Ad spend? $0. Exposure? Astronomic!
When Elon Musk launched his personal cherry-red Telsa Roadster into space earlier this month, he created quite a stir…
It was the first successful test launch of his Falcon Healy rocket (as well as running Tesla, he has a private space-flight company called SpaceX).
Although the rocket take-off (and particularly the landing) was spectacular enough in itself, it was the payload that got all the attention. He could have launched a satellite – something ‘useful’ . But instead, he put a Tesla Roadster, with ‘Starman’ – a mannequin astronaut driver – on a trajectory that will take it round Mars. Think about that for a second!
In doing so, he got far more people engaged and excited about Space. I showed the video to my wife and kids, and everybody in the office crowded round to watch.
Millions of people around the world watched too. if you click on the YouTube link, you can watch the car, live, in Space, now. The car will be up there, potentially, for millions of years. Look forward to seeing it as an ‘Easter egg’ popping up in Sci-Fi films set in the future.
It was the little details that made it even more effective – the “Don’t Panic” messaging on the centre console (apparently there was also a towel in the glovebox – Douglas Adam’s fans will get the reference). The driver, Starman is wearing one of the new sleek SpaceX suits. Glued to the dashboard, is a model Tesla Roadster, with a tiny Starman driver. On a loop, on the car stereo David Bowie’s “(Is There) Life on Mars?” was playing. Even naming the astronaut “Starman” was a clever touch.
OK, so the aim of the Falcon Heavy launch wasn’t to advertise Teslas (but it hasn’t hurt). Elon Musk has a mission;
“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”
The stunt of putting a car into space is a step on his ‘mission’ to get the human race towards becoming a spacefaring civilisation!
Ok, we’re not all Billionaire owners of Electric Car and/or Space Technology companies. But maybe there are ways to leverage assets we do own to create engagement in our own, (albeit a little more humble), missions.