Just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone comes up with something even starrier. This time, the sky’s quite literally the limit for marketing, with so called ‘orbital billboards’.

the orbital display in action from Vlad Sitnikov on Vimeo.

While Carlsberg had the ‘best poster in the world’.

And New Zealand’s ASB Bank bought ball dogs to the Auckland Open.

Now a Russian startup is proposing to offer brands the chance to share their comms from space. So long as they can raise $25million by October 2019. The plan is to launch satellites to create a programmable display that will, quite literally, be seen by a global audience.  Each one has a 50-square kilometre viewing area and six minute advertising intervals.

So, is it innovation or is it pollution?

Probably both. Certainly it sounds like something out of a sci fi movie.  But then again so did the mobile phone when James Bond first whipped one out. Pepsico were said to have partnered with them on a test launch, but with ensuing online criticism of the idea they’ve quietly distanced themselves.  At least for now.

Then there’s the question of personal space and individual choices when it comes to advertising. After GDPR in the UK, trust in brands is at an all time low. We already discussed in a recent article how many people just assume that big brands are are using their data in ways they don’t really want them to.

What we see on our own social platforms is tailored by algorithms and boosted posts.  So we already feel that our personal space is being invaded and manipulated. How would parents feel for example?  If their children look up at the night sky and see an advert for soft drinks while they’re at home trying to promote healthy eating?

It raises a question for those of us who work in marketing, doesn’t it? Where do our social responsibilities lie? How much is too much? And while we might have always been taught to reach for the stars, can the dizzying heights of big budgets make us lose perspective?

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