Red Bull

Embedding Red Bull within Japan’s emerging subcultures

Engagement


Problem

We had been acting as a strategic partner to Red Bull Japan for their music strategy since the inaugural Japan edition of the Red Bull Music Festival in 2017.

Red Bull had made significant strides in achieving their goal of ‘moving music culture forward’, with events that spanned mainstream artists with mass appeal, underground talent, and up-and-coming future stars, yet we hadn’t codified a process for long-term strategic planning.

Red Bull
Red Bull

Approach

We had been relying on our collective tastes and biases – a process that works to some extent but is reliant on individuals – but this is hard to scale when it comes to building consensus across departments and with international stakeholders.

We proposed a new model based around SCOUT audience clustering that was designed to answer questions like: What is our target audience listening to? How do people currently perceive the connection between the Red Bull brand and music in Japan? What genres, artists, and consumption patterns do we need to be watching out for, and why?

This allowed us to inform programming and the event ideation process, understand decisions around artist selection, and strengthen the relationship between culture and media.


Impact

The first output from our approach was the video Machìna. Traversing the quiet fields of rural South Korea, through to the city lights of central Tokyo, “MACHINA” charts the story of a former K-Pop idol who turned her back on the factory-like rigours of the mainstream music industry to pursue her passions as an independent electronic music artist.

The 12-minute documentary eschews a conventionally linear narrative in favour of an ethereal bricolage that profiles Yeohee Kim, a.k.a. machìna, and her career to-date, representing the unique layers of places and experiences that can be heard in her current music.

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