On Apollo 11’s 50th Anniversary, This Ad Captures a Lifelong Fascination With Space

JFK Moonshot uses AR to re-live America's first moon landing

One woman's fascination with the Apollo program extends from 1962 to the modern day in this ad for an app for the moon landing's 50th anniversary.
JFK Moonshot

A young girl sits rapt in front of a black-and-white television screen as John F. Kennedy gives an impassioned speech about traveling to space to find “new hopes for knowledge and peace.” The U.S. will take on this world-changing goal “not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

That heralded talk, dubbed “We Choose to Go to the Moon” from 1962, serves as the spine of a commercial for an augmented reality app that recreates the Apollo 11 journey and highlights the former president as a visionary and prime mover in the space program.

The spot, called “Full Circle,” shows the same youngster as a teen-ager watching the Saturn V rocket launch in 1969 on a slightly updated TV. Then, in her current-day adult life, she relives that historic moment and shares it with the next awe-struck generation via AR. 

The ad aims to show “one woman’s fascination with space throughout her lifetime,” creators say, and link JFK to the Apollo 11 mission “through one of the many people he inspired.”

The campaign, from Digitas and Unit9, will air through the summer in AMC theaters. It promotes the free JFK Moonshot app that’s packed with location-based, real-time and 3D features (users can pose with the spacecraft on its launch pad, for instance), along with more than 100 hours of previously unreleased video and audio material from NASA archives. 

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo launch was, to be exact, at 9:32 a.m. ET today, and creators demoed the app at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, sending a full-scale recreation of the 363-foot Saturn V rocket from Columbia Point over Dorchester Bay for a five-day virtual orbit to the moon and back. That translates to 120-plus hours of real-time tracking simulation. 

Here’s a look at the Twitch livestream of today’s Boston-based launch event:

The immersive app, sponsored by Raytheon, The Boeing Company and Bank of New York Mellon, among others, will hit school classrooms starting this fall. It’s available  for Apple and Android devices on iTunes and Google Play or directly at jfkmoonshot.org.

CREDITS:

Agency: Digitas

CREATIVE
Sue DeSilva, EVP/Executive Creative Director
Mark Philip, VP, Group Creative Director
Michael Walsh, Senior Art Director
Jason Ziehm, Senior Copywriter
Samantha Hodian, Art Director
Matt Shoewalter, Associate Copywriter
Brian Noyes, Senior Art Director
Thom Crowley, Senior Copywriter
Lyndsay Cooper, Associate Art Director
Atit Shah, Co-Chief Creative Officer, NA
Andrew Carlson, Co-Chief Creative Officer, NA
Scott Donaton, Global Chief Creative and Content Officer

PRODUCTION
Peter McCann, SVP Head of Production
Amber Harris, VP/Director, Executive Producer
Reed Holtzmann, Associate Editor, Production
Melanie Liu, Producer, Production
Toar Winter, VP/Director, Executive Producer
Annie Lefley, Sr Editor
Sean Cardwell, Associate Editor
Production Company: UNIT9 Films
Director: Jonathan Pearson
Executive Producer: Adam Dolman
Producer: Geoff Stickler
DOP: Gary Shaw
Art Director: Chris Lightburn Jones
Editor: Toby Conway-Hughes (Marshall Street Editors)
Postproduction: ENVY

ACCOUNT
Lindsey Varney, Account Director
Nicole Tatlow, VP/Group Account Director
Robert Guay, EVP/Managing Director
Melisa Levy, EVP/Managing Director

PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Aislynn Sherry, Manager, Project Management
Judy Gough, Manager, Project Management

TECHNOLOGY
Keith Soljacich, VP/Group Director, Technology
Jeffrey Crowe, VP/Director, Technology
Jose-Pablo Chavarria, Associate Creative Engineer
Marcelo Guzman, Sr. Front End Engineer
Angela Rojas, Sr. Front End Engineer
Carlos Aguilar, Sr. Front End Engineer
Javier Avila, Sr. Software Engineer

MEDIA
Megan Jones, SVP Media
Alex Binder, Associate Director, Paid Social
Jency Barnes, Assoc. Director, Media Technology
Honor Moshay, Analyst, Programmatic

STRATEGY
Allie Wassum, VP/Director, Social Strategy
Bethany Bayer, SVP Creative Strategy
Kylee Muir, Creative Strategist
Sarah Mitus, Manager, Social Strategy
Julia Agger, Assoc. Dir, Social Strategy

DATA & ANALYSIS:
Brianne Beyers, Manager
Blake Hamblett, Analyst

BUSINESS AFFAIRS:
Dan Simonetti, VP/Director, Business Affairs
Ramona Seunath, Manager, Business Affairs

PRINT PRODUCTION:
Greg Roger, Manager, Print Production
Jennifer Clark, Assoc. Director, Print Production
Sarah Whinnem, VP/Group Director, Print Production