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Pizza Hut Pays $2.5e6 for Rocket Advertising 186

Posted by Hemos
from the lost-in-time-lost-in-space dept.
Kartoffel writes "The Pizza Hut company has agreed to pay the Russian Space agency 2.5 million dollars for permission to paint the Pizza Hut logo the side of a rocket. The Proton rocket was originally scheduled to carry the Zvezda service module to the international space station on 12 November, however NASA today announced (finally) that the 12 Nov date is completely unrealistic and will slip until January 2000. BBC News has a funny article about Pizza Hut's advertising scheme. There is also a CNN story about the slipped launch date. "
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Pizza Hut Pays $2.5e6 for Rocket Advertising

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  • So when is Andover gonna spring for /. to put a logo on a rocket? "Geeks in Space" indeed.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Take this 1 step further. Let commercial entities paint their logos all over the ISS. Send film crews up to film ads, movies, documentaries, porn flicks (did I say that?).

    I can see it now:

    Mission control, we can't go EVA as the light is not right for the Pizza commercial.

    ISS, that antenna needs fixing now. We'll have LOS in 30 minutes without this EVA. It's critical that you get out there and fix it.

    Mission control, no can do. The sponsor is telling us to wait until two orbits from now when we'll be over Kansas. The background should be just right then.

    -- please continue this....

  • I don't mind this, it's really good funding for the space program and it's advertising that's easy to ignore. However, a big friggin' picture of Jar Jar on the side of a rocket would be crossing the line.
    --
  • I'm pretty sure Pizza Hut is owned by Pepsi,

    Nope, Pepsi spun off all of its resturant operations (Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC) a couple of years ago. The company that runs those places is called Tricon.

    Thanks for playing.
  • The plan for one moon rover was that the scientists would get to use it for 50% of the time, and the remaining time would be available for said yuk-yuk provider to sell to overly-rich yahoos, who could tele-drive it around for my yearly income per minute. or maybe hour.

    "Yes, yes... I'm sure it looks like possible evidence of a past civilisation to your scientists. However, your times up. My client thinks this 'evidence' looks like a pile of scrap metal and he would much rather drive over to where they're planning on projecting a laser advertisement. He likes to give his progects that 'personal touch'..."

  • And I promise to buy products from any company that has the audacity to paint my image on the Moon.

    I'll buy products from any company who will make "humorous additions" to that image. ;)

  • So that's how Pizza Hut are going to do it.

    Get a rocket to deliver the pizza to any place in the world within 30 minutes or your money back.

    And best of all, when the pizza reenters the atmosphere, it will heat up and be freshly cooked.

    Can't wait ...

  • Maybe it would be approprate to put a huge cheese advertisement on the moon.

    What? You mean like that "Real" logo?

  • I second that motion. I'm thinking about boycotting Pizza Hut simply because they THOUGHT about it.
  • I believe the article said the objective was to get publicity and to have the footage of a rocket launching with the logo to use for future ads.
  • since a vast majority of the universe is just a big, friggin waste of space, time, matter and energy. May as well put some of it to good use, like boosting the ol' bottom line!

    Chuck
  • There is a mention in the CNN Article [cnn.com] that there is a propellent leak in the OMS (Orbital Maneuvering system, helps the shuttle stay in the right orbit) There is a possibility that the problem is not isolated, and if thats the case, "You can kiss shuttle flights goodbye for this year"


    -[ World domination - rains.net ]-
  • is how much it would cost for someone to get russia to make their rocket look like doctor evils escape pod in austin powers 2(in case you didn't see the movie it looked like a male sex organ).
    char *stupidsig = "this is my dumb sig";
  • The article talked about a huge promotional campagin associated with the launch:

    The Proton launch will now be the centrepiece of a major space-oriented ad campaign, including commercials featuring the blastoff and in-store promotions.

    No one will care if they don't care, but I'd like to see their lasers-projecting-logo-on-the-moon scheme. It's not like I can watch the rocket go up and think about pizza...but a moonlit night, pizza on my mind...

    The Good Reverend
  • What it accomplishes is all kinds of secondary publicity in newspapers, TV shows (I can imagine Conan O'Brien riding this one to death), and the Web. The ad on the rocket won't even survive the trip, and they know it. That's entirely not the point of this whole situation.

    Companies spend thousands of times more cash than that on 'regular' advertising each year. How is this one event so much more disgusting than the rest?

    And exactly what would the 'betterment of society' entail? I wouldn't mind having a whine-filter to weed out non-thinkers like yourself, maybe it could have been spent on that.
  • Imagine if they lose the rocket because they got confused, and one gang wanted to paint a vegetarian pizza while the other wanted an all-dress one? I say we should all switch to all-dress!

    "There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion than to contaminate it with the facts."

