Marketers across many categories are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, which is officially July 20.
Volkswagen of America is using what might be the most appropriate music, a newly released version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” for a multiplatform campaign that includes a 60-second spot. Themed “A New Mission,” the effort from Johannes Leonardo challenges all “with humankind’s new mission of focusing on Earth.” It features the iconic VW bus as well as future electric vehicles to show how far we have come.
Nestlé’s Stouffer’s is giving fans across the country the chance to “eat like an Apollo 11 astronaut.” The brand is recreating three of its recipes featured on the post-lunar menu. Printed recipes will be available to download across Stouffer’s online channels starting in July. Consumers can also purchase items that have stood the test of time, like Escalloped Chicken and Noodles and Lasagna with Meat Sauce.
Some companies are releasing actual products tied to the event, like Lego's new lunar lander set that it developed with NASA. The company released a smaller version in 2003. The new set went on sale June 1.
Swatch Group released The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition in stainless steel.
The United States Mint is introducing the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program, a collection including curved coins in gold, silver and clad (multiple metals). The design on one side of the coin is a nod to the space missions that led up to the moon landing, while the reverse features a representation of the famous “Buzz Aldrin on the Moon” photograph.
Another government entity is also recognizing the event. As part of its digital-first marketing campaign, the U.S. Navy Recruiting Command has developed a Google Assistant interactive game, “Journey to the Moon.” It aims “to celebrate the Navy’s role in this epic human achievement and to generate interest about career opportunities available in today’s Navy.” The audio-based game can be played on Google Home devices and Google and Android mobile devices.
Agencies and the media are also marking the event. Digitas, in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, created a first-of-its-kind augmented reality documentary app experience that takes users on the Apollo 11 five-day mission and moon landing, the JFK Moonshot app.
The New York Times is hosting a ticketed event at New York’s Town Hall featuring a reading of a short play by Tony Award-winning author J.T. Rogers. Commissioned specifically for this event, the play weaves together transcripts of the Apollo 11 mission, Times coverage from the period and excerpts from interviews with the men and women who made it happen. Following the reading, Michael Barbaro of “The Daily” will host an onstage conversation with Michael Collins, command module pilot on Apollo 11, Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station, and Poppy Northcutt, the first female engineer to work in NASA’s Mission Control, starting with Apollo 8.
Clear Channel is donating Times Square digital screens to honor the event. City, state and national partners have come together to help transform the heart of New York City into Tranquility Base, the Apollo 11 landing site. The Discovery Channel will provide the video content to help guests relive key moments from the July 16, 1969, Saturn V rocket launch, as well as the July 20, 1969, Moon landing and first steps.