Advertising in Outer Space Generates Plenty of Publicity Here on Planet Earth

ET“Greetings, earthlings. Take me to your nearest 7-11 so I can buy some Doritos.”

Not the words I thought extra-terrestrials would be uttering in their first conversations with us, but maybe Doritos is on to something.

Doritos new contest invites the British public to film 30-second spots about life here on Earth while simultaneously promoting the cheesy tortilla chips. On June 12, the winning commercial will be beamed into outerspace—to Ursa Major, some 42 light years away.

This advertising campaign is fascinating to me, and not because Doritos is trying to target alien consumers, but because of the relatively large amount of press coverage Doritos is receiving from this far-fetched idea.

All of the links in this post are articles about the competition, and I’ve seen mentions of it in numerous print publications. Not one article exposes the company for implementing a highly developed, extremely creative, very expensive media campaign. But, isn’t that exactly what this is?

The idea is so outlandish and innovative that it makes pitching relatively unnecessary. Who wouldn’t be intrigued about intergalactic advertising?

Even if the message doesn’t reach its target audience, Doritos has done a great job of capturing the attention of those here on Earth. And, aren’t we the ones with the buying power?


5 thoughts on “Advertising in Outer Space Generates Plenty of Publicity Here on Planet Earth

  1. Good spot, Meg – but even better that you look to the thinking behind the idea and from both sides of the fence.

    In case you missed it, Weber Shandwick recently won a few awards for their publicity stunt which made the KFC logo visible from space – basically the opposite of what Dorito’s have done!

    More info on the Shandwick/KFC stunt here:



  2. I think it’s an awesome idea… it combines advertising and publicity with the fun associated with Doritos and people that eat them.
    If only I came up with it!

  3. Lol, it’s all about earth anyway. A very savvy business move in my opinion, and a great way to capitalize on Earthlings’ fascination with the extra-terrestrial. I still have my doubts about whether life even exists on other planets, but that’s not going to stop people from fantasizing about it.

    “Cheesy” move, but generating way more publicity than it deserves. Way to go Doritos.

  4. @ Ben – Thanks! And that Weber Shandwick/KFC post was very interesting. This is why I love PR– no idea is impossible with an endless budget!

    @ Tory – Yeah, it’s pretty crazy that someone sat around a brainstorming session and said “Let’s advertise to a public who may or may not exist” and others jumped on board. I wonder what the rest of the Bateman team would have pitched that idea? Ha!

    @ Michael – Nice pun! Haha.

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