  • Sorry man. I can't believe I'm saying this but, "i'm in th biz". And if you think about how much money they spend (think this summers episode 1 promotion), then it could be a worse deal.

    Pete
    I can see through time- Lisa Simpson
  • Forgive my lack of knowledge about lasers, but this is absolutely impossible, right? Lasers being parallel lightwaves, they don't diverge like white light, so I guess that means that they'd need an array the size of Texas to paint an image the size of Texas? The story didn't really make it clear. Can someone just assure me that no money-grubbing marketing-obsessed corporation can ever do this w/today's technology? :) It just seems so ... perverse.
  • by Darksky (58431) on Friday October 01, 1999 @10:22AM (#1644227)
    ...now, can they get it to DELIVER?
  • So, by spending millions on the ad they get a free thread ad in Slashdot (known to be a place where people who order pizza hang out). So as we all post about Pizza Hut, our minds become engraven with the words Pizza Hut. And we order Pizza more and thus they pay for the ad. Ingenious, Scully!

    Yep. It's called mindshare. You'd do well to listen to Negativland's album _Dispepsi_.

  • I remember when The Last Action Hero did this (for far less money) and nobody even noticed as I remember. This is a hell of a stunt but they better do better business because of it than TLAH did.
  • Although I think it's really sad the extent that advertising has permeated our lives (Everywhere we go, there's ads pouring in from all directions, and it's only going to get worse), I think it's even more sad how NASA never seems to have quite enough funds. It'd be horribly tacky if NASA decided to put ads on the rockets, but it's quickly becoming something that will be necessary for them.

    Or who knows, if NASA decided to do ads, maybe suddenly everyone would get a upwelling of patriotic spirit and decide to support space exploration farther, so ads wouldn't be needed.

    Yeah right.
  • i certainly hope so, pizza hut hasn't delivered to my house in about 3 years.. dunno why.
  • This is good for Russia since God knows they need the money. So far they've been less than diligent in keeping up with their end of the ISS.

    This is potentially bad, because if you keep up with your Mir history (I recommend reading _Dragonfly_, it's by the same guy who did _Barbarians at the Gate_, it'll get you started) - the Russian cosmonauts had to film ads for various companies while on Mir, sometimes distracting them from real work they should have done instead (like fix Mir).
  • All we'd need is a big-assed auto-laser that blows the crap out of anything that gets too close, (and doesn't know the Password) Ohh ohh, and it could run Linux! (And yes, it would be a Beowolf cluster :-)
  • Reminds me of the Red Dwarf book where stars were going to be blown up at the right times to spell "Coke adds life" in the night sky for years.
  • From an article:

    The company announced Thursday it would pay the cash-starved Russian space agency about half the price of a 30-second TV ad during the Super Bowl -- currently up to $2.5 million -- for the right to paint its logo on a Russian Proton rocket.

    So, if the $2.5million price tag is correct, Pizza Hut's cost is $1.25million for the Russian rocket ad.

    I'm still waiting for that big banner ad in orbit that you can see at night. I forgot who was planning that.

    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • I wonder what the reaction would be if they had stuck with original plan of drawing their logo on the moon, using lasers? (Of course this is pretty damn impossible, but I'm ignoring that for the sake of discussion.)

    Would crowds of irrate people, sick of seeing Pizza Hut imposed in red letters on the moon, storm the Pizza Hut headquarters?

    What else could you put on the face of the moon? A clock for GMT. "I wonder what time it is... hmmm... 5 AM, minus 8... damn! I'd better get home!"

    Perhaps a stock ticker. You'd have crowds of Wall Street geeks out in the streets with telescopes shouting instructions to their lackeys.

    And what would happen if hackers got into the works? "34rtH |z 0wN3d!"

    As the reach of humanity increases, we're going to have to put some limits on who can put what where, or else we'll be creating supernovas in distant galaxies that spell out "BUY COKE".

    How horrible would it be to have the first people on Mars be advertisers?
  • why bother--for anyone to see it you have to pay for a commercial anyway--why not have someone add it in with the GIMP in postproduction!
  • I am personally going to resolve, right now, to permanently boycott any company that has the audacity to paint its own image on the Moon.

    Thank God[?] [blockstackers.com] that Pizza Hut didn't go through with those plans.
  • by dave_aiello (9791) on Friday October 01, 1999 @10:31AM (#1644241) Homepage
    ...by using scientific notation in a Slashdot headline.

    Who says this isn't News for Nerds.

  • The company announced Thursday it would pay the cash-starved Russian space agency about half the price of a 30-second TV ad during the Super Bowl -- currently up to $2.5 million -- for the right to paint its logo on a Russian Proton rocket.

    To me it looks like it's saying (half the price of a superbowl ad) == ($2.5 million).

