How Red Bull Quietly Took Over NYC for Its Red Bull Music Academy Event

There's nothing subtle about Red Bull the drink—it gives you wings, after all—but Red Bull the marketer decided to keep its messaging low-key around a recent New York entertainment/pop-culture event. Title sponsorship aside, the brand promoted its two-week Red Bull Music Academy mostly with logo-free wallscapes, subway and outdoor ads, wild postings, website takeovers and a free, daily, non-advertorial, 80,000-circulation newspaper. (Sample story: "Celluloid Heroes: New York Cinema and Its Soundtracks.") The omnipresent, art-heavy campaign, from Brooklyn-based ad agency Doubleday & Cartwright, pointed local music fans to the academy's collaborations, performances, workshops and labs, using spokesman Questlove as a focal point. (See some of the work in progress in the video below.) Attendance was reportedly strong, propping up the idea of content marketing as a way to speak to hard-to-corral hipsters and young music lovers.