Red Bull Does Not Give You Wings

By: James Nemia

For my advertisement analysis I chose a Red Bull commercial, because I knew their advertisements have cause some problems for their company.  This T.V. commercial opens up with a cartoon of Superman snoring on a couch when he hears a scream coming from a citizen in distress. Immediately he goes to the window to see what the problem is. After observing the issue, Superman opens up his refrigerator to grab a Red Bull so that he can fly out and save the day. After realizing that there is no Red Bull left, he slams the window because without the “wings” that the Red Bull would have given him, he can’t fly and help the citizen.

This commercial uses humor as an emotion for the consumer. Superman, who arguably the greatest superhero of all time just sighs and closes the window instead of going out to help the woman, because there’s no Red Bull. This is funny because it’s not what the viewer expected at all. When you see Superman you expect him to save the day, but in this case he couldn’t because he couldn’t get his wings from drinking Red Bull. Red Bull used a very big symbol for this commercial. They used one of the most recognizable super hero’s ever created to advertise for their energy drink, and they took credit for his super power abilities.

Red Bull made it look like they should be credited for the super powers that Superman has. Apparently Red Bull is the reason that Superman can fly, and without it he has no powers at all. This is a very bold move, because this commercial is telling us that the only way Superman has ever been able to use his powers is if he had a Red Bull beforehand. The biggest comic book super hero of all time can’t fly or use any powers if he doesn’t have a Red Bull before he goes to fight crime.

What they are actually trying to say is much different. They are trying to convey that Red Bull has the ability to give you energy, and makes you able to do things that you wouldn’t be able to do without drinking the Red Bull beforehand. Red Bull has had trouble in the past with their slogan because people decide to take it literally that “Red Bull gives you wings.” According to an NBC News article, after people took their slogan literally, Red Bull was forced to pay a $13 million settlement because their drink does not in fact give you wings. Customers who bought the energy drink between January 2002 and October 2014 have the ability to receive a $10 cash payout for the false advertisement. (

The biggest thing this commercial is trying to say is that you can do things after drinking a Red Bull that you can’t do after drinking anything else. Red Bull gives you an extra boost of energy that can be used to improve the things that you do in your life. In this case Superman is able to have his super powers after drinking a red bull. But there are also commercials with athletes that show’s them drinking a Red Bull, then performing crazy stunts. Or the most unrealistic one is when they show a man drinking a Red Bull and immediately having the ability to get with women. They want you to believe that when you drink Red Bull you become a better person and have the capability to perform to your maximum abilities. Red Bull’s commercials do have some unrealistic scenarios, but it all gets to the point that Red Bull will give you an extra jolt of energy. It is absurd for people to have taken their slogan literally, and they are down $13 million because of it.


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