- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) aims to build excitement for the upcoming Artemis lunar mission by urging Instagram and Twitter users to help create an original sculpture. People who tag their public selfies with the #NASAExhibit hashtag have a chance to see their pictures added to a 3D-printed mosaic sculpture, per a NASA announcement.
- When finished, the Artemis Generation sculpture will have more than 3,000 pictures from people worldwide. The sculpture is on display this week at the 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington, D.C.
- NASA partnered with high-tech experiential marketing firm Luster to create the sculpture, which also urges IAC attendees to participate in its creation. A Luster operator prints the submitted photos and guests apply them to a location on the sculpture based on the company's color-matching technology. The finished product is a mosaic of pictures representing the Artemis Generation, per the announcement.
NASA's experiential marketing activation seeks to stir people's imagination by giving them a chance to participate in the creation of an original piece of artwork, deepening their ties to the Artemis lunar mission that will send a man and woman to the moon by 2024, setting the stage for an eventual voyage to Mars, per NASA's website. In September, gin brand Bombay Sapphire similarly crowdsourced a piece of artwork, in this case by enabling nearly 7,000 people to select a paint color and, through a branded website, watch robot arms add their contribution to a collectively painted canvas in real time.
While NASA is a government agency, its publicity efforts resemble those of consumer brands that seek to build awareness and positive emotional connections with their customers by bridging digital and real-world experiences. Experiential and social media marketing could help NASA cut through ad clutter and connect with tech-savvy constituents who are heavy users of social networking apps. By partnering with Luster, NASA is working with a company whose clientele — which includes Adobe, Ernst & Young, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon and Volkswagen — have created campaigns to engage event attendees and social media users in an original experience they can share online.
Experiential marketing is a growing field as brands cope with challenges in digital media, such as higher ad prices, brand safety issues, fraud, murky metrics and ad blocking. Almost two-thirds (62%) of brand marketers had planned to boost their spending on live events this year, per a survey by event management platform Bizzabo. The study also found that 85% of marketers think live events helped them meet business goals, while 77% said events would become more important to the success of their brands in the coming years.