    I've heard the $2.5 million figure quite a few places now.

  • by bmetzler (12546) <bmetzler@ l i v e . com> on Friday October 01, 1999 @11:07AM (#1644244) Homepage Journal
    It'd be horribly tacky if NASA decided to put ads on the rockets, but it's quickly becoming something that will be necessary for them.

    In that case ... you can't miss this [gcfl.net].

    -Brent
    --
  • For $1.25 milion, I'd go on every talk show in the world, advertise for them till they were bored of me, then have it removed. I'd still have a million dollars.
    The Good Reverend
  • I know that companies spend much more than that per year on multiple campaigns but doesn't blowing it all in one shot on such a lame concept seem a bit odd? Personally I'd prefer to see a much more creative Super Bowl commercial.

    As far as the betterment of society, I think donating money to a worthy cause, for example victims of the recent earthquakes, and those who were ran out of house and home due to the hurricaine and other natural disasters are in need of some help more than people who can't decide which brand of pizza they like the best.
  • Gotta give Pizza Hut some credit though. I mean, look at the way they're taking the initative. Rocket advertising, and a large burned logo on the moon! Sure there may not be any life on the moon, but Pizza Hut can't be bothered with such trivial details when there's a vast untapped moon market out there that is just waiting for fast food pizza!

    Seriously though, wtf does Pizza Hut hope to accomplish with this. Even scarier is the simple thought of defacing a whole heavenly body just for advertising purposes. That kinda stuff is supervillan material (though I suppose todays corporations are the current equivilent). Besides do they really expect people to be walking around at night, look up and suddenly see a giant Pizza Hut logo staring down at them, and develop an irrisitble craving for Pizza. Here's a thought Pizza Hut, spend the money improving your food and service. I don't give a crap if you have a logo on some random Russian rocket, I want a pizza that actually has more than a drop of pizza sauce on it and I want it delivered before I start gnawing on my limbs to satisfy my hunger.
  • by mmoore (18491)
    But if they did do this-how much would it cost? And who really "owns" the moon? Would it fall under the GPL? ;-)
  • Personally, I think a really good cause would be to further the sapce program.
  • ..to get that damned space station operational, I'm all for it. Let all the Russian rockets be decorated like NASCAR stock cars (or Formula 1 cars if you prefer). At least they'll have some dough to participate (no pun intended...no wait I guess it is intended).

    You mean painted up like this [gcfl.net]?

    -Brent
    --
  • it was only a matter of time before somebody took advantage of that huge billboard in the sky...just waiting for ads! i mean really, our highways are cluttered with advertizements already, it's about time someone took it a step further. imagine that lost civilization in the amazonian rainforests who will create a new god when they see "PIZZA HUT" written on the mysterious rock in the sky.
    arghh! i cant take it anymore.

  • It reminds me of a comic (Spirou et Fantasio: Z like Zorglub)in which the bad guy was kind of hypnotizing people to make them work for him.

    At the end of the comic you find out that he didn't want to destroy the world or things like that but he wanted to use the moon as a big advertising area.

    The only problem was that he trained is troops to talk from right to left (ex: tfel ot thgir morf) and because of this when he tried his first launch he wrote aloc acoc on the face of the moon instead of coca cola.
  • Payload delivery in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed, or you get free breadsticks. Oh, and there's a $1 delivery charge (not bad, eh?!)
  • Pizza Hut pizza has become nasty as of late. I wish they would use some of that money to improve the quality of their product.
  • Advertising indeed has great power. As you mentioned

    wonder how many times the words "Pizza Hut" have come up in this discussion alone. Multiply by thousands of people talking about it around the water cooler, a story on every local news station's "...and now, something funny" segment, and kazillions of kilobytes of discussion elsewhere on the 'net.

    , even the discussion of upcoming promos, etc, is advertising, so the effect is exponential. Even for people who, like me, think that a vast majority of adds are stupid, and a good number of them play down on the public, as if we were morons who are as gullible as a robot (which might not be _that_ gullible, I just couldn't think of the right noun). My point is, it's getting Pizza Hut noticed. Whether or not that's a good thing for us or them is another matter, but they're getting a hearty helping of publicity.
  • Sure to folks like you and me, it seems like quite a bit, but it's nothing to a corporation.

    Case in point, I recently read that one of the area high schools found a way to offset the cost of a new stadium. They switch to selling coke exclusively and they get $2e6 to help offset the costs of the stadium. This is at a high school which only has around 500 students/class.

