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Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program (MIT Press) Hardcover – February 28, 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Marketing the Moon is a fascinating look at how NASA and its partners brought the Moon to the world's living rooms. Apollo's revered place in the collective imagination stems, in large part, from the efforts detailed in this book.

(Fritz Johnston, Vice President, Brand and Advertising, The Boeing Company)

Don't think for a moment that NASA masterminded a PR campaign that brought the Apollo missions into our living rooms. Just like everything else about the Moon program, how -- and how much -- to share Apollo with the public was a learn-as-you-go affair that involved not only NASA's public affairs office but top NASA managers and even astronauts. As this excellent and informative book details, even the idea of live television from the Moon was a matter of heated debate, and there were moments when it might've gone the other way. Thank heaven it didn't: When humans first voyaged to the moon, they took the world along.

(Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon)

To call the Apollo Program the greatest marketing exploit of the 20th century is not hyperbole, but, as David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek show us, simply a statement of fact. Thanks to this thorough and detailed account, we can better understand not just the talent and dedication of the Mad Men-era professionals who sold the Moon to a global public, but also the larger transformation of statecraft into stagecraft, and the enduring and irreversible transformation of the public sphere into an enterprise of image creation, and manipulation.

(Nicholas de Monchaux, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo)

We have long known that NASA mobilized a broad public relations campaign supporting the Apollo program of the 1960s. We have not known until now, with the publication of Marketing the Moon by David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek, the details of the campaign. Scott and Jurek offer a compelling account of these great efforts, informed by interviews with many of the participants, and well-illustrated by unique imagery and documents.

(Roger D. Launius, Senior Curator, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)

President Kennedy hoped the nation would succeed in sending a man into space and landing on the Moon. Though he did not live to see it happen, his dream was fulfilled. David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek's Marketing the Moon shows us in vivid detail what it took to make this happen. This is one of the great stories of the 20th century.

(Alan Brinkley, Allan Nevins Professor of American History, Columbia University)

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)

The book tells an entertaining and engaging story, but there's a lot to learn from here, as well...And it's a beautiful book. Lavishly illustrated, it's a book for the coffee table, the office desk, the lobby. Full-page illustrations; covers and excerpts of glossy magazines from the era, as well as full-page 'asides' on related topics: Disney's Tomorrowland; the '50s sci-fi television series Space Patrol; Soviet Russian efforts to inspire with elaborate futuristic space films of their own. And much more...The text boxes and asides are just as fascinating and informative as the main narrative itself. And it's impeccably researched: from how reporters with low-budget media improvised launch coverage, to how contractors ingeniously pioneered new methods of colour photography. The authors leave no stone unturned - not even moon rocks, whose complicated fate in international diplomacy they chronicle as well. Those with an interest in marketing and complex project management will find the book particularly interesting, but it's accessible for the general public and will enthrall any space enthusiast.


The book is a highly illustrated tour-de-force of the particular way government and industry grabbed the attention of the media and, at first without planning it, wooed the public and seduced print and electronic news channels to get behind the biggest message of the day.

(David Baker Spaceflight)

Marketing the Moon records elegantly and precisely such details, but it tells an important and generally understated sociological story of how the Apollo program changed the way we see the world in a different sense too: it introduced new expectations of 'live television', of unedited audio transcripts, or direct access to experts and officials. All this openness was remarkable in the context of a space program launched in the shadow of the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion and driven by the military's need to 'beat the Russians'.

(The Philosopher)

U.S. government goes "Mad Men" on Apollo, gets it right.

(Tyler Cohen New York Times Magazine)

Scott and Jurek devote a whole chapter of "Marketing the Moon" -- which, it should be noted, overflows with beautiful photographs, drawings, and illustrations -- to the broadcast and reporting of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The main thing, they show, was that it was live -- and that its liveness embodied, in itself, the bravery and risk of the mission. Gene Cernan, the last astronaut to walk on the moon, describes it this way: "We didn't say, 'We'll tell you about it in two weeks.' We took you with us. The power of television is unbelievable. That's what television does. What you are seeing is happening at this instant. … [T]he thing that brought so much prestige to this country is that every launch, every landing on the Moon, and every walk on the Moon was given freely to the world in real time. We didn't doctor up the movie, didn't edit anything out; what was said was said." CBS covered the Apollo 11 landing for thirty-two continuous hours; it set up special screens in Central Park so that people could watch in a crowd. Ninety-four per cent of TV-owning American households tuned in. Without television, the moon landing would have been a merely impressive achievement -- an expensive stunt, to the cynical. Instead, seen live, unedited, and everywhere, it became a genuine experience of global intimacy.

