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Marketers turn to the ‘final frontier’

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The aerospace company XCOR hopes to take its first private customers into space next year. If you want to book a ticket, it’s going cost you almost $100,000.

Or you could get Axe body spray to foot the bill. The deodorant company has a new marketing campaign featuring Buzz Aldrin and a contest. Twenty-two lucky winners will get rocketed into the final frontier.

There have been a lot of milestones in space. There was the V-2 rocket, Sputnik, the manned Apollo missions. But perhaps the greatest achievement: When Pizza Hut delivered the first pizza into the cosmos in 2001.

The company originally wanted to top the pie with pepperoni, but the classic topping failed the 60-day testing process, so the inhabitants of the International Space Station had to settle for salami.

Humans have always been fascinated by the infinite blackness outside our atmosphere and that has not escape the attention of marketers. Abbey Klaassen is the editor of Advertising Age. She says marketers are in the job of trying to harness what’s grabbing consumer’s attention “and space has always been one of those things.”

She says the new Axe ad is the type of campign we will see more of in 2013. “People aren’t going to talk about a typical ad necessarily but they probably will talk about the idea that they could get sent to space by Axe.”

When Red Bull sent daredevil Felix Baumgartner into space last fall, he became the first person to break the sound barrier without jet propulsion. And Red Bull set the record for most live views on YouTube. Over 8 million people watched.

“I mean, what an achievement and people were just glued to their screens as they were watching that,” says David Meerman Scott, the author of the forthcoming book “Marketing the Moon.” He says the commercialization of space is a good thing because it brings much needed funding to space exploration programs. “And it ignites the public’s excitement for space because wow hey maybe I can go too.”

And if you don’t have the money, you can always turn to a marketing contest.

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