    I think the fact that we're talking about it proves that it was money well spent for the pizza hut execs. Granted, I wouldn't touch a Pizza Hut pizza with a 10 parsec pole, but it did make me think about Pizza Hut, and the fact that they just helped out science. If they made good pizza, I'd buy some.
  • I think this is the biggest waste of money out there. There are a lot better ways spend this money from a media standpoint. A few examples (not the best, hey its the end of the day):

    Advertise in Money Magazine 20 times (~$120m an issue, not the best vehicle for the hut but I know the cost offhand)
    Adveritse in Wired Magazine 62 times (~$40m an issue)
    Buy 6 :30 spots on ER (~$400m each)
    Put together a complete media plan for 1 year for most of out clients (who would kill to have that much money to drop on advertising)

    But this assumes that the Hut has a finite budget. In reality any enitity that spends $200MM+ a year in advertising has to try new and different things to get noticed. And this is definitely different. To all of you that think no one will see this, I can pretty much guarentee that this will be picked up by local news stations (maybe even network if it's a slow news day, but after Japan who knows).

    Pete
    Dyslexics Untie!
  • Agreed. I see advertising on the moon, or spoiling my experience of the Milky Way (I have a great view from where I live), and I'll never buy a thing from that company for the rest of my life.

    Is anyone circulating a petition to protest such a gawdawful idea? Are there any efforts, say through the UN, to take a proactive stance in international law against "defamation of the heavens"?
  • This is so funny! Can you imagine some bonehead coming up with this idea, of projecting an ad on the moon with lasers?!?!

    The first thing I thought of was that this was an April Fools joke. Hey, it really *is* halfway in between April Fools making this a half April Fools day. Sort of like a half birthday. Some editor was having fun today. Pizza Hut really *didn't* have ideas of advertising on the moon.

    Besides this should have been posted under, "It's Funny. Laugh" and not "News"

    -Brent
    --
  • I just take it out of the drivers tip in hope that the complaints from drivers will get it lifted...

    Man, next you will complain that they *charge* for the pizza.

    Hmm, delivery charge, or no more delivery's? Although there is "free lunch" in the software world, you'll never find that buying pizzas. You have to pay for what you get.

    Perhaps if you don't like paying a delivery charge you could consider going out and picking up your pizza yourself, so that those of us who *do* appreciate getting a pizza delivery can get the quality service we pay for.

    -Brent
    --
  • As far as putting Pizza Hut logos on rockets for $$, well, no big deal. It goes up, it splashes down. Sold for scrap, smelted, re-used.

    But if only that were all ... I toured a bunch of the robotics labs at Carnegie-Mellon a few years ago. The researchers said that since a lot of DOD funding had dried up, many labs were being approached by big entertainment firms (you know, like the one with big ears) to sponsor space shots and space robotics/teleoperation. The plan for one moon rover was that the scientists would get to use it for 50% of the time, and the remaining time would be available for said yuk-yuk provider to sell to overly-rich yahoos, who could tele-drive it around for my yearly income per minute. or maybe hour. In return, the entertainment firm would fund half the moon shot.

    Pretty sad. Maybe the economy is good enough now so that the scientists can get the funding they need. I don't know.

    M. Selene, where have you gone? We need you.

  • Wasn't it in a RAH story that someone had the idea of sending up a multi-warheaded rocket that would near-impact the moon but at the last minute blast out a bunch of small rockets that would spray some sort of colored or reflective material along predetermined paths that would scrawl out the logo of whatever company paid for it?

    Or was a for-real idea?

    Stuff like Pizza Hut wanting to laser their logo onto the moon just muddles my brain into not knowing which of these hairbrained ideas are real and which aren't...

    In any case, I think if *any* company went so far as to actually use the moon as a big billboard, the public backlash would be so horrendous that no company never do it again. Or at least, I would hope so.

    -=-=-=-=-

  • I bet it won't get there in 30 minutes...
  • The people interested in space are usually a little bit smarter, and less swayed by advertising stunts
    I'm sure that's true; but on the other hand when you advertise during the superbowl you're doing nothing to further the cause of football; you're just paying a network a wodge of money.
    If you give the Russians a load of cash to help them boldly go where no Russian has gone before you're furthering the cause of exploration.
    This is a Good Thing.
  • mmmpizza

    hehe what if this is the first rocket to explode on takeoff for the last few years, who would be blamed?

    What was different about this one?

    aaah it musta been rival Pizza Dudes

  • Am I the only one who thought that said "Pizza the Hutt" when they first saw the headline of this article?

    Maybe I've just seen too much Spaceballs.. =P

  • I see no harm in advertising pizzas on flying saucers, but rockets are the wrong shape!
    Now what can I think of that is compatible with the shape of a rocket: big, long, thusting... Nope. can't thing of anything like that.
  • "Pizza Hut chief executive officer Mike Rawlings said the company is paying about half the price of a 30-second TV ad during the Super Bowl - currently up to $2.5 million - for rights to put the ad on the rocket." This is called reading comprehension(or math skills?). I wonder what Kartoffel got on the SAT? Hehe.
  • Deus yes, I remember that! I also seem to remember that in subsequent episodes, you could still see the letters burned into the moon. Brilliant!

