In Space, It’s A Whole New World

January 20, 2022

For decades, TBG has worked with innovation companies tussling with the challenges and complexities of outer space. And over the years, we’ve seen first-hand how innovation in space has affected and enhanced life on Earth, how the commercialization of space has created risks and opportunities, and how our collective relationship with space has evolved.

From the United States Space Force to Tesla’s space roadster, the signs of our changing place in the galaxy are everywhere.

In 2021 alone, there have been 64 commercial space flights, more than double the number in recent years. And as we make ourselves more and more at home on the final frontier, the more it becomes a full-blown economy.

In fact, this year the space industry pulled in record amounts of money from private investors looking for big returns on early-stage space ventures—with more than $10 billion invested through the third quarter.

And the future looks blindingly bright.

So much so that Morgan Stanley predicts the economic potential of space commerce will reach $1 trillion by 2040.

Fueling this momentum are commercial partnerships that help NASA reduce costs, licensing deals that enable private businesses to build and scale, and the potential creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

In other words, the stars have aligned for space entrepreneurs. And that’s opened the door nice and wide for space advertisers.

Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Tesla, KFC and Nissin Foods have all launched campaigns into space. It’s a tradition that dates all the way back to the earliest days of the U.S. space program when companies like Pillsbury (Space Food Sticks) and Tang (Tang) sought out early associations with space exploration.

Since those first pioneering days, we’ve seen everything from product replicas orbiting space stations to logos on rockets and space suits.

And now, in what must surely be the industry’s boldest move to date, Canadian startup Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) and SpaceX have partnered to launch an “advertisement-beamer” satellite into space.

Named CubeSat, the satellite will be loaded onto a moon-bound SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and released into orbit. It’ll use a selfie stick to record advertisements displayed on a screen embedded in its surface and live-stream the recordings on YouTube or Twitch.  

Businesses, advertisers, artists and just about anyone else will be able to project illustrations (for a price)—making it possible for GEC and SpaceX to democratize such a unique opportunity for exposure.

How this giant leap into space advertising will shape the future of the advertising and space industries remains unclear.

What is crystal clear, however, is that space is no longer something we only gawk and marvel at through telescopes. It’s becoming a bigger part of our daily realities in both obvious and not-so-obvious ways.

We see it every day with our clients—many of whom are on the frontlines of space innovation.

It’s a new world out there. And we can’t wait to explore it.