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Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program [Hardcover]

David Meerman Scott , Richard Jurek

Price: 27.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 April 2014
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.

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a well-written look at how NASA, industry, and the media covered the Apollo missions... Marketing the Moon provides a fascinating look at the marketing of humanity's first missions to the Moon, as well as a reminder that space exploration, including first-of-their-kind missions to other worlds in our solar system, do not sell themselves. -- Jeff Foust The Space Review

About the Author

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist and the author of three bestselling books, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, Real-Time Marketing, and Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead. He lives in Lexington, Massachuetts. Richard Jurek has worked as a marketing and public relations executive for more than twenty years. He lives in Chicago. Gene Cernan is a retired United States Navy officer and a former NASA astronaut. He has been into space three times: as pilot of Gemini 9, as lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, and as commander of Apollo 17, the final Apollo lunar landing. He was the last man to set foot on the moon.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific 9 Mar 2014
By Gary Milgrom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This terrific book is both entertaining and informative. Beginning with the formation of NASA the authors explain how the agency found its voice, how the decision was made to be honest and transparent and how the writers thought of themselves as reporters instead of public relations people ("We put out news releases, not press releases.")

The role of television, arguably the most important aspect of marketing the flights, is handled well by explaining both the political and technical challenges of the time. And the topic of astronauts as celebrities is explored at depth with surprising conclusions.

The book contains wonderful photos of commercial ads, technical manuals and marketing pieces from NASA and their contractors during this time. These items, many from the authors' personal collections, are a highlight of the book. There are also many interesting personal anecdotes in the book, from the reasons Paul Haney quit his job to an incident involving Neil Armstrong's parents which reveals much about Neil himself.

We all know how the story ends - the public and media lost interest rapidly after the first landing, missions were cancelled and we haven't returned to the moon since Apollo. This was actually a failure of marketing by NASA to keep the public engaged, and this aspect of the program is covered as well.

I couldn't put the book down. Highly recommended.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem for Space Geeks, History Buffs and Marketers 2 Mar 2014
By Keith Jennings - Published on Amazon.com
To fulfill President John F. Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the moon, return him safely to earth and do it by the end of the decade, NASA organized teams into three core disciplines: life preservation, propulsion and navigation.

But there was actually a fourth discipline: storytelling. And that story has not been adequately told until this book.

"Marketing the Moon" tells the story of NASA’s storytellers — how a handful of men fought to allow public access to this historic era of space exploration.

This book is as much a coffee table book as it is a terrific read. It offers scores of rare and vintage photos on nearly every page. And the tug-of-war between NASA’s public affairs team and its scientists, aviators and technicians offers an engaging narrative.

I recommend this book for space enthusiasts, history buffs and marketing practitioners. Given I’m all three, it’s one of my favorite books in years.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the World's First Coffee-Table Marketing Book 11 Mar 2014
By Roger C. Parker - Published on Amazon.com
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newsjacking to Moon Walking: Another Excellent Read for PR, Marketing and...Space Lovers 2 Mar 2014
By Lisa Buyer - Published on Amazon.com
A departure from his usual social media and digital flight pattern, Scott's "Marketing the Moon" tells the story of how NASA not only put the first man on the moon, but pioneered the use of brand journalism, product placement, and real-time storytelling with the epitome of transparency and authenticity.

For the space enthusiasts and sci-fi cult-followers who create and follow the GIFs and memes branded with "Star Wars", "Space Odyssey", and "Star Trek", "Marketing the Moon" captures the challenges and the ultimate success of marketing one of the greatest achievements in American history as noted in the foreword written by Captain Eugene A. Cernan, the NASA astronaut who became the 11th person to walk on the Moon and "the last man on the Moon".

Scott and Richard Jurek did an incredible job at curating the historical data of how NASA pioneered brand journalism and real time public relations in this one-of-a-kind time-capsule-like book filled with nostalgic marketing memorabilia.

I loved looking at NASA's original press kits and memos from the Public Information Officer requesting the astronauts conversations in space not be edited!

Marketing the Moon is a collector's item whether you are a Star Wars fan or PR and marketing PRO.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece 7 Mar 2014
By Margitte - Published on Amazon.com
"Marketing the Moon" is an illustrated and comprehensive report of the history of the historical moon landing in marketing terms. The known, unknown, good, bad, the amazing, the challenging, the behind-the-scenes drama and jubilation. The discussion goes back to Jules Verne, who wrote his book 'From the Earth To The Moon', 104 years prior to the event, and proceeds to all the marketing gimmicks employed in the 1900s in the media, to the ultimate 400 000+ people contributing products, technology and other skills in making the moon landing possible.

This books, only 145 pages long, speaks for itself. It is a must-read for anyone interested in space. A brilliant read!
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