    Hm... Blue, white and red flag topped by a red Pizza Hut roof painted on the side of a rocket...? Why not?

    Mrow?
  • Is it just me or is a laser way too uneconomical? They would be better off making a huge projector out of the sun. Place it in a stationary orbit, synchonrous with the Earth, so that there is always one HUGE pIzaa Hut ad hanging there in the sky. Even better, if the focused light on it, aliens would be able to see a huge Pizza Hut logo on the surface of Earth! Wooooo advertising!
  • Absolutely correct. At this point nobody's sure if the problem is one-of-a-kind or if it affects all of the orbiters. A valve somewhere in the OMS was leaking, IIRC. NASA will most likely inspect the equivalent valves on all of the other orbiters to see what the real situation is.

    Not to worry, however, because now that the Pizza Hut flight carrying the SM (service module) has been postponed, all of the subsequent missions will slip as well.

    Before the slip the next scheduled mission after the Servce Module was STS-101 (Atlantis) carrying the spacehab cargo module (the hab) in December 1999.

    Ever since the last Mir crew have returned to Earth there have been ZERO people in space. This is the first time no people have been in space for over 10 years. I think it's quite safe to say that there won't be any ISS flights until 2000 (or should that be Y.D.A.U.?)

    My apologies for quoting the incorrect 2.5 million number. It wasn't Hemos' fault.
  • My recollection is of an actual ad exec idea; not something from RAH. But I could be wrong.

    What I heard about this was that Pepsi's logo wouldn't fit and still be generally legible ... but Coke's would. However, Pepsi might still want to buy the advertising rights (from whatever organization would have (a) the jurisdiction and (b) the willingness to debase itself). They would do this, it was said, to prevent Coke from putting their logo up there. The plan I heard was to put up a dusting of reflective particles. A thin dusting would do --- just enough to noticeably affect the albedo of certain areas.
  • How about boycotting them simply because the pizza sucks?

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • Dunno about the Pizza Hut <=> PepsiCo angle, but I do recall reading something in the article about the fact that they were planning on videotaping the launch, and putting that in their telly adverts, or some such.

    That's probably a bit closer to their target audience :-)
    --
    - Sean
  • Yeah, I remeber that, can't think of the name of the story, but it was the one where Harriman was trying to scrape up money to send the first rocket to the moon. He gave a marketing company the idea that their compeditor was going to pay to have an ad placed on the moon, so he ended up getting people to pay him to not but other people's hypothetical marketing on the moon (didn't have the thrust to actually carry marking material). IIRC the idea was to use small rockets to spread carbon dust or other non reflective material in large patterns to create a black pattern on the white reflected surface of the moon.
  • Kind of reminds me of that issue of "The Tick" where Chairface constructs a giant heat-ray to perform the ultimate act of vandalism; carve his name onto the surface of the moon so that it's visible from Earth.

    I've always wondered if Neil Armstrong didn't march out some letters in the lunar soil: First Post! Nixon sucks!

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • by Skyshadow (508) on Friday October 01, 1999 @12:47PM (#1644294) Homepage
    The idea of putting an ad or a logo where everybody can see it isn't a new one. There's a company (I forget who) which offers a satellite-based banner. After launch, the satellite would unfold a thin banner which would end up being the size of several football fields. In LEO, this could be easily seen at night and even during the day. It would orbit for a few weeks or months, then fall out of orbit and burn up.

    It would give global coverage and it's actually relatively affordable (compared with the huge amounts companies spend on ads for events like the superbowl). No companies have elected to go for it, however, because they're afraid of public backlash.

    Picture this: You're just finishing up a week-long canoe trip in Minnesota's boundry waters with your SO. You've been unplugged from everything related to your job or your worries or the real world in general for days now. You and your honey cuddle up in a sleeping bag that night next to the smoldering embers of your fire, look up at the stars at see...

    A Nike swoosh.

    Would you respond positively to the ad? Go out and buy Nike for your next "roughing it" trip? More likely, you'd make it your life goal to see the Nike Corporation destroyed and Phil Knight's children out on the street selling pencils. This is why I'm a bit shocked that Pizza Hut actually considered engaging in a form of enviromental advertising.

    But I agree -- this crosses the line. Being able to get the heck away from the world every so often is something I value more than I can easily express. While regulating this sort of thing would be about as easy as regulating the internet (because there is a growing number of money-hungry countries with launch capabilities), I think a bit of self-regulation could be accomplished if, say, the first few companies to do this had their CEO picked off by a sniper (not a suggestion, just an idea I'm throwing out to anyone who is good with a deer rifle).

