A Sullivan Higdon & Sink ad campaign for Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has launched them to the forefront of Future Space™ – a term used to define the future of the United States’ space program. The ad campaign has not only heightened interest in funding space solutions but has also positioned Rocketdyne into a leading voice in the debate over America’s future space leadership.
The Challenge Rocketdyne has been leading the way in space innovation and discovery for more than 50 years. While their history in space launches gives them credibility, it sometimes distracts from their current successes. But when it comes to successful launches, Rocketdyne is Future Space. They have powered missions to nearly every planet in the solar system. In 2011 alone, they achieved 14 space launches with 100 percent success, consistently delivering astronauts and important communication, science and national defense payloads.
Despite Rocketdyne’s record of success, millions of taxpayer dollars have been awarded to start-up commercial space suppliers to fund rocket engine development. To date, these suppliers have yet to launch a successful mission outside of low Earth orbit. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne wanted to highlight this issue and demonstrate their history of successful launches. To remind decision makers on the Hill of Rocketdyne’s proven track record, SHS’ aerospace and defense team determined the best strategy to be a highly targeted message to Congress, NASA administration and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Campaign The campaign elements were placed in Washington, D.C. and industry publications (CQ Today, POLITICO and Space News International) in mid-December 2011 and in January 2012, before and after the 2012 Congressional session opened. Online ads were placed on NASAwatch.com, SpaceRef.com, Space.com, and SpaceflightNow.com. The ad’s Microsoft Tag took readers to a video featuring the 14 successful 2011 launches and directed readers to Rocketdyne’s Future Space website. The ad demonstrates Rocketdyne IS Future Space – and the other guys, well, they are just talk.
Results The ad campaign had an immediate impact, igniting conversations about Rocketdyne and Future Space. Days after the ad ran, Aviation Week & Space Technology, a leading industry publication, interviewed Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s President of Propulsion Jim Maser, tapping him as a thought leader in the space industry. Space News also quoted him in a January 16 article. In the following weeks, Rocketdyne received increased visits to their website, more than 6,000 views as of February of the video of Rocketdyne’s successful launches, and an article in Florida Today. Discussion regarding the campaign also took place on NASASpaceFlight.com’s forum.