Ads on the night sky

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Ranbot
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Ads on the night sky

Postby Ranbot » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:01 pm UTC

Pepsi has signed up with a Russian tech startup to be the first to project an advertisement on the night sky with a network satellites. This is not a joke. Please read more here: https://futurism.com/pepsi-orbital-billboard-night-sky

I bring this to SB, in part, to make people aware; but more importantly, I really want to know if can anyone here can logically defend this use of technology?

I am a strong supporter of science and technological progress, and I support a mostly free market, but I am adamantly against using technology to advertise on the night sky. I have more thoughts that I'll keep to myself for now though, because want to see what you all come up with.

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Re: Ads on the night sky

Postby cphite » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:26 pm UTC

Ranbot wrote:Pepsi has signed up with a Russian tech startup to be the first to project an advertisement on the night sky with a network satellites. This is not a joke. Please read more here: https://futurism.com/pepsi-orbital-billboard-night-sky

I bring this to SB, in part, to make people aware; but more importantly, I really want to know if can anyone here can logically defend this use of technology?

I am a strong supporter of science and technological progress, and I support a mostly free market, but I am adamantly against using technology to advertise on the night sky. I have more thoughts that I'll keep to myself for now though, because want to see what you all come up with.


To be honest, this seems like more of a stunt than a serious project.

The advertisements would only be visible in the early morning and late evening, with very clear skies, and would be drowned out in most populated areas by ambient light pollution. If you look at the Russian start up's page they have some CGI mock ups of what it's supposed to look like... but those images seem very, very optimistic both in terms of brightness and image quality. I think that when this actually happens, the results are going to be very underwhelming. You're going to see a blurry something in the early morning or late evening sky that kinda-sorta looks like a Pepsi logo. The fact that it's barely visible - combined with the inevitable flood of lawsuits ranging from it being an eyesore to people claiming it made them wreck their car and so forth - is going to make Pepsi wish they'd never heard of this thing.

They could shoot for bigger and brighter, but honestly I think that would just increase the negative backlash. This kinda advertising might be a thing someday - but I think they're seriously overestimating what they're going to be able to actually do; and also seriously overestimating how effective it'd be even if it worked.

This is probably going to be a thing someday... I just don't see it being a thing on the timeline they're talking about.

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Re: Ads on the night sky

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:23 pm UTC

I too am assuming that this is not actually going to be a thing, so I'm not thinking much about the whole ads-in-the-sky angle of the story, but the angle of the story that gets me asked questions is the supposed content of the planned ads. Something about prejudice against gamers? What? What exactly are they saying is being done against gamers, and what are they calling for people to do about it? It feels like this whole thing is some kind of vapid contentless appeal to gamergaters or something.
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Re: Ads on the night sky

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:07 am UTC

It sounds more like meta-advertising to me. There really being no such thing as bad advertising, if you get yourself talked about for an endeavour that you'll probably never need to do, because by now you're already back in people's consciousness without having to actually to do more than the bare minimum to pretend the press-release is about something that might happen.

Also, I'm reminded of a fictional attempt of something a bit more ambitious.

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Re: Ads on the night sky

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:04 am UTC

Am I the only one who read this and thought, “Wow, that is going to really mess up the environment.” I mean, birds have had trouble with bright lights in the past. Just imagine how out of sink you can make animals sense of time by adding a new light-source in the sky. Fortunately, I doubt that humans could make a bright enough sign to really matter, but did they not even think about what this would do if it did go according to plan?

P.S. When asking ‘Who would ever think this is okay,’ your first thought should be libertarian. If they are against it, then you can bet all other (modern) ideologies are against it too. For the record, they would only be okay with this if literally everyone on the continent consented.
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Re: Ads on the night sky

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:17 pm UTC

sync, but they seem to do okay with the moon. As long as you don't blast it all the time, I don't see a problem greater than the one already created by the insistence of running streetlights all the time.

And you and I know very different libertarians if you think there aren't any mentally masturbating at the idea of putting a billboard in space. "If you can afford to do it, you should be allowed to do it and also can we charge people for looking at my property in space that I launched for the express purpose of people looking at it?"
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Re: Ads on the night sky

Postby ucim » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:23 pm UTC

Just imagine a more-or-less permanent nighttime constellation that says:


T R U M P

All night. 'nuff said.

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Re: Ads on the night sky

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:53 pm UTC

After thinking about it, I realized that a libertarian would actually argue that space is the new Commons and therefor should be sold* to rich people to do whatever they want with and then argue that looking up implies consent.

*Who exactly should organize the sales and who should get the money from the sales are questions libertarians tend to avoid answering.
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Re: Ads on the night sky

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:18 pm UTC

Makes me remember the transition through IANA to ICANN, and once more grizzle at the fact that there are now more than twice the number of gTLDs than ccTLDs. (edit: checking, it seems like it's more like six times! Even accounting for mostly legitimate internationalisations, that seems excessively corporate-anarchic.)

So, anyway, we should probably start with one guy at NASA spending part of his working day being responsible for apportioning areas of separately defined gravitational dominance (and such subordinate bubbles as we don't otherwise define), then eventually he'll have to admit that he's doing that more than his regular job (driving a Mars rover, maybe, or designing a Space Fountain, or building components for Voyager 6) and it'll be reassigned to a dedicated nonprofit management group, then take increasing commercial input into its operation.


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