Did you happen to look up at the moon on March 21st 2008? Did you notice anything different? Perhaps a hint of greenish hue? The blurry outline of a horse’s head? Could you make out any of the words? All I saw was a bright, lovely, large, ad free moon. Did the people at Rolling Rock fail at projecting their planned laserbeam ad on the moon, or did they not make an attempt in the first place?
If you saw anything different about the moon, it was probably due to the questionable substance you consumed earlier, or maybe just an excess amount of alcohol. The beer company’s moonvertising ad campaign was a spoof, a hoax, in short, not real. Many people did not realize this until the obviously fake first attempts at projecting the laser, which accidentally blows up various landmarks, a state, and vaporizes people. The commercials were part of an Internet campaign, complete with website that allows the public to place ads on a graphic of a large rotatable moon, which means unlike with the real moon, you can even view the other side.
The ad execs’ moon advertising campaign became more of a psychological experiment. Did you notice more people looking up? Did they seem to be looking for something, or just enjoying the natural beauty of the bare, full moon? Were you one of the ones who voiced their outrage at the possibility of ads being placed on the moon? Well, while it didn’t quite reach a War of the Worlds level of panic, many people did post angry comments in response to blogs that mentioned the topic. There were quite a few that didn’t realize the ad campaign for advertising alcohol on the moon was a fake.
There was a lot of controversy concerning the subject of ‘moonvertising’. A debate was started on whether this marketing gimmick was a fun idea or a despicable one. Many expressed their love for the plain, big, bright, rock in the sky and sparked a new appreciation, or renewed appreciation, in others. Some expressed outrage while others tried to calm them, explaining it was not really going to happen. There was talk of who, if anyone, really owns the moon, or the sky and if it was acceptable to alter it’s appearance with any type of broadcasted or beamed image.
Bloggers and commenters also discussed whether beaming a laser ad on the moon was, or would ever be possible. There was concerns about public safety or if the FAA would even allow it. People wondered how long it would take the light to reach the moon and how dangerously strong a laser beam would have to be to overpower the light the moon currently reflects from the sun.
Another more current concern was while the Rolling Rock Beer company’s website requests that you to be 21 to enter, the moon is readily viewable to anyone looking up at the right time. The moon came up pretty early today and is easily viewable by kids (who might have been more likely to fall for the TV commercial’s joke). How did this type of marketing affect underage kids? Were they intrigued by the idea, or angered that the image didn’t actually appear on the real moon? Or were they mad that they were tricked? Perhaps the beer company was careful when to air the moonvertising commercial spoofs, so kids were less likely to know about it. However, in the Internet age, it’s hard to keep anyone in the dark, particularly considering YouTube, where the videos have been posted officially. What is clear is that advertising on the real moon is a controversial subject for many reasons, which has angered quite a few people, and an event that many hope never actually happens.