Russian Researchers Propose Huge Leap In Marketing With Space Advertising

Russian Researchers Propose Huge Leap In Marketing, Space Advertising

Russian researchers have proposed a new way to take marketing to new heights. Quite literally! They have suggested launching satellites into space to run commercials over cities creating huge formations with the help of sunlight.


While the vision is to take advertising a notch higher, it might not go down well with astronomers, who are already finding it difficult to observe the universe due to highly reflective satellite constellations coming in the way. Moreover, it won’t be a great sight for anyone who appreciates an uninterrupted view of the golden hour.

Taking Advertising To The Skies

The new paper from the Russian technical institute Skoltech, published in the journal Aerospace, suggests that sending a horde of satellites to space to display ads above popular spots would not only be feasible but also only $65 million per mission, an amount relatively cheaper for space-bound missions.

"We’ve been studying some of the more technical aspects of space advertising for a while now," said study author Shamil Biktimirov, a research intern at Skoltech’s Engineering Center. "This time we looked at the economic side of things and, as unrealistic as it may seem, we show that space advertising based on 50 or more small satellites flying in formation could be economically viable."

Each satellite in the space billboard would have to be big enough to reflect light and make the concept financially sustainable. The research suggests that each satellite could be as big as a 350-square-foot solar sail. Biktimirov and his team calculated that the revenues will rely on several aspects, including "cloudiness, cold weather keeping folks indoors, and the city’s demographic composition."


A Marketing Dream Come True

These satellites won’t be displaying ads from a single brand, shuffling through several ads from different brands over the cities within reach. However, there’s one caveat of the concept -- since the satellite work by reflecting sunlight -- these ads will only be visible around sunrise and sunset, and not during the night.

That might also prevent these satellites from ruining ground-based observations of the night sky, the paper concluded. The research also claimed that under favorable conditions, a 91-day campaign could rake in $111 million after expenses.

And given the past marketing efforts for brands, showcasing slogans and logos in the sky is everything advertisers could dream of.

Lucrative Yet Controversial

The whole idea of sending microsatellites to space only to run commercials has already started raising concerns among space advocates. Astronomers want the night sky to be free from such activities and accessible to humans. But only time will tell if the concept ever comes to fruition and whether advertisers will be willing to shell out millions to display their commercials in space.

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