    ----

  • What if the tobacco industry follows this lead? Will there be major campaigns and other foolishness directed at NASA, a la NASCAR, to prevent the corruption/addiction/brainwashing of the various adolescent aliens whose parents depend on our space-race to keep their kids entertained?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I for one (and I don't mean this as flamebait, though spaceheads will doubtless go off) don't think we need to frantically fund NASA. Outer Space isn't going to go away because we didn't get there fast enough. I can see no reason why we need to rush into space. It'll be there in a hundred years, and we'll doubtless have our shit together better and it will be a more worthwhile trip.

    There is even the possiblity that some have proposed that because of the irresponsible way we're fooling around up there now, we may soon be surrounded by so much space junk that it won't be safe to get out of orbit. Earthbound because of a bunch of stupid late 20th Century propeller heads. Now that is a legacy I think we could do without.
  • by h3 (27424)
    This reminds me of something that made the news when I was living in the Bay Area in the late 80s/early 90s. Some company got the idea to somehow project an ad onto the horizon, I believe with lasers. A sky billboard, if you will. Except it could only work at certain evening hours when the weather was just right to be visible.

    Anyone remember this? I think it was Coke or Pepsi. There was a substantial uproar and nothing every came of it, as far as I know. While I was nauseated with the idea, I was fascinated from a technological stand point.

    Or maybe it was an April Fool's story- my memory from that period is definitely hazy (college!).

    -h3
  • And I promise to buy products from any company that has the audacity to paint my image on the Moon. Provided it's not permanent - more of a performance art piece.

    They can use watercolor if they want, provided they find water on the moon ...

  • Damn straight! That is NOT pizza!
  • I'm pretty sure it was an Arthur C. Clarke story, actually...from one of his books of thematically-related short stories. They were doing lunar experiments, and one of them involved setting off magnesium flares as part of a spectography experiment. Someone who'd configured the flares had been bribed by an unnamed major soft drink corporation and the flares turned out to be in the shape of their logo.
  • In the late ninties we have seen a drastic decrease in Pizza Hut awareness, and that is not just a national problem, but a global one. I'm personally hoping that this tremendous humanitarian effort will at least partially remedy the problem. All national Pizza Hut awareness indices have dropped sharply in the last year, especially since the rise of subversive gourmet/micro-pizzarias in our crime infested inner cities. So Pizza Hut has been chased back into the wilderness of small town strip malls and Wal Mart co-locations. They've given a last ditch effort with the ingenious all-you-can-eat-buffet idea, but it's too little, too late.

    Not enough people over the world know of Pizza Hut. Imagine the decrepitude of third world and communist countries who know nothing of double crust, butter crust, extra thick or pan pizzas? What about the grease? Do they get enough grease? My God, haven't they ever questioned whether or not they need Pizza Hut? Has it ever even occured to them? Finally they're getting the chance, and I can't believe the decidedly unpatriotic and totally un-american views of some of our more liberal panty-waisted limp wristed slashdotters. It's disgusting.

    I'm holding in my hand a list of twenty nations that do not have Pizza Huts. When this rocket ship fires, the people will have truly spoken! We need a global, unified, subsidized pizza distribution, delivery and point-of-purchase (POP) infrastructure. The time is now!

  • ... but I can assure you that there is still such a thing as a deer rifle up here in the frozen wastes that is Wisconsin (where the primary modes of entertainment are the Gren Bay Packers, drinking beer and shooting the occassional allusive 4-legged animal).

    I use a nice rifle I inherited from my granddad when he died. So far, I can brag that I've never missed, which means I'm nail a whole two deer. It kind of scares me to go out again; I don't want to lose that kind of bragging rights...

    ----

  • Hold on there a bit. I really doubt that Pizza Hut would have "defaced" the moon with its lasers.

    I mean, you don't have lasers now that can burn through materials very well without being aided by off-camera explosives (see the "Star Wars" defense system development scandal a few years back). Do you think they're going to shoot a beam from here to the moon that burns an image into it?

    I believe they would have been talking about laser projection, like the red dot you see when you beam a laser pointer at something. Use lasers to create a reflected image from the moon that people would look up and see.

    I mean, think about it. If the public got wind of them trying to permanently deface a celestial object, don't you think there'd be a hell of a lot of an uproar about it from environmentalists everywhere?
  • Be glad the FAA (or whoever) has avoided making things like flying billboards legal. Sure, you get the Badyear blimp over football games, but that's nothing compared to what COULD happen.

    And who remembers the Red Dwarf bit (from the book) with 'Coke Adds Life' spelt out in supernovae? =)
  • hmm.. completely covering ships in ads..
    the new form of dazzle-painting?
  • see the whole neato thing about being a consumer is that im right and they are wrong. no questions asked. Papa John's pizza does not have a delivery charge and I got here more often that pizza hut. do you just troll around trying to seem smarter than people?
  • Two points, actually.

