You may have seen a viral report during the weekend regarding a project to broadcast ads on orbital display panels in the night sky, the first being PepsiCo's Adrenaline Rush Energy Drink. as part of a "campaign against unjustified stereotypes and prejudices against gamblers".
It's certainly a captivating story, like an excerpt from a cyberpunk book. The Russian company behind the plan is called StartRocket and apparently tested the idea using a helium balloon to carry a reflector into the stratosphere.
To get an idea of what Adrenaline Rush ads look like and why the campaign involves video games, you can watch one of their ordinary terrestrial advertisements.
But do not start investing in rocket launchers. We asked PepsiCo if they were really planning to run ads over the stars and received the following statement:
"We can confirm that StartRocket has conducted an exploratory stratosphere advertising test using the Adrenaline GameChangers logo, which was a one-off event, and we do not intend to test or commercially use this technology for the moment. "
So there you have it. Yes, it's a real thing that has really been tested, which in itself is scary. But no, Pepsi does not plan for the moment to spread its logo on the stars, which will lead to an inevitable escalation that ends with Coca-Cola marking its mark on the moon or elsewhere. And yes, fighting stereotypes about people who play video games with obnoxious energy drink ads is an idea beyond parody.