Marketing has fundamentally changed since the advent of the Internet. According to Seth Godin, “The Internet is the first medium invented in 100 years that wasn’t invented to make advertisers happy.” The ways we consume media has changed as we’re growing to use social media platforms more than TV and newspapers.

This week, we’re looking at two ways to promote beverage. Let’s take Calpis and Red Bull and apply the 4 P’s of marketing.


A non-carbonated soft drink made from milk and lactobacilli. It is available in both personal and home-use types.

The Calpis campaign is based on the idea of sharing goodness. Personalities such as Yuna (singer), Harith Iskandar (comedian), Safiq Rahim (footballer) and Wan Wai Fun (Radio DJ) were selected as ambassadors to convey the message in their own unique ways. Here are a few examples:



calpis - newspaper

Yuna’s cover features a ‘guitar’ with three buttons that can play sounds.


Harith has a mirror that lets you make a funny face and have a good laugh.

wai fun

Wai Fun’s cover comes with a bubble wrap. She is described as a ‘bubbly radio personality’ who ‘pops stress like the bubbles’.


Lastly, Safiq has a pair of inflatable cheering sticks that you can cheer up a friend with.

Online contest:

calpis - contest

There is also an online contest, “My Celebrity Selfie” where participants strike a creative pose with a bottle of Calpis when they take their selfie with a Calpis celebrity.

RM2.50 (Calpis Original 350ml) in Tesco Malaysia.

Supermarkets, mini markets, vending machines.

Personally, I think Calpis campaign is innovative, cleverly thought out and put together. Appointing Yuna and Harith Iskandar as ambassadors is in line with their tagline: “Brings out the goodness within” because they exude positivity in their daily lives. Although the only downside is that some people were put off by Calpis’ radio ad because it sounds annoying and it’s even misheard as “cow piss”. Perhaps this is the way to get into people’s heads, which it indeed worked.


An energy drink that contains caffeine, taurine, B vitamins (B3, B5, B6, B12), sucrose, glucose and Alpine Spring Water.

The idea behind the Red Bull campaign is to display human endurance. The event saw Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner doing a 128k feet space jump, conforming to the company’s slogan: “Red Bull gives you wings.”

RM6.65 (Red Bull Energy Drink 355ml) in Tesco Malaysia

Supermarkets, mini markets, vending machines

I think this Red Bull Stratos campaign is probably the best beverage-marketing stunt of all time. Nothing is more memorable than to have someone to attempt a free fall from outer space. It’s just mind-blowing.

Red Bull is the world’s foremost content marketer and is the only company in the world that has an in-house content publishing arm. Most of their marketing is through extreme sports content. Here’s a quote to top it all off, “Red Bull is a media company that happens to sell energy drinks.”

The energy drink was actually originated in Thailand with the name “Krating Daeng”. An Austrian entrepreneur bought the recipe over and renamed it Red Bull to market it to westerners. They’re the same products sold by two different companies. Red Bull in Thailand is in the form of a gold shorter can while in Austria and the rest of the world, it’s sold in a tall and slim blue-silver can.



Marketing has always been about connecting people and building relationships. In the past, we didn’t have tools for a two-way conversation. Today, consumers are more vocal and demanding because of the Internet. Therefore, marketers will have to constantly find new ways to connect with a new audience.

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