    First of all, a lot of the folks here are complaining that this is just a pointless publicity stunt. Well, yes. And the point of a publicity stunt is to draw publicity, which is also (mostly) the point of advertising. Even if only a few people ever actually see the rocket with the Pizza Hut logo on it, many, many more will hear or have already heard the news reports about it. Pizza Hut has been in the news more in the past few days than any other time that I can remember, and I'm sure we'll hear even more about it when they actually launch the thing. Hell, they even got Slashdot talking about them!

    Second point: Pizza Hut isn't necessarily just looking for publicity, at least not direct publicity. This rocket is carrying components of the ISS; PH can now legitimately claim that they are "sponsoring" the ISS, and space exploration in general. I doubt that they can write it off as a charitable contribution on their taxes, but I for one am willing to give them credit for helping to advance science. It seems to me that big corporations used to do this sort of thing a lot... Westinghouse scholarships, for example. (A bad example, but I can't think of any others.)

    Oh, one more little thing... Some posters have reacted with horror to PH's supposed plan to "paint" their logo on the moon with a laser. Assuming this story is true at all, I'm sure they didn't plan to carve their logo into the moon, but rather to project it, probably only for a minute or so. (Think of the power required...) While I'm not sure I like this idea either, it's not as patently evil as it seemed at first.

    While I'm on-topic... Seeing the price tag in the headline written in scientific notation really gave me warm fuzzies. Slashdot rocks. :-)
  • by jafac (1449)
    Oh, it wouldn't be on the Full Moon. It would be best during the NEW moon, where more dark surface would be available to reflect the laser at a higher contrast.

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • hey, brainstorming. No bad ideas.

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • >But if they did do this-how much would it cost?

    Compared to the annual advertising budgets of some multinationals, probably not that much... One would just have to get their act together and forgo all other advertising for a couple of years, I suspect. Of course, with a permanent advertising source like that, any other advertising will lose significance quite rapidly. And once proven to be possible, other companies will try to emulate. Frightening prospect...

    >And who really "owns" the moon?

    I'm not entirely sure, but I believe that it is theoretically owned jointly by "all the people of Earth," or some such. Some nice warm fuzzy agreement that no-one will try to assert control over it for themselves.

    Of course, as soon as some company tries to place advertising all over it, I have no idea how well said agreement will be able to prevent them, whether it'll be able to hold up, be enforceable, or even apply. Of course, IANAL.

    >Would it fall under the GPL? ;-)

    Don't be daft!
    --
    - Sean
  • Lennin and Marx spinning in their graves.

    (okay, I know Lennin isn't even in a grave, it's a figure of speech. Alright?)

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • So NASA is going to allow advertising. Next thing you know the Pope will have a swoosh on his vestments, and maybe Reform Jews will have Addidas on the Yamakas. I heard that MacDonalds is planning on painting their logo in red on the asses of every rat in San Francisco, since the last census found there were more rats than people in the city (politicians included). The other day, there was a small article tucked away in the newspaper which said some advertising agency is planning on having huge illuminated ads on the surface of the moon that can be seen from earth. Kind of takes the romance out of things, what with giant condom ads staring you right in the face just when you get ready to kiss someone. And now we have Pepsi and Coke fighting over who is going to put their machines in school cafeterias, so it all goes to prove one thing, as Rosanne Rosannadana use to say: "If it isn't one thing, it's another . . . . " ---nedy "Puto deus fio." (I believe I am turning into god" ---Giaus Suetonius Tranquillus (Suetonius) from De Vita Caesarum, Divus Vespasianus XXIII, 4. (as said by Vespasianus jsut before dying).
  • by GPB (12468)
    Our forefathers would say that whomever first set foot on the moon and stuck a flag in it owns it. This would be the USA, although I hardly think the rest of the world would stand for the USA claiming they own the moon.

    -B
  • ..to get that damned space station operational, I'm all for it. Let all the Russian rockets be decorated like NASCAR stock cars (or Formula 1 cars if you prefer). At least they'll have some dough to participate (no pun intended...no wait I guess it is intended).
  • OK, who remembers the episode(s) of The Tick where Chairface Chippendale tries to burn "CHAIRFACE" on the moon with an enormous laser, but only gets as far as "CHA"??

    But seriously, I honestly don't have a problem with Pizza Hut's advertising. After all, national governments put their logos and symbols on rockets all the time. The Russian Space Agency is really strapped for cash needs all the help they can get. Kudos to Pizza Hut for the donation!