(Joshua Rothman The New Yorker)

Something profound had changed since the early days of the heroic, untouchable space heroes. In Marketing the Moon, David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek do a masterful job defining that something and placing it within a much broader exploration of how the U.S. space program acquired such mythic status in the first place -- before it abruptly, sadly crumbled away. Along the way, the authors achieve something I doubted was possible: They provide fresh and important insights into the Apollo program, nearly half a century after the fact.

(Corey S. Powell American Scientist)

If you're interested in the public affairs side of the Apollo era, I'd highly recommend Marketing the Moon. It dives into one of the least often discussed but vitally important aspects of bringing a lunar mission from concept to reality.

(Amy Shira Teitel Popular Science)

I'd like to sing the praises of large-format, image-heavy historical books that are creative in approach and gorgeous to peruse.... As a gift for anyone who's interested in space or the history of advertising, Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program by David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek) will fascinate. The book chronicles the extensive effort made to get the Apollo program favorable press coverage, and to explain the science behind the effort to the public. (I ran images of two tracking wheels, distributed to press to provide technical context for the missions, on this blog in May.) Its pages include many reproductions of materials from press kits, television broadcasts, and advertisements.

(Rebecca Onion Slate)

Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program is a comprehensive look at the successes and the challenges of launching a massive marketing program. Marketing and communication managers will find countless insights into the pitfalls as well as the rewards of creating and nurturing their own initiatives…

(Journal of Product & Brand Management)

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. Both Scott and Jurek are among the leading collectors of space program artifacts. 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 1, 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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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (February 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262026961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262026963
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.7 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roger C. Parker on March 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I was really intrigued to see this book as I am certainly someone interested in aviation and NASA history as well. Though I am a bit too young to fully appreciate the Apollo era, I can still relate to much of the world presented here and find it relevant.

Here the authors look at the Apollo program through the prism of marketing. And certainly this book brings together a lot of really incredible forgotten history of the NASA effort from figures who played important roles which have escaped attention to the passage of time.

Though much of the material is probably well known to readers of existing books (unfortunately there is just not that much to tell about a oft-examined 50ish year old program) but still I found much of the information fascinating when accompanied by the collection presented here in objects and pictures.

The book really hits a stride in discussing the cross-marketing efforts of the many contractors presenting themselves as "chosen by Nasa" when that really meant something for consumers. And it was interesting to see how Nasa allowed itself to present pictures and other items for use by these same companies. As well, the discussion of television is really fascinating as the authors discuss the development of cameras for the lunar landings and the curious effect of how the lunar landings became 'routine' after Apollo 11! Horsefeathers, naturally, as this was an incredibly dangerous enterprise from one end to the other and it is a tribute to American ingenuity that no one died except for the ill-fated Apollo 1 astronauts (Chafee, White and Grissom) without whom the program may have failed multiple times without the changes made in the wake of that horrible incident.
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Marketing The Moon .. nice and lovely book or I would call it a personal moon museum .. it is indeed a museum on your hand about everything related to the Apollo moon mission.
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everything about the selling of apollo and the nasa space program. One of the thing's I think someone should do is a book about the late Reuters correspondent Mary Bubb, one of the first female reporters covering space. noted for her hats at every launch.
You see on photo of her in Houston during an apollo mission. Mary was a person who knew all the secerts. And it tells the story of Disney's take on selling space via Tommorowland. Plus it shows the piles of swag that the contractors gave out to the press. It's a great book that just gets into the subject of selling a big technology program to the US public. Well worth reading
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Format: Hardcover
Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program chronicles the birth, rise and fall of America's ambitious Moon Shot program. The debate as to what originally inspired us to reach for and attain such a monumental goal and then disregard it like yesterday's trash has been raging for nearly half a century. We all know there are myriad legitimate explanations. Marketing the Moon approaches the subject from a fresh and important perspective. It is inconceivable that with the hundreds of space books published since Gene Cernan stepped back into Challenger more than four decades ago, that none of them have focused on the marketing aspects of Apollo. Obviously marketing played a seminal role as this book commendably conveys.

The down side to reading the book is that we are reminded of squandered and lost opportunities. The golden age of American space exploration appears to be behind us. I don't fully agree with some reviewers that America's loss of interest in Project Apollo specifically and the space program in general was a result of NASA's marketing failure. The unfortunate fact is the general public has negligible interest in space travel. It was not possible for NASA to sustain the national and international media frenzy associated with Apollo 11.

It is apparent that Jurek and Scott are not only gifted writers, but are also knowledgeable and devoted fans of our space program. Rare and prized items from their extensive personal collections are featured throughout the book. I learned so much from Marketing the Moon and it was an absolute pleasure to read. Highly, highly recommended!
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