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To infinity and beyond: The brands that conquered space

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According to Will Hughes in an article on marketing in space, the golden age of space in campaigns only really occurred during the peak of the space race

“The general style and messaging used by brands made use of space travel to draw focus on the high-tech elements of the product or service,” he said. “The campaigns were tied up with the hope and ambition visible in the science fiction and media of the time. TV shows like The Jetsons and Lost in Space encapsulated this hope. 

“Therefore, talking about space in the 50s and 60s encouraged people to think optimistically about the future.”

This gave rise to some of the most iconic – though not necessarily great – adverts.

Of course nowadays, supported by the success of big films such as Gravity and Interstellar – as well as the exciting upcoming missions – space exploration has once again become a favourable way to market a brand.

Although it may not be an example of a brand that was launched into space, it does showcase how a company managed to be seen by a crew of astronauts from Earth.

Car brand Hyundai broke a Guinness World Record by using a fleet of 11 cars to deliver a message from a daughter to her astronaut father in space. By using its Genesis models, it created a giant tyre track image across the Delamar Dry Lake in Nevada – big enough to be seen and photographed from outer space.

The message, “Stephanie loves you” was written on paper and then super-imposed onto the landscape by stunt drivers exactly by using GPS technology.

Jose Cuervo also joined the space race on a smaller scale when it sent a margarita to space in order to be frozen.

There are several other brands that have played it safe in space by planting a logo on an orbiting satellite, or by sending a product to the cosmos. Take, for example, the time when a Disney Buzz Lightyear doll orbited the Earth for 15 months.

Disney Parks knew Buzz Lightyear’s dream of going “to infinity and beyond!” would eventually come true. The entertainment giant was given a cosmic opportunity by NASA through its “Toys in space” programme, to launch a toy into space. Now who wouldn’t pick Buzz for such an occassion?

By this time, NASA had been sending toys into space since 1985 as part of its commitment to educate kids about space exploration, but the series hadn’t generated much attention in recent years. The solution, of course, was Buzz.

Read on to find out about Red Bull’s jump from space and when brands have managed to sneak onboard space ships.

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