  • They mentioned in the article that PepsiCo paid to have a soda can float outside the space shuttle earlier. I'm pretty sure Pizza Hut is owned by Pepsi, so this is really the same company paying again to get more space-exposure. Interesting, because I'll bet the money would have been better spent on that Super-bowl ad. The people interested in space are usually a little bit smarter, and less swayed by advertising stunts than those who watch football games. Before you football fans jump down my throat, I love football as well, and I'm planning to watch the game. :) I just don't think that the side of a rocket that none of their target audience will actually see in person seems like a waste of a couple million bucks.

    If you need to point-and-click to administer a machine,
  • You know, they're not paying so much so the Martians can see the ad for Pizza Hut then ask them to deliver to Uranus in 30 seconds else it's free. They do it precisely because they get news coverage, and people start talking about it. It'd be like launching a Pizza Hut ad down to the bottom of the Ocean; no one will see it, but the publicity generated by the event comes in very cheap.

    At this price, and with the amount of collateral publicity it generates, the price they're paying is a bargain.

    "There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion than to contaminate it with the facts."

  • by Botos (37607)
    So now that Pizza Hut is on this big space kick, does this mean I can finally get some Tang to go with my pizza?
  • From the article:

    Company officials had wanted to use lasers to shine a giant logo on to the surface of the moon, but they started looking for an alternative promotional idea when they learnt that the image would have to be as big as Texas to be seen by earthlings more than 380,000 kilometers (238,000 miles) away.

    These ad execs are either on drugs, or they read too much of "The Tick". Of course it has to be as big as Texas. And I bet if it was dirt cheap, they'd do it too. I can't imagine the horror of gazing up at the Moon every full moon and seeing the bloody Pizza Hut logo. That would be a nightmare.

    Let's hope no one thinks of something so stupid ever again. Leave it to Chairface to design large lasers to etch his name on the Moon. ("Cha?")

    "There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion than to contaminate it with the facts."

  • I don't think Pepsi does this, but I remember reading an article in the newspaper once about how some restraunts would give you free meals for life if you got a tatoo of their restraunt name/symbol on your forearm. Some of the designs were actually pretty good, for a tatoo, and they got quite a few people to get them. I would never do it though.
  • by kuro5hin (8501)
    I think it would be cool if the moon said "P I Z". The Greys would wonder what the hell was going on next time the stopped by....

    ----
    We all take pink lemonade for granted.
  • by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Friday October 01, 1999 @02:27PM (#1644374) Homepage
    This reminds me of the Heinlein science fiction story in which the hero used every method he possibly could, from selling real estate on the moon to selling the (unusable) advertising right to the moon's surface, all so he could go. (His advertising on the moon gambit was a classic and might have wide applicability in this case - he sold the rights to a soft drink company (I think it was "Moke") with the proviso that they never be used - that is, that their competitor would be barred from buying them!)

    I would think most science fiction buffs would love something like that to happen - especially since it doesn't look like we're going to the moon anytime soon without something like that happening.

    D

    ----
  • The man who sold the moon - a real classic.

    (See my other post on the subject).

    D

    ----
  • This is a classic... it was originally posted on NASA Watch [nasawatch.com] a while back, and it looks like it's gotten spread around...

    There's a photo-illustration of what the Pizza Hut rocket will look like at Pizza Hut's page. [pizzahut.com]

  • I'm not sure exactly which aspect of this is more depressing:


    1) That Pizza Hut paid 125 times my annual sallary to pull a publicity stunt that, other than a few newspapers, nobody will actually *see* (Well, very few.) I mean, even a 30 second spot on the Super Bowl is only about $1 million.


    Or 2) That $2.5 million dollars worth of customers will read about this and say, "Screw Domino's, let's go to Pizza Hut!!!" Sheesh.


    Don't blame the advertising companies too much...Remember, it's the customers who really pay for these ads.

    --DranoK
  • by Reject (11791)
    Who cares? Really, it's just paint (or whatever) on the side of a rocket. I hate ads as much as the next guy, but it's just an ad on the side of a rocket. As a result, the Russian Space Program gets money, Pizza Hut gets an ad and life goes on. No one will probably even see or hear of it besides this article. Besides, at least Pizza Hut makes better pizza than most places..

    The part that SHOULD worry people, for obvious reasons, is this

    "Company officials had wanted to use lasers to shine a giant logo on to the surface of the moon, but they started looking for an alternative promotional idea when they learnt that the image would have to be as big as Texas to be seen by earthlings more than 380,000 kilometers (238,000 miles) away."

    But an advertisement on the side of a rocket? It doesn't hurt anyone and it helps the space program, so why complain?

    --
    Reject
  • Well...I for one would welcome NASA ads on rockets. here you have a budget-starved governmental agency that can barely get their projects off the ground (and then they malfunction because of a metric conversion error [slashdot.org]).

    If you let them put ads on rockets, they'll have more money...and to me, NASA having more money is a good thing.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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