While it may sound far-fetched or from a galaxy far, far away, Space Marketing is an emerging trend that offers a unique opportunity for companies to re-imagine themselves and promote their products and services outside the physical boundaries of the planet Earth. In fact, Morgan Stanley recently estimated that by 2040, over $1 trillion revenue could be generated through the global space industry. Commercial companies and forward-thinking brands recognize the opportunity, embrace the innovation, and explore legitimate ways to lift off into space.
These early, unchartered ventures into space will transform how companies conduct business and how people perceive space and its elements. Space Marketing entails unique experiences and encounters that longstanding businesses and prior generations have never conceived. Space Marketing goes above and beyond any company’s Marketing Plans and connects with a target audience through fantasy, fascination and the future at their fingertips.
The Past: How The Journey Began
Companies have been defying gravity and putting promotions in motion since before the turn of the 21st century. NASA is credited for paving the way in the early 1960s for investing in space marketing efforts. In 1986, Pepsi paid $5 million to hover a replica of an oversized Pepsi can outside the Russian Space Station. In 2000, Pizza Hut placed its logo on a Russian Proton rocket bound for the International Space Station. One year later with the guidance of food scientists and in collaboration with Russia’s space program, Pizza Hut became the first company in history to deliver a fresh, oven-ready vacuum-sealed Personal Pan Pizza to the International Space Station.
Not only has Pizza Hut invested over $500 million in new Marketing research and initiatives, it has positioned itself as an other worldly option when it comes to fresh taste, efficient delivery, and product sustainability. The world leader in the $25 billion category, Pizza Hut has more things cooking for the future when it comes to Space Marketing and delivering quality food anywhere in the world and across the universe.
The Present: One Small Step for a Brand, One Giant Leap for Brandkind
Space development continues around the world as technology progresses, satellites and space ventures are automated, and unfathomable breakthroughs occur. It may come as no surprise that one of the forerunners on the pursuit to promote in space is SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The entrepreneurial Founder of Tesla has been proactive and productive in Space Marketing’s early stages. On February 6, 2018, a Tesla Roadster blasted off into orbit, an unprecedented event immersing an electric car with outer space. Musk’s additional endeavors include launching rockets and shuttles, conceptualizing a space-oriented resort at new SpaceX launch site Boca Chica, and ultimately working his way to Mars.
With less foot traffic and adjusted shopping habits this year especially, brands have preserved budgets and minimized high-cost commercials, outdoor advertising, and in-store initiatives. It is the ideal time and ultimate moment of a lifetime to explore any and all options. Toshiba, Red Bull, Under Armour, and Estee Lauder comprise other space-minded companies seeking to promote and position their products way beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.
Estee Lauder “took one small step for its brand and one giant leap for brandkind”. For a similar price it would pay a prominent Influencer for a customized campaign, the beauty and cosmetics giant has partnered with NASA to deliver and develop imagery of its Advanced Night Repair skin serum from the International Space Station with the planet Earth as its background setting. Talk about a product that’s out of this world!
The $128,000 photoshoot will supersede any social media posts of its kind and Lauder vows to sell one of its spacial facial products shot from the sky for charity. According to NPR, Estée Lauder reportedly payed $17,500 an hour to have astronauts take photos and videos of its skincare serum in space. NASA has set aside 90 hours of crew time for commercial and marketing activities like this. Which begs to differ, are astronauts now becoming content creators and creative directors, or even influencers?
Look Up To The Future
With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), we are essentially already in cyberspace getting closer to making Space a legitimate space where brands may opt to advertise.
Visionaries are already planning promotional tactics beyond planetary measures for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Imagine if a business could showcase its brand from high in the sky for many of the world’s onlookers to see through their smartphones or AR glasses. Companies should push the envelope and brainstorm about the limitless marketing concepts aligned with outer space. If brands can mesh rocket launches with product launches, consumers will be wowed by the creative content and sold on the prominent, powerful path ahead for Space Marketing.
Realists and traditionalists say mainstream advertising in space will be gradual and rare with such heavy cost requirements and the dependence on continued technological advancements. Industries must assess cost-benefit analysis, physical distribution, and sustainability of products and promotional props when analyzing opportunities that surpass the planet and eclipse conventional communication. However, many creative thinkers and advertising leaders agree that Space Marketing can captivate Pop Culture and spawn a new philosophy for product placement. The eventual hope is that brands will see the potential and partner with global space organizations like NASA to bear some of the expenses. It is an exciting, unprecedented new frontier for corporations to travel. When (not if) it does become more prevalent, brand awareness will skyrocket, impressions will be unscalable, and billions of eyeballs will be aboard to witness. The Space Race is officially on and the early entrants that pay to play will capitalize and capture all the glory.
How can this new frontier of marketing catapult brands to think out of this world?