Imagine looking up at the crisp night sky one night in the future, gazing up at the twinkling stars, and something catches your eye and surprises you. It's something you've never seen before. For a split second you think you might have seen an alien spaceship, or a really weird celestial event.
No, it's a Coca-Cola ad!
This could be the future, if Russian inventor and spacecraft designer Alexander Lavrynov has his way. He has patented a way to put advertising into space that could be seen from Earth. How about that - space commercials that can be seen from anywhere on the planet!
"This would literally be intercontinental coverage," Lavrynov said. Nice.
The technique would be a network of linked satellites using sunlight reflectors to create product plugs large enough to be seen by stargazing Earthlings. Too bad you won't be able to fast-forward through these commercials, or hit CONTROL+W to get them to flick away like those annoying pop up ads on the internet. There it'll be, right next to Mars, "McDonald's: I'm Lovin' It!" What will the Martians think of us then?
So ads in space could be effective. There's probably not any greater way to get your message across to more people. But what will bushman think, or any indigenious peoples who live in places where they've never seen a Pepsi or any type of soft drink, let alone huge ads for them in the night sky. It would frighten them more than convince them to ever try the sweet bubbly goodness of cola. They might even form an entire religion around it.
Or maybe not. But it is certainly a thought to munch on for a while. Speaking of which, is that an ad for Doritos up there?
UPDATE: (May 20, 2005)
According to this article, the FAA is proposing an ammendment to its regulations to prohibit "obtrusive" advertising in zero gravity.