Yesterday, the Internet erupted with the promise of free money over a frivolous law suit that saw the Austrian beverage makers forced to settle a false advertising claim over the expression “It Gives You Wings.” American consumers who purchased a Red Bull in the last 12 years were given the opportunity to put their name on a claim for either $10 in cash or $15 in Red Bull products. And the genius(?) of the U.S. legal system allowed claims to be made with no proof of purchase.
Viral “free” money
Consequently, millions upon millions of people filed yesterday and even crashed the website that the law firm set up to make filing a claim “easier.” When the suit was settled it was capped at $13 million. As a result of this going viral yesterday and people seeking their $10, the suit will no become diluted and see all those you applied even splitting the settlement. With considerably more that 1.3 million people applying for the cash this goes almost without saying and people are now looking at perhaps $2 if the site ever goes live again.
Buzzfeed reported yesterday that 4.6 million people applied for funds before the site crashed. The absurdity of this is what’s breathtaking. The fact that a company can’t advertise figuratively gifted wings as a marketing technique and long used slogan is madness. The fact that Facebook as well as myriad news sources invited their readership to get free money borders on irresponsible.
Red Bull gives you wings – Are you high?
At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to see anyone getting sufficient money to buy a single can of Red Bull and none of them can genuinely say that they were under the impression that in paying $2.50 for an energy drink they expected to fly. It’s possible that someone on LSD who already believed they could fly, simply bought the insurance of a Red Bull before plummeting to their death, but if that was the case the settlement would have been larger and certainly more personal.