Getting a company logo in front of the public is not an easy job anymore. In the olden days, I’m told it used to be a simple process: you would just call up a promotional gift supplier, order a few cases of glow-in-the-dark executive desk sets emblazoned with the firm’s name, and presto: instant brand placement.

All right, perhaps it was only that painless for companies that didn’t really care about their corporate image. But it was a less complicated process a decade ago.

Out of this world advertisingToday, nearly everything is being treated as if it’s a vehicle in a NASCAR race (which is to say, available for logo placement), and that seems like a “plus” for marketers. Yet this very availability has a downside: clients are expecting to be able to see their images more and more often in more and more places. Consequently, the costs and risks of brand/logo placement have risen quite high.

Let’s deal first with the costs. Branding rights are getting more expensive. (In fact, there are those who would say the costs just rose two percent during the time it took to read that sentence.)  Those companies with the square footage to sell have wised up to the fact that marketers will seemingly pay anything to get their shiny icons in front of an increasingly jaded public.

The result: the price tag can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Or millions. Or tens of millions.

Now, let’s examine the risks of an increasingly crowded market. Unless you up the ante by buying the exclusive rights to an advertising medium, your firm’s logo can appear right next to the logos of a bunch of products and services that may not be compatible with your firm’s image.

Uncomfortable Neighbors.

Imagine you’re the brand manager for a chain of restaurants. You’re watching proudly as your firm’s name and logo appear on the electronic scoreboard at a crowded sports arena… followed immediately by the name and logo of an antacid tablet. Or worse, an anti-diarrhea product.

Clearly, this part of our business is getting overcrowded and the search for unsullied space continues unabated.

Gazing Upward.

There is already research under way to utilize satellites and super-powered image projection to get a logo in front of half the world’s population, all at the same time. The object of these advertisers’ affections?

The moon. 

Oh sure, it will involve high technology and a lot of chutzpah, but just think of the possibilities: the Nike swoosh glowing in the night sky like a celestial neon sculpture. Or Apple’s polished apple. Or Starbucks’ flowing-haired queen. Or Al Jazeera’s squiggle. (Well, why not? They have a logo.)

How romantic to take a late stroll with your date, gently sliding your arms around one another. . .and then, just before kissing, taking one more glance at the moon as it softly radiates the mood-setting script of the Virgin corporation. Or McDonalds’ golden arches. Or the Gatorade lightning bolt.

Size Matters.

This will be the biggest billboard of all time. Two thousand one hundred sixty miles in diameter. Sure, it’s nearly a quarter of a million miles away, but there’s an unobstructed view of it from every city on earth. (From every rural location, too, for that matter.)

And with powerful projections, there’s no need to worry about the moon’s phases. The bright beam of your gleaming design can fill the entire surface of our earth’s satellite. Which means that every night can be a “full moon.” Come to think of it, with the right color combination in your logo, it might be possible to project your brand up there all day long as well as throughout the night.

Fighting for Space & Time.

Who is going to control the rights to The Moonboard? Will Mediasmith file a claim with the U.S. Patent Office? Will aQuantive, Mediagistic and Universal McCann step in with counter proposals? Will the clients of EarthQuake, Horizon and PGR Media demand satellite/laser projection systems of their own?

What happens when two or more companies want to moon the earth at the same time? (You knew that pun was going to happen sooner or later, right?)

An Even Larger Canvas.

I put these concerns to a media-savvy individual with whom I often work: the photographer who goes by the name of Snook.

He read this piece and made an extremely chilling comment: “I wonder what’s to prevent them from projecting their ad messages on clouds.”

NOTE: Artist’s rendering of a “moonboard” is available at: