Marketing The Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program

My friend, fellow Apollo space enthusiast, and best-selling author David Meerman Scott  and I wrote a book to be published by MIT Press titled Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program.

Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 Commander and the last man to walk on the moon wrote the foreword to the book.

As passionate space artifact collectors, David and I have been working on this project for some three years. The marketing aspects of the Apollo program is a fascinating topic for both of us as we are both professional marketers, both authors (I have written and published numerous articles in the trade journals about marketing as well as space artifact collecting;  David has published 8 other books on marketing, including the international best-seller The New Rules of Marketing and PR), and both happen to collect vintage Apollo-era contractor and PR material.

Over the years, David and I would meet at conferences and discuss our shared passions, and we would belabor the fact that the Apollo marketing story had never been told before, nor in the way we thought it should be told. There are so many aspects where the marketing and PR story of Apollo either remains untold, or even some where the record is just plain wrong.

For Marketing the Moon, we interviewed dozens of Apollo-era astronauts, NASA public affairs officers, contractor public relations people, and journalists who covered the program. And we drew from our collections of original Apollo source materials so that many of the 300+ color illustrations in the wonderfully designed book by Scott-Martin Kosofsky have never been published before. Until now.

Pre-publication demand for the book has been so strong, that the press has already gone to a second printing. We have sold the Japanese rights to the book. And the book is being optioned for film rights by Emmy and Academy award nominated filmmaker Robert Stone.

Marketing the Moon Cover.jpg

Marketing the Moon (MIT Press, March 2014)

Here is the description of the book provided by MIT Press on their website and in their 2014 catalog copy:

In July 1969, ninety-four percent of American televisions were tuned to coverage of Apollo 11's mission to the moon. How did space exploration, once the purview of rocket scientists, reach a larger audience than My Three Sons? Why did a government program whose standard operating procedure had been secrecy turn its greatest achievement into a communal experience? In Marketing the Moon, David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek tell the story of one of the most successful marketing and public relations campaigns in history: the selling of the Apollo program.

Primed by science fiction, magazine articles, and appearances by Wernher von Braun on the "Tomorrowland" segments of the Disneyland prime time television show, Americans were a receptive audience for NASA's pioneering "brand journalism." Scott and Jurek describe sophisticated efforts by NASA and its many contractors to market the facts about space travel -- through press releases, bylined articles, lavishly detailed background materials, and fully produced radio and television features -- rather than push an agenda. American astronauts, who signed exclusive agreements with Life magazine, became the heroic and patriotic faces of the program. And there was some judicious product placement: Hasselblad was the "first camera on the moon"; Sony cassette recorders and supplies of Tang were on board the capsule; and astronauts were equipped with the Exer-Genie personal exerciser. Everyone wanted a place on the bandwagon.

Generously illustrated with vintage photographs, artwork, and advertisements, many never published before, Marketing the Moon shows that when Neil Armstrong took that giant leap for mankind, it was a triumph not just for American engineering and rocketry but for American marketing and public relations.


Here is the back cover of the book with some pre-publication endorsements:

marketing the moon back cover.png