The most successful marketing and public relations campaign in history, featuring heroic astronauts, press-savvy rocket scientists, enthusiastic reporters, deep-pocketed defense contractors, and Tang.
In July 1969, ninety-four percent of American televisions were tuned to coverage of Apollo 11’s mission to the Moon.
How did space exploration, once the purview of rocket scientists, reach a larger audience than Laugh-In? Why did a government program whose standard operating procedure had been secrecy turn its greatest achievement into a communal experience? In Marketing the Moon, David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek tell the story of one of the most successful marketing and public relations campaigns in history: the selling of the Apollo program.
Primed by science fiction, magazine articles, and appearances by Wernher von Braun on the “Tomorrowland” segments of the Disneyland prime time television show, Americans were a receptive audience for NASA’s pioneering “brand journalism” and “content marketing.” Scott and Jurek describe sophisticated efforts by NASA and its many contractors to market the facts about space travel—through press releases, bylined articles, lavishly detailed background materials, and fully produced radio and television features—rather than push an agenda. American astronauts, who signed exclusive agreements with Life magazine, became the heroic and patriotic faces of the program. And there was some judicious product placement: Hasselblad was the “first camera on the Moon”; Sony cassette recorders and supplies of Tang were on board the capsule; and astronauts were equipped with the Exer-Genie personal exerciser. Everyone wanted a place on the bandwagon.
Generously illustrated with vintage photographs, documents, and advertisements, many never published before, Marketing the Moon shows that when Neil Armstrong took that giant leap for mankind, it was a triumph not just for American engineering and rocketry but for American marketing and public relations.
"The authors achieve something I doubted was possible: They provide fresh and important insights into the Apollo program, nearly half a century after the fact."
"We have long known that NASA mobilized a broad public relations campaign supporting the Apollo program of the 1960s. We have not known until now, with the publication of Marketing the Moon by David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek, the details of the campaign. Scott and Jurek offer a compelling account of these great efforts, informed by interviews with many of the participants, and well-illustrated by unique imagery and documents."
"Marketing the Moon is a feat! A giant leap! Bravo."
"U.S. government goes “Mad Men” on Apollo, gets it right."
"Marketing the Moon is a story of the challenges and ultimate success of marketing one of the greatest achievements in American— and world—history."
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