the Red Bull Stratos mission, has been shared all over the place on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For Red Bull, this will go down as an epic social ad campaign. “We live in an age where technology has made a 23-mile space jump distinguishable from an attempt at suicide, and where an energy drink company makes aggressive ventures into space while the United States puts its shuttle program into a museum,” writes the LA Times. Red Bull took a big gamble, and it paid off in grand style with an avalanche of brand-true earned media.

When we see updated social media numbers, we’ll post them here.