Trump Wants to Go to the Moon. How Do You Market Outer Space?

Imagining the possibility, post-election

space
The moon holds many possibilities in the near future. Getty Images
Headshot of Ben Lamm

If Trump wins a second term in office, he tweeted about plans to establish a permanent manned presence on the moon, and send the first manned mission to Mars. If he loses, chances are that these top space priorities will happen in the next decade anyway.

It’s not a big surprise: the financial potential of space and the increasing militarization of space has generated big opportunities. And with the increasing humanization of space, the moon and Mars continue to hold consumer mindshare. So here’s how to capitalize on that—and market from, around or at the moon.

Establish contact

More and more brands are utilizing the cachet of space to market their products. From baking chocolate chip cookies in orbit to experiments involving a Lamborghini or face cream, companies are able to use the International Space Station to test their products in space. While the results of the experiments tend to have few terrestrial applications, the experience of being in space allows brands to tap into its marketing potential.

Find partners in advance

Even if we don’t have a manned Mars mission or a manned permanent presence on the moon, we will see non-governmental organizations in lower orbit engage in space tourism. These companies will be looking for creative ways to keep people entertained while in orbit. For terrestrial companies that may seem difficult, but what if you had something on the moon: projection mapping capacity or a laser light show? VR headsets can also help people experience what it is like to be on the moon without actually stepping on it.

See Watchmen

In Season 1, Adrienne Vit leaves a message on one of Jupiter’s moons using the dead corpses of a utopia created by a mythical blue god. You could also slingshot symbolic bodies into marketing messages on the moon. Secure future permits to create giant shapes on the moon best viewed through a telescope. Think of it as public moon art. My money is on Coca-Cola to do this before any other brand. File this under the epox moment for capitalism.

Stay close

Sometimes merely appearing on, near or around the moon is enough. Earth-based experiences that capitalize on or otherwise capture the moon in new and novel concepts will provide entertainment and tap into our fascination with off-planet living. Think: dome hotels, drinks that change color when touched by moonlight and fabrics that respond to the moonrise.

Take up permanent residence

Imagine an alternate reality. Regardless of how you feel about the election, half of America is going to be disappointed with the results. If that’s you, perhaps there is something to be said for finding your way onto the moon and WFM (work from the moon). So you could email, post Google ads and discuss creative while being on the moon.

2021 will not see a permanent presence on the moon, but sometime in this decade we will see the start of one. That means we should start planning now for ways in which we can have more fun, be more connected to, and otherwise see what imaginative solutions we can come up with to engage with the broader world beyond our planet.


@federallamm Ben Lamm is co-founder and chairman of Hypergiant. (Disclosure: Adweek’s parent company, Beringer Capital, is a minority investor in Hypergiant.) He is also a member of the Adweek Advisory Board.
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