Advertising's Next Frontier: The Moon

A Japanese company is sending its electrolyte-packed beverage, Pocari Sweat, to the lunar surface.

On July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon. In just over four decades since, only 11 other people have had the honor of doing the same. Our quixotic fascination with the bright, shiny object hanging in the night sky is hardly a secret, and in a bizarre new twist, a Japanese pharmaceutical firm would like to become the first company to advertise there. Their goal is to boldly send a sports drink where only 12 people have had the pleasure of boldly going before.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company makes an electrolyte beverage called Pocari Sweat. According to the company's website, "there is no special meaning in the word Pocari." It was simply chosen for its "very light and nice tone."



That why-not-attitude might help explain why Otsuka plans on blasting a can of the stuff into orbit in October 2015. Its ascent will take place on a (presumably very expensive) Falcon 9 rocket, which is built and operated by Elon Musk's SpaceX. If all goes according to plan, a lander built by a robotics company called Astrobotic will gently guide the sports drink down to the lunar surface, where the lander will pull double duty as camera operator.

A spokesman for Pocari Sweat tells the New Yorker that the idea is to communicate to starry-eyed earthlings that "life on the moon could become a reality sometime soon." Because if a can of salty calories can make it there, boys and girls (sure, on the wings of a massive pharmaceutical marketing budget), perhaps one day you can, too.

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