Counting Down the Top 10 Space-Related Ads

The use of space imagery in ad campaigns is on the rise. In some ways it’s a blast from the past, recalling the 1960s space race when Tang pitched itself as the drink of astronauts and watchmaker Omega touted its ties to NASA. (In 1970, astronaut Jack Swigert’s Omega Speedmaster was used aboard Apollo 13 to time a critical maneuver that helped the disabled spacecraft return to Earth.)

Today’s marketers are far more sophisticated. But despite better technology and edgier ideas, the basic dynamic hasn’t changed. “Space captivates the imagination,” says Wesley Hawes, creative director at BBH London, which crafted Axe’s “Nothing Beats an Astronaut” effort. “Being able to bottle that fascination and use it in an ad campaign can be tremendously effective.”

Here’s a countdown of current and recent work that defines advertising’s second space age.