Brands can run ads nearly everywhere on Earth – golf holes, urinals and even on farm animals – but outdoor giant Clear Channel is planning to go intergalactic by offering companies the chance to advertise in space.
The scheme will to give companies the opportunity to send their logo into space on the European Space Agency’s 2016 launch of the Belgian CubeSat mini-satellite. While there has been talk of launching giant billboards visible from the Earth for years, the most notable space marketing venture to date has been The Red Bull Stratos skydive, which broke all records for social media engagement.
Quite who will see the ad in situ is unclear, but the Leuven University in Belgium is using the programme as a way of raising funds for its scientific projects, while stimulating space research.
The university’s funding programme was already receiving support from a number of multinationals, but they want to keep the technical and commercial aspects separate.
“The set-up of an advertising billboard is something we have no experience in”, explains student Maarten Decat. “So we are glad that we can call on the expertise of Clear Channel to find advertisers so that we can raise funding for our project. Panel advertising, in the widest sense, is their core business, just as space research is ours …”
The plan is to sign up a number of brands, which will then use the likes of social media to promote their involvement in the project.
Clear Channel Belgium sales director Bart Demeulenaere said: “While the dream of interstellar travel is still on hold, it is possible to advertise in space from today. Even the sky is no longer the limit. It’s now possible to reach the stars with any brand that wishes to push the boundaries of its communications together with us.
“This is about taking the first step towards the future – by supporting a scientific project initiated by young people. And it’s about the glory: not just anyone can send their company logo into space. At Clear Channel we are entirely convinced of the possibilities of the project. We already feel like space pioneers.”
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