Pepsi is going to be putting an ad into space that will defend gamers in Russia. Probably.
In Russia, there’s a company called StartRocket. StartRocket’s business model is to launch cube-shaped satellites into space (called CubeSats, naturally) which will then unfurl large square-shaped sails that reflect sunlight back down to Earth. Not a lot of it, mind you--not enough to power anything or cause any damage. Just enough to be noticeable during the twilight hours.
Each satellite will basically be its own little stratospheric pixel that can be used to spell out messages. Such as an advertisement for a Pepsi product.
Yes, this is a thing. Or at least, it was considered. Futurism reports that Pepsi plans to use StartRocket to advertise its new energy drink, while Kotaku says that this is only an “exploratory test.”
Apparently, Russian gamers are seen by wider Russian society as a bunch of unemployed children. Taking the gamers’ side, Pepsi is introducing an energy drink called “Adrenaline Rush” that specifically markets itself to Russian gamers. As part of their “campaign against stereotypes and unjustified prejudices against gamers,” Pepsi plans (or planned) to use StartRocket to create an “orbital billboard” that both supports gamers and advertises Adrenaline Rush.
And just so you know this is not a late April Fool’s joke, here’s an ad that Pepsi already runs in Russia in support of gamers. It’s in Russian, you can get the general vibe just by watching the pictures.
Speaking to Futurism, Russian PepsiCo spokesperson Olga Mangova said that their company believes in StartRocket’s potential to revolutionize advertising as we know it.
“Orbital billboards are the revolution on the market of communications. That’s why on behalf of Adrenaline Rush — PepsiCo Russia energy non-alcoholic drink, which is brand innovator, and supports everything new, and non-standard — we agreed on this partnership.”
The current plan is for StarRocket’s CubeSats to careen into space sometime in 2021. After that, we may just see our very first space-based advertisement. Whether or not Pepsi is the first space-ad we see is still a bit of an open question.