While outdoor advertising costs 80% less than TV advertising, it’s hard to imagine that “outdoor advertising” includes billboards in outer space.
According to a recent report from Fox News, Pocari Sweat, a Japanese sports drink company is hoping to increase their advertising presence by sending their product where no sports drink has gone before: the moon.
The makers of the sport drink are hoping to have their product launched and landed by Summer of 2016.
While it would be great to imagine a single can blasting off and touching down with little tiny rockets, the drink will actually be carried and placed by SpaceX and the Griffin Lander, technology from Astrobotic Technology’s lab.
The project has been causing a lot of buzz not only for Pocari Sweat, but for the prospect of moon advertising. Many companies have already explored this concept, like Coca-Cola, which tried to project its logo on the moon during Y2K.
Many of the issues that come up when trying to “moonvertise” come down to engineering and illumination.
James Garvin, chief scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, explained, “You would need to be constantly illuminating something the size of cities to make up just a pixel of an image – you would have to illuminate patches bigger than Delaware to be visible to the human eye.” He added, “These types of lasers would need factors of thousands more energy [than current space lasers].”
Garvin thinks the theory poses an interesting problem for engineers. He added that it would make a great question for an engineering interview: “How would you illuminate the moon as a billboard without landing there?”
Many scientists have posed that it would be easier to try and utilize the dark matter of space to project on, but even that could take a few more years of technological advancement. For now, we’ll just have to keep our ads on the ground.
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