Students design communication campaign for ESA Commercialisation
Creating a communication campaign for a prestigious international organisation is a challenge most communication specialists would jump at. Just such an opportunity opened up for students of Communication or Applied Economic Sciences at the Free University of Brussels who had the chance to develop a communication campaign for the European Space Agency.
Under the theme "Space Reaching out to Business", the 5th Junior Campaign Contest of the Free University of Brussels invited the students to create a "Space Marketing Campaign" promoting new business opportunities offered by the European Space Agency on the International Space Station (ISS).
The students, who had founded twelve virtual junior communication agencies, competed to create the best campaign. Six of the twelve junior agencies won a place in the final. A 21-member jury, chaired by ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, and consisting of major players from communication, advertising and journalism were judging the contest.
The campaigns were also subject to the scrutiny of ESA specialists with expertise in selling business opportunities to the non-space world: Maurizio Belingheri, Head of ESA’s Commercialisation Division, and Frank Salzgeber, Head of Commercial Development.
The results were so good that it was not even possible to single out an individual winner: and so the title "Best Junior Space Marketing Campaign 2005" went to two junior agencies with very different approaches.
The first fictional communication agency – The Brain Trust – focused its campaign on creating a self-standing ‘ESA business’ brand to create a greater brand awareness and in this way to enhance business engagement. Their fictitious campaign suggested choosing Europe’s leading companies as a target to realize a strong co-branding and sponsorship scheme thus making their “ESA business” brand more known.
The second agency – Misses Renee – suggested an entirely different strategy: they aimed at creating an emotional product brand for space-tested items to go alongside with ESA’s high profile corporate brand. They wanted to implement this idea through Cosmo, a little cartoon astronaut, which is supposed to be attached to space-proof products as a sticker or alternatively hanging above in the form of a helium-filled balloon. Cosmo should, in the eyes of Misses Renee’s Marketeers, add to ESA’s professional image an emotional touch and turn the ESA trademark into a lovemark.