We're advertising in space again

I always bring up Franquin's 1959-60 comic book masterpiece "Z comme Zorglub"  whenever a news report touts a wild idea about advertising on the moon or in space, as the supervillain in that book sent rockets to the moon to spell "Coca Cola". However, his minions all spoke backward, so they spelled it backward. Sad trombone. 


We've talked about ads in space and on the moon for twenty years here on Adland. Back in 2004 a spacecraft designer, Alexander Lavrynov, patented a way to bring billboards to space. In 2006 Google pretended they were going to put a billboard on the moon. CUNNING stunts hoaxed the whole world pretending they had projected J-LO's butt on the moon in 2004.

The backward Coca Cola moon logo.

Researchers from Skoltech and MIPT are spinning the idea of space advertising. Not only is it "technically feasable", but also economically viable they argue in a paper. 

“We’ve been studying some of the more technical aspects of space advertising for a while now,” said the study’s first author Shamil Biktimirov, a research intern at Skoltech’s Engineering Center. “This time we looked at the economic side of things and, as unrealistic as it may seem, we show that space advertising based on 50 or more small satellites flying in formation could be economically viable. The key concerns are maximizing overall mission duration and a satellite’s footprint area — the scope of where it can reach to project a ‘pixel’ that would be part of the image in the sky.”


Russian startup StartRocket has been touting sky advertisements since early 2019.

Project leader Vlad Sitnikov told Futurism that this commodification of the sky is the next logical step in advertising.

"We are ruled by brands and events," he said. "The Super Bowl, Coca-Cola, Brexit, the Olympics, Mercedes, FIFA, Supreme, and the Mexican wall."

"The economy is the blood system of society. Entertainment and advertising are at its heart," he added.

"We will live in space, and humankind will start delivering its culture to space. The more professional and experienced pioneers will make it better for everyone."


I still think it's a dumb idea, as I said in 2004, and that Zorglub did it best in that 1960s comic book. Thankfully Futurism agrees that it's a terrible idea.

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