Aug 20, 2008

Greatest Space Ads - Part III - Pepsi on MIR

In 1996, the cosmonauts Yuri Ivanovich Onufrienko and Yuri Vladimirovich Usachyov took video footage of a giant aluminum and nylon Pepsi can and a banner with the text, “Even in space . . . Pepsi is changing the script.”

Video footage of the can and banner was shot both inside and outside Mir space station but the commercial never aired because Pepsi later changed the design of the can. We did however found this photo in this article in The Advocate.

According to this BBC Article in 1999, and this Wall Street Journal Article PepsiCo paid $5 million for the advertising deal but we could find no further confirmation of that figure.

In fact, there are very few details about the advertising stunt on the internet, at least the Enlgish-speaking one, so a russian-speaking member of our White Label Space team checked the Russian-language internet to see what he could find... The conclusion is that sometimes it is very difficult to believe in western news or in any news...

Although the Russian journal News of cosmonautics reported Pepsi's claim of paying more than $1 million, it said that only $600 thousand was received by the RCS Energia - $100 thousand for the first video and $500 thousand for the second one (presumably outside the space station). Perhaps the consultants involved in the deal, International Space Enterprises and Entertainment Marketing & Communications International, took a large fraction of the fee paid by Pepsi.

For comparision, in 2006 the prices quoted for space adversting by the Russians are:
  • $100-200 thousand to put a logo on cosmonaut suit or to bring 1 kg to the station, or
  • $0.8-5.0 million for an activity outside the station.
As you can see, even after ten years after the event, the asking price is still no larger than $5 million.

Perhaps only a mission to the Moon could draw an advertising fee as high as $5 million. If it did, it would certainly cover some of the costs of a Google Lunar X PRIZE team!

Previously in our Greatest Space Ads series:

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