Pepsi put a giant billboard for its energy drink in space
|In partnership with space-advertising startup StartRocket, PepsiCo briefly transformed the starry night sky into a bright billboard for its new energy drink, Adrenaline Rush, using a network of tiny satellites.
A soda ad in space sounds like a dark, dystopian joke out of a Don DeLillo novel. But, thanks to this space-case startup, it could soon be very real — and people aren’t pleased.
Advertising’s final frontier
Starry-eyed entrepreneurs have dreamed up ways to put advertisements alongside the stars for decades, but high costs have prevented these schemes from leaving the stratosphere.
But now that the cost of satellites has finally fallen, StartRocket has designed a system that will use tiny, reflective satellites as space-pixels to project images in the night sky for 8 hours at a time for $20k.
“Andy Warhol said: ‘The most beautiful thing in Tokyo is McDonald’s.’ Space has to be beautiful,” reads StartRocket’s website. “With the best brands our sky will amaze us every night.”
The company considers itself a new media company that will make the night sky more beautiful — but not everyone agrees that McDonald’s ads in space will be “beautiful.”
Look at the beautiful night sky, son — it’s the Big Dipper, Orion’s Belt, and… an ad for Pepsi’s new energy drink?
But space ads are more than interstellar eyesores: Scientists warn that adding satellites into low orbit increases the risk of dangerous collisions with the growing amount of space junk floating around overhead.
For now, Pepsi’s partnership is only a test, and Pepsi may or may not choose to renew its contract with StartRocket. But the test opened up space for other businesses to shoot for the stars.
America banned space-based advertising in 1993, but Russia has no laws preventing StartRocket from plastering the cosmos with ads for fast food.