Pushing the individual to new lengths in their physical and mental capabilities. Or more aptly, blasting /flipping/boosting all while going mach 3 with your hair on fire. This is now the norm. Whether it is the American Express commercials featuring Laird Hamilton being towed into a giant wave - http://youtu.be/IKYMckP1POU - or the Degree Deodorant commercial - http://youtu.be/xokI3Ju93Og , advertisers are using extreme sports to grab minds of the focus-impaired and the wanna-be adventurers.
Now, Red Bull has brought it to a new level. Merely sponsoring or badging an event or person is now passe’. They are creating the events that produce brand altering effects. For example, Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space. Here is an excellent article by Nicole Kemp at Brand Republic that totally nails the shift that is occuring - http://www.brandrepublic.com/news/1155718/Six-marketing-lessons-Red-Bull-Stratos.
With social media generating a more intimate conversation with brands, and GoPro cameras recording personal views of extreme sports (here is one of me kiteboarding on Hilton Head Island, SC - it is very apparent what kite and kiteboard I use. I am a walking endorsement for Slingshot kites - http://youtu.be/UITfWkfIctQ) - where is it going next?
I believe that the use of extreme sports will continue to change the advertising landscape with greater and greater integration. Big global brands will continue to push the limits and embrace extreme sports because they are the epitome of what adventure is today. Adventure, even if it is vicarious, SELLS.
That’s what I think.