Monday, November 3, 2008

Deeeer, It's Red Bull You Idiot!

I am a regular listener of Peter Wagstaff’s Marketing Today Podcast (if you don’t listen to it then get on board at It’s a great podcast and will really get you thinking about current marketing topics – plus if you listen to it in the car then you can avoid the commercial radio station drive time dribble!

Over the last few months I started writing some feedback to the podcast and really enjoyed having it discussed on air … from there I started this blog (thanks to all the encouragement from the blogosphere following my first post last week)
One week on the podcast, Wags and Col were discussing the Olympics and I wrote some feedback which went like this …

“Here is a very cool piece of ambush marketing that I am sure you guys will like. The International Olympic Committee does not allow sponsorship on athletes uniforms (like most sports teams have). In fact, even the manufacturers logos have to be smaller than 3.1 squares inches. I searched and searched but couldn’t find a picture or a reference.I think it was the 2004 Olympics, and a track cyclist lined up with his normal slick suit on. There were some very unusual markings on his uniform in red and yellow and I remember thinking to myself “That’s not even his country's colours”.Then he sat up on his bike and the colours were organised as two red triangles meeting with a backdrop of a yellow circle. Instantly recognisable as the Red Bull Logo! I thought it was pure genius to capitalise on the equity of the logo and be able to reduce it to its basic shapes and colours yet still have it instantly recognisable to an audience.”

I suggested to Wags and Col that it would be a very cool exercise to get some famous logos and “dumb them down” and see if consumers could still pick the brand just from just the shape and colours. We’ll Wags and Col agreed - so I set about doing it.
I have tested it on a few people and all enjoyed it and it was funny listening to them and/or watching them when they had an answer on the tip of their tongue but couldn’t get it out.

Click the link below to download the dumbed down logos and see how many you can recognise. A big thanks to Jules @ Soul Mann for hosting the spreadsheet (as Blog Spot doesn’t allow uploading of word or excel files?!?!)

Download the spreadsheet here >>

Please make sure you register how many you correctly answered using the pole on the right hand side of this page.

If you have any logos that you reckon would be good for a Version 2 then let me know and I will “dumb it down” (Hint: it has to be a logo without much reliance on words/letters/fonts. For example, the Goodyear logo wouldn’t work).

Finally, one more thing, Current Issues in Marketing has an interesting post on the Red Bull Air Race.


Peta said...

Hey Oyst,

Love the blog, can I use any of your entries for "academic purposes" with my marketing classes?

I did the logo challenge and got 11/16...going to search the net now for the others because they look so familiar yet I can't quite place them.


Daniel Oyston said...

Well done Pete, I am impressed ... that's a good effort.

I will post the solutions in a few weeks so it doesn't eat away at people. Mmmm, I wonder if anyone will have any of those 'middle of the supermarket light bulb moments' and instinctively yell out "Red Bull!"

Of course you can use it for academic purposes. I'd be honored.

Maybe I can pollute the students minds as well! (insert evil laugh).

Matt said...

Hey Daniel, another great post mate... I've got all but #10, although #1 isn't technically a logo :)

Daniel Oyston said...

@ Matt, mmm, in hindsight you are correct but good to see you got it anyway.

#10 hey? Do you have a girlfriend/wife ... she might be able to offer some help on it.

Josh Strawczynski said...

Hey Dan,

If you look again at my last post i have referenced you blog, this should help your Technorati ranking (if you have not signed up do so now)

Also, feel free to post about your blog, I think you and I have very complimentary writing styles.

Finally, you asked me about the domain. I bought my domain and host it all through blogger. If go to settings, then publishing, you should find it easy from there.

I work in PPC & SEO marketing, so if you need any help installing your meta tags or making your blog internet friendly I am always happy to lend a hand. Any friend of Julian Cole is a mate of mine.

Gavin Heaton said...

Good challenge! I scored 12. Don't know if that is a good thing or not ;)

Wags said...

Hey Oyster! Podcast #79 is now live, with a recommendation to visit your blog. Many thanks for the content!

Wags and Col.

P.S. After a little bit of help (from a tram of around 10 people - thanks in particular to Zac, Simon, Col and Jules), I've now got 16/16! Unbelievably, #7 was the most difficult for me, even though it's a product/brand that I consume on a regular basis! ;-)

Kate @ The Zeitgeists said...

What a great exercise!

I must be really sad because I got all 16, but like Matt, #1 had me stumped the most. That's because I could have swore it was Schweppes (look at how similar the logo designs are!) and spent five typing in all variations of it, from Cadbury Schweppes to mis-spellings.

You are right about #10 - you need a female around or at least be a big fan of Tennis!

Kate @ The Zeitgeists said...

That was s'posed to read five minutes * ^

Daniel Oyston said...

Thanks Kate, yeah #10 came to me in the shower ... sounds dodgy but those that have it correct will understand :)

Morgan Coudray said...

Great Post!!!! I love the work you did with the dumbed-down logo! I only got half. Thanks for the blogroll. Keep up the good work Dan!

Anonymous said...

daniel. At PepsiCo, we were looking at logo treatments for both Pepsi and Gatorade that created interest & intrigue. Our thought was that when consumers exert effort and are rewarded for that effort, it creates affinity.
We ended up designing a range of T shirts for Pepsi, Mt Dew & 7Up that are now selling well in various fashion outlets.
Nice posts - it's good to see another marketer blogging. As you can see, we're few and far between

Stan Lee said...

That Red Bull stunt is almost subliminal advertising.

Well it would be if such a thing existed.

danielle said...

Got a few more you could use:
-The umbro logo
-The BP Logo
-The FED EX logo

#9 is annoying me.

Great post

Daniel Oyston said...

@ Danielle, thanks for those suggestions ... they are in the pile for Round II. Number 9 hey? I will give u a hint but don't want to give it to everyone ... send me an email and I will give you a hint.

Craig Wilson said...


This post is a finalist for the Moggy Awards for media and marketing post of the year.

See more at


Melissa said...

This is fantastic! had the post in my inbox this morning and it's consumed my thoughts ever since! i have no idea on #7 and #9. #7 is torturing me, it's on the top of my tongue but i just cant get it! Can't wait for the answers!
Great post Daniel, i only subscribed to your blog last week and i'm addicted already!

Melissa said...

That was supposed to be #16 is torturing me**

Daniel Oyston said...

Thx Melissa, always nice to get good comments and nice to hear about new readers.

I am planning a second logo quiz so keep visiting.

I can offer some hints for the ones you are missing. email me at

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