It’s not a joke, advertisement industry is going to invade space and it is not just rockets, satellites are flying to space — your brand billboards is too.
Imagine this: you’ve just enjoying your weekend in the balcony with a cup of tea to gaze deeply into the infinite abyss of space. Then, out of the corner of your eye, you see bright white Advert flying in the sky spelling “KFC” Have A Look At Our Irresistible Offers! A few minutes later, it disappears.
That’s the idea behind Orbital Display, a Russian startup’s effort to bring billboard advertisements to low-Earth orbit using a grid of tissue box-sized satellites called CubeSats.
In January this year, Russian startup StartRocket unveiled plans to use formations of CubeSats (cube satellites, typically between 10cm3 and 60cm3) to create giant nocturnal brand sponsored displays in the night sky.
The company, StartRocket, has proposed using this tech to display a knockoff of the Coca-Cola logo and other brand emblems, as well as allow governments to flash urgent notifications during emergencies.
Spaceboard Advertisement: Billboards in space
Start Rocket aims to use a formation of tiny cube satellites to create programmable displays in the night sky in a low-Earth orbit of 400-500 kilometers.
Start Rocket are creating an orbital display with a potential audience of 7 billion people on the planet.
The display is designed to orbit around the globe at a 500 km altitude and deliver 3-4 messages/images using the Sun as a light source.
Start Rocket claim to be midway through their development process, with deployment planned for January 2021.
Space Ads will be able to display logos, pictures and moving images.
“We will charge clients around $200,000 in the first year for an eight-hour slot. After the first year, we plan to cut this down to around for $100,000. These are eight-hour slots, but people will see our message for just six minutes, from horizon to horizon, because our satellites will be in low-earth orbit and moving very quickly.” Said Sitnikov, the CEO of the start-up StartRocket.
Space Advertising Fact & Fiction
While not everyone shares the Russian startup enthusiasm for adding to the population of human-made objects in Earth orbit, which includes 1,400 functioning satellites.
StartRocket’s plan could also raise scientific as well as logistical concerns. Here’s some questions left unanswered:
- How much it would cost to get an ad in the heavens
- Whether it works
- Whether it has funding
- Whether it would be permitted by regulators of international advertising
The man who sold the sky
Russian startup StartRocket doesn’t suffer from a lack of ambition.
Sitnikov said the boldness of the Humanity Star project led him to wonder: “What if we will invent a new media, the first media in orbit?”
“It’s human nature to advertise everything … Brands [are] a beautiful part of humankind,” Sitnikov says in a video call. He compares his efforts to Elon Musk and SpaceX, who last year launched a Tesla into space, which many considered an advertisement. Sitnikov also compared Orbital Display to banner-towing airplanes.
“If you ask about critics of advertising and entertainment in space in general — haters gonna hate,” he said. “We are developing a new medium. In the beginning of television no one loved [ads] at all.”
The U.S. outlawed space-based advertising in 1993, but Gabrynowicz said no such ban is in place in Russia.