The Red Bulletin is not a bit of Soviet Era Communist Propaganda, it’s a strange little publication from the good people at Red Bull soft drink. I was an early adopter of Red Bull, a rather unpleasant tasting beverage that inspired a whole world of other ‘energy’ drinks. I drank it not because it gave me wings, but because it helped me to stay awake for a couple of hours.
Now, the makers of Red Bull pretty much ignore their core audience, people who want to stay awake for a couple more hours, and instead like to focus on people doing incredibly stupid things-such as sky diving from low orbit. This makes sense, of course, they want people to think of Red Bull as more than a legal alternative to amphetamines, but I still only drink them when I need to stay awake for a couple more hours.
I occasionally use a site called Klout that ranks your popularity on social media sites. Klout offers Perks to users from time to time, if you’re popular you get better perks. I’ve gotten 25 business cards from Moo.com and a free subscription to The Red Bulletin. On the plus side, the business cards from Moo are awesome!
The Red Bulletin reminds me of Indian Jones and the Crystal Skull, it’s nice that so many people made some money putting it together, but really, why did they bother? Most magazines are easy to figure out, Bicycling, Car and Driver, Fine Cooking, Parents, and Sports Illustrater are all magazines that have a pretty clear focus. Titles like Harpers, Oprah, Comsompolitain, and Real Simple may take a couple of looks to figure out, but once you read them you get what they are about. The Red Bulletin doesn’t seem to be about anything.
The photography is kind of nice, lots of old style Hollywood lighting and all kinds of cool and trendy images. The articles, such as they are, are often just blips with a cool graphic and twenty words. There are longer pieces, but they tend to cover topics I have no interest in, odd since they cover the gamut from sports to music to TV to whatever random thing crosses the editor’s desk. You’d think there would be something I cared about in all these hyper little bits of business. But, well, no.
I don’t know what I was expecting from a magazine made by an energy drink, but this hybrid of Outside and OK and Vibe wasn’t it. Maybe if I was a twenty-something uber cool dude, I would like it. But then, I guess a magazine geared toward people who want to stay awake for a couple more hours, wouldn’t be too exciting either. I guess my only real question is, why does Red Bull need to make a magazine anyway?