After months of anticipation, Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program arrived today ....and it was worth the wait...far better than expected.
Marketing the Moon is the first marketing case study that makes the journey from home office to the living room--where it will be enjoyed by non-marketing friends and family.
Unlike most short-lived marketing books, Marketing the Moon is an exhaustively researched, carefully-written, visual feast destined for my permanent library. It will be around long after most of my marketing books have been donated to the recycling bin at the local supermarket.
Marketing the Moon is the perfect fusion of marketing case study, storytelling, and graphic design. It tells the "story behind the story" of one of America's finest moments. It's also an example of the magic that can take place when marketing-savvy, passionate authors meet an experienced graphics team and a publisher (MIT Press) that knows how to produce "cost-no-object" books at a realistic price.
I've been a David Meerman Scott fan ever since I discovered the first edition of his New Rules of Marketing & PR. I've followed his career and admired his consistent ability to make marketing principles come alive as conversational narratives.
I've also been fascinated by his ability to write meaningful marketing books around his interests and passions, i.e., Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead.
What I didn't know, of course, was that David Meerman Scott and his co-author, Richard Jurek, have been passionate followers of the Apollo space program for decades, attending conventions, collecting artifacts, and curating Apollo documents--memos, drafts, sketches, pages from notebooks, as well as a library of mainstream media advertisements and brochures produced by corporations involved in the Apollo project.
Through the attendance at Apollo events, the authors gained first-hand opportunities to talk to not only the star participants--the astronauts--but also the support team of engineers and scientists who played an equally important role in the project's success.
So, is Marketing the Moon for you? It is if you:
a) Enjoy a well told marketing story based on first-hand resources from those who were involved
b) Appreciate a beautifully produced book containing hundreds of photographs, illustrations, reproductions, and documents
c) Love history, and want to gain a better understanding of how our currently-deadlocked government was once able to partner with businesses large and small to accomplish a near-impossible feat in a recording-breaking short time.
Marketing the Moon is also for you if you are a marketing or public relations professional looking for a detailed case study filled with relevant lessons for today.
For example, many may not realize that the Apollo program was not an "carefully orchestrated campaign" but was actually one of the earliest examples of what we now call "content marketing" at work on a grand scale.
At a time when the Soviet space program was veiled in secrecy, the leaders of the Apollo program were practicing transparency on a level never before allowed. The press was provided with content--facts, not scripts--and allowed to lead the conversation and create their own stories.
Reading Marketing the Moon is like "job shadowing" the the leaders and participants in the program, watching them make make decisions--some better than others--and observing the resulting success of a democratic press and an involved media create an unstoppable momentum which climaxed with the first televised moon walk.
Marketing the Moon is also a book for parents and grandparents, who want to give an inspiring book and "memorable" to a child or graduate that may inspire them to "reach for the moon" in their own lives.